Foods and Nutrition 1021 Chapter Notes -Genetically Modified Food, Childhood Obesity, Hypercholesterolemia

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Foods and Nutrition
Course
Foods and Nutrition 1021
Professor
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
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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
Condition &
Environment
Improves soil
condition through
crop rotation and
addition of
complex fertilizers
such as manure
Controls erosion
Highly protective
of waterways and
wildlife
Uses sustainable
agriculture
techniques
Depletes soil
Adds synthetic
chemical
fertilizers
containing only
a few key
elements
Can create soil
erosion
problems
Runoff pollutes
waterways
Sprays poison
wildlife
No direct effect
May reqire fewer
pesticide sprayes
May harm wildlife
by exposing wild
species to altered
genes
Make use of salty,
dry, unusable
lands
Produce “genetic
pollution”
Nutrients In
Foods
Slightly increased
content of trace
minerals, Vit C and
improved amino
acid balance to
produce
Standards for
nutrient
composition of
foods
Increasing nutrient
and phytochemical
content
Benefits To
Consumers
Reduced expose
to pesticides,
sprays,
medications,
hormones
Long history of
safety
Ethical comfort
General safety
and pesticide
residues
Varieties of
food available
at low cost
Greater food
production at low
cost
Consumer prices
low, availability
high
Ease world hunger
May produce
medicines
Consumer
Safety
Issues
Wash produce well
to remove danger
that “drifted” on
Wash produce
well to remove
danger that
“applied” on
Wash produce well
to remove danger
that “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
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Document Summary

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.

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