Friday night is movie night at my house and I always make popcorn. But this Friday after some serious dental work, popcorn was out. I walked through the grocery store and saw the soft crunch, dental-friendly Pirate Booty and reached for the comfort this delicious snack would provide. Surely it couldn’t be all bad since it was in the health food aisle.
However, as I continued my shopping with the bag of Pirate Booty in the cart, I couldn’t help thinking two things. One, the main ingredient was corn and I know 90 percent of all corn is GMO corn and there was no GMO-free label on the bag. And two, the product probably had no reason for being in the health food aisle. What real nutrition did it provide? It was fake food, a taste sensation of over-baked corn and rice that would burst with flavor in my mouth but nutritionally starve my body. Right before I left the store, I gathered enough will power to put it back. But I put it in the snack aisle where it belonged 🙂
What really surprised me is when I got home and checked my email, I had an update from my favorite guys at Cornucopia Industry. These folks are seriously taking on the pro-GMO industry, and guess who they were citing for flagrant use of the “natural food” label, yup, the makers of Pirate Booty who are facing a class action suit for using the term natural food on their very tempting and tasty low-nutrient product.
The more I read about the food industry, the worse it gets for me. It is sad to know that our food sources are so compromised by the greed of big business. It casts a very unfavorable light on all of us, since the tool these greedy producers are using is our own ever-increasing addiction to salty, crunchy foods or calorie-laden fats and sweets. It is a battle for every individual whether he or she realizes it or not. This may sound a little over the top, but not until we begin to fight against the expansive variety of processed foods and try to return to healthful eating, do we ever see it.
We often step into this battlefield after a visit to the doctor. A prognosis of high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer might be the first surprise attack. Or, it is a feeling of malaise, depression, or exhaustion. Seeing children in this battlefield is heartbreaking. Food allergies have skyrocketed with the onset of GMO foods. Knowing that GMO foods are soaked with pesticide, is it any surprise that it is affecting growing children whose bodies are so sensitive? When I started teaching in the early 1980s, I could count on one hand the number of kids who carried around Epi-Pens in the entire school. Now it has become a common enough problem that teachers are required to learn how to administer them to their students, usually one or more students in a classroom, who are vulnerable to anaphylactic shock, a potentially life-threatening reaction.
Once we seek the truth and find it, it is difficult to go back into our past ignorance. Though we may wish to live as simply as we did, happily eating Pirate Booty and swigging down Coke, we never really can. Jesus Christ revealed the truth about us, about what we are capable of doing to each other, when he died on the cross. Any Christian must first know that when we imagine standing at the foot of the cross and seeing Our Lord suffering upon it, that it is we who put him there. We are of the condition that we will always want more money and more power at the expense of those weaker than ourselves, whether we do it in ignorance or boldly without compassion, or whether we are suffering as the weaker or wielding our money and power as the stronger.
This is the truth, and it is the Sword of Truth, that Jesus died on the cross once and for all, that we might overcome our miserable condition, and start living lives led by Truth. Christ gives us another option, to live not for ourselves but for the glory of God, in love for our brothers and sisters and for our earth. God is love and His Spirit of Truth continually reveals and renews itself in us. It seems to me that boycotting the GMO and processed food industries and supporting organic farmers who are working to provide pesticide and herbicide free food is a good way of doing just that. Organic farmers are the ones on the front line of the battle and by buying organic, we stand beside them.