When Shopping for Food, What Matters Most to You?



Between California's recently defeated Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of GMO foods, and the recent so-called Monsanto Protection Act (protecting biotech companies from future litigation if it turns out that GMO seeds are dangerous), GMOs and how to avoid them have been all over the news and blogosphere during the past six months.

Which has made me realize, GMOs have never been a top issue for me.

Sure, I avoid them. I switched to organic canola oil (which I use in large quantities for bread and most high-temp cooking) when I read that almost all conventional canola oil is GMO. I know that almost all corn is GMO, so I do try to buy most things with corn as a main ingredient organic (organic products cannot contain GMOs). I would never eat a genetically engineered animal on purpose.

Of course I supported California's Proposition 37 and labeling GMOs. I would like to be the one to determine whether scientific innovations in agricultural with very short track records and questionable research are relevant to my food purchases or not. 

And, yes, I think GMOs are a bad idea. Or at the very least, an idea that doesn't have enough rigorous science behind it to merit their widespread and ever-growing creation and application.

But I've never participated in a GMO-free month or scrutinized blog posts with lists of items that might or do contain GMOs. I've never gone through my pantry to identify and toss any item that might have GMOs. Honestly, I'm not sure exactly why, but it just doesn't push my buttons the way other food issues do. I often buy conventional chips as long as the ingredient list is short (potatoes, oil, salt), knowing full well that the vegetable oil might be GMO. I guess I think I'm better off putting my money and energy into finding healthy alternatives to the chips, like a new homemade snack.

All this GMO business has made me think about what ARE my food priorities. What matters most to me when I shop for food? Where do I draw the line and when am I willing to compromise? 

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