What are some food myths that have been blown out of proportion?
Oh dear, let’s throw down two that are hot right now. The “organic is healthier or better for you” argument. Organic has never been proven to be healthier or nutritionally advantageous for people. Notice it says “organic” on the label and not pesticide-free. If I saw one that said pesticide-free, I’d be very surprised. That would a very different class of crop. [Organic producers] just use different pesticides, they’re in general derived from natural sources but they’re not pesticide-free and often times, they’ll have to apply it more often because in general they’re an older class of pesticides and in some cases they’re more toxic than synthetics ones. If one day I see the proof it’s better for people, I’ll change my mind, but I haven’t seen proof yet.
GMOs are not dangerous. When scientists are genetically modifying crops, they change a couple of genes, maybe one or two, to give a crop a desirable trait. In a lot of cases it will prevent the crop from dying because, like people, crops can get sick. With the papaya, it was to stop the ringspot virus. In Florida, oranges are dying from citrus greening and it looks like the only thing that might be able to save it is genetic modification. Do you want your orange juice? Species are being saved from extinction because of genetic modification. We don’t think about it, we think “technology” and get scared. People get scared of new technology. But they are tested so heavily after a scientist has changed one or two genes.
Is there something more concerning than GMO labelling that we should be focusing our attention towards?
Yeah, just how many calories people are eating overall. I believe it’s more of a problem in America than it is in Canada, but you guys are catching up! Obesity is one of the bigger killers out there. You can be scared of GMOs all day long but if you’re eating 5,000 calories a day of non-GMOs, you’re still going to have problems.