Fruit flies and organics, chemicals, sugar and more from the weekend readings

An article How Monsanto Went From Selling Aspirin to Controlling Our Food Supply from AlterNet based on a report by Food and Water Watch describes how this agrochemical company evolved from producing toxic PBCs (“carcinogenic and harmful to the liver, endocrine system, immune system, reproductive system, developmental system, skin, eye, and brain”) in the 1930s thru manufacturing of the 2,4-D herbicide to production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and its enormous of the seed industry (read “own it”). Read about Monsanto’s tactics of oppressing and threatening farmers; pesticides that have been proven harmful to humans and the environment and much more here.

Human body may not compare to a fruit fly but research on fruit flies can open doors to solve some essential dilemma about today’s diet. New York Times (NYT) article explains how a fruit fly answers questions whether organic food is better than conventional. The articles states that “by nearly every measure, including fertility, stress resistance and longevity, flies that fed on organic bananas and potatoes fared better than those who dined on conventionally raised produce.”

It is well known then many (in thousands if not more) chemicals on the market today have never been tested for safety. A NYT editorial, A Toothless Law on Toxic Chemicals, reports that “Senators Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat of New Jersey, and Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat of New York, recently introduced a bill — the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013 — that would modernize and reform the law, mostly by requiring manufacturers to prove that a chemical is safe before it can be sold.

Elizabeth Renterfrom Natural Society reminds us about the link between sugar and cancer. In her article, Revealing the Connection Between Sugar and Cancer… Again, she notes that “experts agree, sugar is a health destroyer.”

The Nation report enlightens on how franking effects our food supply in “Fracking Our Food Supply.” This is not news but on my list of sharing.

And finally – Michael Pollan has a new book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. It is has just been released and I have not yet read but based on the reviews, it sounds terrific. He writes about why cooking is empowering and that “the key predictor of the healthfulness of our diet and the likelihood of whether we are struggling with obesity or chronic disease is who is cooking our food – a human or a corporation.”

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