Today in an article on AOL Slash Food there was a news report about scientists creating a genetically altered super tomato.
Read the article here: Slash Food
The basic idea of the article is that worldwide, large amounts of produce can be brought to market before spoilage sets in. By genetically altering the item, in this case tomatoes, it gives producers a longer time frame in which to harvest and transport and stock the supermarkets with it.
My argument with this whole concept is first: Do we need more tomatoes in the world? Is there a shortage or are they being over produced to begin with? Second: When we alter the produce, what are the human quality of life issues that result? Is life improved? Is life negatively affected in the short term and long term?
I realize finacial profits are increased for the producer and the middleman selling the product, but do the increases in short term finacial profits equal an inquivalent increase or decrease in the quality of life of humans? Is the nutritional consumption improved? What about the impact on the environment, including insects such as pollinators, like bees and butterflies? If one counts all the factors, is life really better from genetically modifiying tomatoes?
I have lived in two states in the US who were major tomato producers. I have watched large fields planted, sprayed, and harvested by machines and by hand, usually with the use of seasonal Hispanic laborers. It is not a healthy process, and is very labor intensive. I have also grown tomatoes myself in a large garden. We grew as many as 100 plants at one time. Again a very labor intensive process. To plant, stake, water, keep the bugs away, and harvesting. They are very prone to disease such as blossom end rot, and to pests such as the tomato worm.
Most tomatoes grown for markets are hybrids of some sort. There are very few natural, origional tomatoes available to the public because they do not transport well. Even if you buy organic tomatoes, you are still getting a product that has been altered on some level. To get a real tomato, you basically have to grow an heirloom variety yourself and tend it carefully, or buy it from a local grower and consume it very soon after harvest.
Serious correlations have been found between salicylates, histamines, amines, GMO’s, artificial ingredients, and our health. For example, the longer food is stored, the higher the histamine and amine content. The earlier food is harvested, before it is ripe, the higher the salicylate content. Salicylates can be natural in foods, but they can also be un-natural. When artificial ingredients are added to foods to alter shelf life, flavor, color, or texture, it essentially increases salicylates, and requires an intense reaction from the human body to digest and break down the heavy load of foriegn toxins. Instead of recieving food, the organs recieved a mix of food and toxic non-food and must now figure out what to do with it. It may be broken down and float in the blood stream, or lodge in an organ, or be excreted through the urine or bowels.
When a food is genetically modified, a gene from a foriegn body (plant, fungus, fish, animal, etc.) is spliced into the genes of the product being redesigned. The hope of the redesigner, is to alter some “downfall” the product may have in producing it in large quanties and shipping it to market cheeply. Essentially to increase the profits of the producer.
One of the biggest health problems is reactions in children. Children frequently are rushed to clinics with unexplained rashes and reactions to the foods we are feeding them. We assume that because the foods are on the shelves of our markets, they are deemed safe. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
When a tomato is cooked in to a concentrated sauce or paste, esentially all the salicylates are concentrated too. The human body can only handle so many salicylates at one time before it is overloaded. If a person lacks enough enzyme to process the salycilates quickly, or if they have a leaky gut as just about anyone who has been on any antibiotics or recieved vacines surely has, then the resulting overload of salicylates into the bloodstream can be devastating. Some people react with a mild headache or foggy thinking. Others react with an inflamed taste bud on their tounge or an irritated sore in or on their mouth. Others may have mild to devastating arthritis pain. Others may have burning in their stomach or intestines, or blistering or redness on their annus and the skin around the urethra.
If hospitals and clinics around the world, including two very well known ones in Australia and England, are dedicating whole medical units, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, books, diets, and so on to teaching people about these dangers and what foods are causing reactions especially in children, why would the world governments continue to support such genetic modifications in our foods? It is truly mind boggoling how the pursuit of profits of a few who are able to pursuade law makers can be a higher priority than the true needs of people.
Here is the response I wrote to the article they printed and posted it on their site:
The industry has already modified the tomato to the point that our children are reacting. So many kids are having to avoid ketchup , spaggetti, pizza sauce, and anything with powdered tomato, because of severe physical and behavioral reactions. They (scientists and producers) are increasing the salicylate content and the allergic reactions of these fruits. Tomatoes have already been altered and modified to contain genes from latex plants, and other modifications to resists disease, pests, make them easier for harvesting large crops, extend transporting and shelf life. The tomato now travels long distance to reach your table and it is actually turning into a health hazard rather than a source of nutrition. Worldwide, all countries will eventually reap the benefits (or the decline) of what they sow. Genetically modifying the food source is not the long term answer we need.
If you are interested in learning more about real nutrient dense nutrition and quality food production, check out the work of the Weston A Price Foundation. This organization is made up of doctors, scientists, nutritionists, farmers, and regular people. They frequently confront the FDA, USDA, the school lunch program, the wic progam, baby formula manufacturing, the farming industry, and much more. They are working hard to educate people for the purpose to improve the quality (not the profits and quantity) of the foods we are consuming and our quality of life. You will find a lot of resources on their website.
You can also find books on real nutrition at
especially check out the books by Jordan Rubin.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is learn about this and apply your knowledge. It could potentially save your life or someone you love.