Controversies III.docx

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Foods and Nutrition
Foods and Nutrition 1021
Noelle Martin

Controversies III Chapter 12: Genetically Modified Foods  What are the pros and cons?  Scientific look at issues surrounding organic and GE foods to provide an understanding of the differences and similarities between these foods that will help in deciding whether to choose either or both of them  Organic foods are one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian food industry  Many Canadian farms have shifted toward growing foods altered through genetic engineering  It is mandatory to label all foods that have significant nutritional / compositional changes due to this technology or where health / safety risk exists  Organic foods must be free of ingredients produced by way of specified technologies  Foods bearing “natural” or “free-range” or other wholesome-sounding labels are not required to meet these standards  Little research exists to support / refute whether organic foods are nutritionally superior to conventional foods  Farming the organic way will produce food without environmental harm indefinitely into the future, grown by using techniques of sustainable agriculture  Organically grown food costs more than conventional foods due to the additional measures required to produce them  Recombinant DNA technology (genetic modification) solve some age-old agricultural problems while boosting yields and profit  Farmers change the genetic makeup of their crop plants and farm animals through selective breeding to enhance traits desirable to human beings  Selective breeding works to genetically modify living things but slowly and imprecisely  In contrast, genetic engineering can change the genetic makeup of an organism in a year or two of work – desirable gene from one organism can be inserted into another organism’s DNA with great economy and precision  Scientists may also block a gene’s activity to reduce production of unwanted proteins  Little need to worry about reduced nutrient contents of GE foods, instead possibility of nutrient / phytochemical overdoses  Pesticides are regulated as food additives by Health Canada and must be proved safe for consumption before being sold to consumers  Factors such as the amount of the food commonly consumed and the nature of the alteration determine the degree of risk for unintended health effects  Those who eat the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables each day remain healthier than those who do not, regardless of the sources of those foods Organic Conventional Genetic Engineering Soil  Improves soil  Depletes soil  No direct effect Condition & condition through  Adds synthetic  May reqire fewer Environment crop rotation and chemical pesticide sprayes addition of fertilizers  May harm wildlife complex fertilizers containing only by exposing wild such as manure a few key species to altered  Controls erosion elements genes  Highly protective  Can create soil  Make use of salty, of waterways and erosion dry, unusable wildlife problems lands  Uses sustainable  Runoff pollutes  Produce “genetic agriculture waterways pollution” techniques  Sprays poison wildlife Nutrients In  Slightly increased  Standards for  Increasing nutrient Foods content of trace nutrient and phytochemical minerals, Vit C and composition of content improved amino foods acid balance to produce Benefits To  Reduced expose  General safety  Greater food Consumers to pesticides, and pesticide production at low sprays, residues cost medications,  Varieties of  Consumer prices hormones food available low, availability  Long history of at low cost high safety  Ease world hunger  Ethical comfort  May produce medicines Consumer  Wash produce well  Wash produce  Wash produce well Safety to remove danger well to remove to remove danger Issues that “drifted” on danger that that “applied” on “applied” on  Unknown dangers may also exist Chapter 13: Childhood Obesity  Unprecedented numbers of Canadian children are being diagnosed with obesity  Most overweight children become overweight adolescents and adults and face increased risks of many chronic diseases  Prevention / treatment of childhood obesity is of critical importance  Obesity, high blood cholesterol, and hypertension stand with diabetes at the top of the list of factors associated with the development of CVD  Parental obesity predicts excessive weight gain during childhood and more than doubles the chance that a child will become an obese adult  Genetic does not appear to play a determining role, but largely permissive role (potential is inherited and will the develop if given a push by factors in the environment)  Fetal programming / origins of disease states that mat
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