By Gini Bramlett
For the Calapooia Food Alliance
As if I need to say it, elections are just around the corner. On the ballot is Measure 92 which will require food manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. There has been much controversy over this issue; with some saying it will raise the cost of doing business, and raise food costs for us. Others say it won’t change the cost at the checkouts at all.
According to information in the voter’s envelopes, start up costs for the department of Agriculture and/or the Oregon Health Authority would be a onetime deal. These estimated costs would ensure that manufacturers and suppliers properly label raw and packaged food that is entirely and partially genetically engineered.
Genetically engineered foods are causing grave concerns by consumers. Artificially inserting genetic material into plants can cause a variety of significant problems, some as yet unknown. We do know that it can increase levels of allergens and toxins, which in turn, can adversely affect our overall health.
More than 60 countries already require such labeling, including India, China, the European Union, Japan, Australia, Russian and many key United States trading partners.
That said; it’s up for debate whether it’s a good idea for individual states to do this, or if it’s best for it to be federally mandated. Either way, most people admit it is a serious concern. Personally, I don’t want to eat anything but “clean” foods. I go out of my way to find the best I can afford, and look for the best heirloom seeds for growing my vegetables. It would be a huge help to know if what I am eating is what I really want to eat. A label giving me that information would do that.
There are many more issues at stake over this measure, such as how growing GMOs affect the environment, how some countries won’t import food from the U.S. due to concerns about genetic engineering. How about the fact that we don’t even get a choice without proper labeling? I could go on.
If you are interested in learning more about GMOs, come to “Munch Night” on Friday Night, Oct. 24 from 6-9:30pm at the Corner Care in Brownsville. The Calapooia Food Alliance board will be showing the film, “GMO OMG.” The well-received film by Jeremy Seifert delves into how GMO foods adversely impact our lives. There will also be a speaker from the Measure 92 campaign there to answer your questions.
Before the movie, enjoy a home-cooked meal featuring non GMO corn. All dishes, specially prepared by CFA board members, will feature corn grown at the CFA Community Gardens in Brownsville. The menu includes Corn Chowder, Corn Pudding, Corn and Bean Salad and much more. Please bring your own place settings and utensils.
Munch Night is open to everyone for a donation of $10 each, which includes dinner, the film and undoubtedly, a lively discussion to follow. This is one you don’t want to miss.
Saturday, Oct. 25 is the last Farmer’s Market of the season. This week will feature the CFA’s annual “Pumpkin Roll” for children of all ages at noon sharp. Prizes will be given in each age category.
Also, lots of produce is still being harvested, so come on down and stock up on Delicata and butternut squash, both of which can be stored for several months in cool, dry conditions. You can also still buy freshly harvested organic tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, fresh herbs, locally produced honey, home baked pastries, locally produced grains and homemade jams, salsas, pickles and Dilly Beans. We’d love to end the season with a bang, so come and see us on Main Street in Brownsville.
We’ll see you next spring!