Organic, fair trade, non GMO food - what do you think?



Kind of curious about this… and about what people in different countries think.

In Britain this is a pretty big issue; a lot of people are concerned about genetically modified food and most of the supermarkets will not stock food with GMO ingredients. A lot of people buy organic food and also fair trade food.

In Canada, this is not an issue at all. GMO food does not have to be labelled, and it is estimated that about 40% of all food in the supermarket contains GMO ingredients (wheat, maize, tomatoes, canola oil etc). Organic food is painfully expensive (about C$3-4 for a can of organic tomatoes compared to C$1 for regular tomatoes).

So, what do you think? Do you care at all about this? Have you even heard of organic / GMO food?
Is it worth the money or do you think it is just a rip off?


Since i live in a tradional agricultiral region, i rarely buy vegetables in supermarkets. I can buy those on the local market from farmers who grew it in their gardens. The stuff in supermarkets is mostly from South America anyways and travelled several weeks to Slovakia, so i hardly believe it is “fresh”, as it’s advertised.

But i’m not really worried about GMO food, something HAS to kill you, you can’t live forever :stuck_out_tongue:


Unfortunately, it is the inclination of commercial entities to make things faster, bigger, more disease resistant, and hence cheaper, even if in reality it is not better overall.

Why? When a large grain contains the same nutritional value as a small grain … people must eat twice as much to get the same nutrition.
People can’t eat twice the amount, hence get 1/2 the nutritional value … and become malnourished.
Ever wonder why those huge strawberries in the supermarkets take like crap? When those tiny strawberries growing in your grandma’s garden are so good?

The problem is also that because GM crops grow faster, better … it outbreeds older traditional varieties, and if the proper precautions are not taken, it can quickly escape the original fields & start growing in non-GM fields.

Men have been playing with plant genetics for hundreds of years, only breeding the largest/sweetest/best to get the best results, but only recently have we started injecting DNA from different species, cross-polinating with incompatibe plants.

Scientists think they are playing god, but in reality, the sponsoring corporations are doing a great injustice to the world they are supposed to serve.

It would be a terrible thing to be left with none of the originals, and the human race developed an allergy to peanuts :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m always bothered by how much more expensive organic stuff is in supermarkets etc. I don’t think it’s doing much to encourage people to buy, if that’s what they’re aiming for.

And of course I remember a big GM thing with Iceland stores awhile back. Debro’s got some good points re: GM stuff.



And then they will learn how to use shotguns and start to hunt people :bigsmile:

I wonder when will they start to produce genetically modified meat. Just imagine: there’s a chicken right ? The only consumable part of the chicken (at least for me) are the breasts. So why to breed an entire chicken if you could just breed the yummi breasts ? Such a waste of resources. :bigsmile: :bigsmile:


@molnart - breeding breasts - I believe you’ve single-handedly grabbed the attention of every straight guy on this board, well done :bigsmile:

Back on topic, I really don’t like the idea of GM meat :disagree:


I’m very picky about food and always buy organic if i can find it in our small town.


I sometimes buy organic food, but not always.
GMO food is actually quite rare here and I prefer avoiding it, though. I don’t trust it much.


My parents live on a hobby farm … and their chickens are all B cups.
Selective breeding by commercial industrys & making them live in tiny little cages without the opportunity to move has resulted in chickens in D/E cups. Those poor laying hens are also fed hormones to make them grow faster & lay more often, meaning that they are definately unfit to eat.
After a few months, those poor battery hens are pulled out, heads chopped off and sent to the supermarkets.

We don’t need genetic engineering to make bigger breasted chickens. We can just rely on good old corporate psychosis, and humanitys inane cruelty and monetary greed.


You are lucky to have that option available.
Nearly everything that I can buy is of the “supermarket fresh” variety, where the vegetables look pretty but taste of nothing.
I sometimes try to buy food from the Menonite communities in southern Ontario as they only use traditional farming methods and are inherently organic, fair trade, non GMO. They sell good honey, maple syrup, eggs etc, but it can be hard to find since they only transport by horse and buggy, so don’t sell in a very big area. Some of the organic stores here sell their stuff though.


I agree :iagree: I think that one of the main reasons GMO is not a big issue in Canada is because a lot of jobs and the farming economy is entwined with the big corporations making the GMO products. It seems that these big corporations have done a very good job of lobbying the politicians to make this a non issue.

I’m seriously considering switching away from this food completely - firstly because organic vegetables taste a lot better like you say, and secondly because I like to know what I’m eating and where it has come from. The only thing that puts me off is the price.
I think the certified organic / fair trade etc is a bit of a rip off. You’re paying for a certification, which has been set up to make money for the certifiers… it’s a bit like the ISO system, where never ending fees are applied to get this certificate, which is essentially meaningless.
Ok, I’m cynical… :wink:

As far as GMO meat goes, I don’t eat meat so it doesn’t really bother me. My husband eats meat sometimes, but does tend to buy organic meat, or get stuff from friends who have hobby farms and keep chickens / lambs etc. We actually cooked an organic, grain fed chicken for Christmas dinner with my parents last year - my mother found it unrecognizable from supermarket chicken… because it had a lot of taste. :eek:

It’s probably not organic (or any of the other labels) that I want really - it’s food produced by traditional methods that tastes good :iagree:


Yeah, the meat I get in the city tastes … yurck … like nothingness. How long has it been hanging around?

It’s like that watered down juice you get in the shops.
One orange makes 2L??? I don’t think so :stuck_out_tongue:
My mum makes orange juice from the oranges on her trees, with a touch of sugar … and waters it down 2 to 1 and it still tastes decent (and keeps you up at night if you drink too much :stuck_out_tongue: ). WTF are they doing with commercial juice? 5:1? 10:1?


If you want to sell deodorant … tell people they stink.

It’s called making a market, and it’s what coporations are busy trying to do.

Never in history has so much been wasted on so little.


At least with food you still have (somewhat of) a choice. I went out on my bike this morning (30°C forecast today) and whenever we get a high pressure area with nice weather for a couple of days, there’s a warning not to exercise too much outside because of the high concentration of microparticles in the air. I’m so mad at our very smart leaders who’ve been selling Diesel for 3/4 or less of the price of gas/petrol for as long as I can remember and now 3/4 of all cars on the road are Diesels (not to mention vans etc.). Well, Europe has laws on catalytic converters too now… and at lot of good it’s doing. Back on the food thing, similarly and depending on where you live, even what you grow in your own garden can be questionable these days.


Oooh… Here’s a good one for you …

Genetically modified crops grow faster … suck more water … and more nutrients … faster than it can be naturally replenished.
Farmers can turn around more crops every year, depleting the soil of both nutrients & moisture. Nothing can live in this condition.
All those microbes, worms, bugs & etc cannot live in dry, nutrient deficient soil, which makes a more rapid decline in soil quality.

GM crops … turning the world into desert.


I remember everyone pushing diesel vehicles as the environentall friendly choice about 10 years ago :rolleyes: We don’t have too many diesel engines in Toronto area, and it’s a pretty clean city compared to many others of a similar size… but even still we have pretty good smog in the summer when it gets to 30C range.
You should see the air quality here in lovely Xiaoshan :eek: It’s hazy and smoggy even in the winter. I sneeze all the time, and have a sore throat after walking around outside. Not nice :disagree:

Back to the food thing.
I’m kind of concerned that you really don’t get a choice in Canada, as they don’t label any of the food as GMO. A ruling came in that it should be labelled, and then got stopped in it’s tracks, so there’s no way to find out what is in the food you eat. The only way is to buy certified organic food, as they have non GMO in their certification, but it’s not labelled as such.

@ debro - you are right (worryingly). Most of the huge farms in Ontario and the Canadian praeries are growing GMO crops, and are probably heading the way of the dust bowl.
Strangely, it is while I am out (doing environmentally conscious excerice :wink: ), on long bike rides in the summer, that I see these crop farms, and many of them have signs up along the roads promoting the virtues of GMO crops :rolleyes:


Yep, the alternative to Diesel is an even bigger hole in the ozone layer, but as far as shorter term effects with cancers and such, I don’t think we’re going in the right direction here. And the surrealistic explanation is that it’s just a tax issue.

:iagree: It sure hurts to think about how a lot of Chinese people will be paying for their newfound wealth with their lives too. On-topic, I’m not sure we even get that much GMO stuff in Europe. Can it be imported and sold over here? Ain’t nothing like the real thing as far as I’m concerned :wink: .


Yes, it is allowed to sell GMO food.
The Nestlé candy bar [B]Butterfinger[/B] [I]was withdrawn from German shops due to consumer rejection when it was one of the first products to be labeled as containing genetically modified ingredients from corn.[/I]

(Although Wikipedia says that a citation is needed, it did happen indeed, and there was quite some public discussion about that.)


Thanks [B]Evilboy[/B]. It still seems to be more exception than rule over here though. There’s some legal stuff involved, which I’m not aware of at all. We seem to get most of our winter vegetables from gigantic greenhouses near Valancia in Spain…


A good example of all of this is the humble tomato.
Years ago, my grandmother grew her own…they weren´t so big, and they were funny irregular shapes, but tasted fantastic.
Nowdays…supermarkets have been concentrating on two things…related to marketing and making a profit:

  1. the look of the product …hence big fat round and red, and
  2. a long shelf-life.
    Therefore careful cross-breeding for these factors has led to the lack of flavour, and the longevity is usually managed by irradiating them to kill the bacteria which are responsible for fruit spoiling. That does make one wonder what damage was done to the DNA in these bacteria and where the damaged DNA goes…