Last week the public school germs struck, turning my house into the House of Disease. I think (I hope!) I’ve nursed my family back to health, but we crashed and burned on the Nonsanto front. Does any other child of the seventies crave crap when they’re sick? Like, drive-through-vertical-integration-hockey-pucks-for-hamburgers crap? For some reason, that’s always what I remember my parents getting me to eat when I was sick but well enough to graduate from noodles with butter, and so that’s what I crave when I’m sick to this day. Who knows why I don’t crave chicken noodle soup from a can…
I managed to avoid major junky food while sick last week, and got a decent vat of Nonsanto soup going, but I have to admit I’m tired of cooking at home, tired of thinking ahead, tired of obsessively meal planning. Frankly, tired of trying to feed my family food that I feel is healthy for them without going crazy. But that’s what you have to do to avoid GMOs in your food these days. This point was driven home over the weekend, while I was listening to the radio (and cooking a Nonsanto meal, natch). Marketplace Money ran a story about Prop 37, and the statistics caused the host to say “Really? <sigh> WOW.” I said something similar – though admittedly a bit more colorful. Estimates in California say that between 40-70% of food in grocery stores would need to be labeled. More than 90% of soy and almost 90% of corn in the US are genetically modified, too.
This was on my mind while I ate a burrito a few weeks ago from Chipotle, which markets ‘Food with Integrity.’ Good choice for healthy food if you’re stuck, no? Yeeeahhhh…… not really. I don’t really recommend reading an article about what’s wrong with your burrito while you’re actually eating your burrito. I managed to finish my meal, but talked to a worker later, and found out that soybean oil (you know, that’s more than 90% GMO in this country) is in almost everything warm. As in, the rice, the tortilla fryer, marinade for all the meats except the carnitas, and the fajita veggies. And I love the fajita veggies, darnit. Maybe I’m naïve, but when I go to the grocery store, I don’t even recall seeing soybean oil as an option in the cooking oils aisle. Olive, vegetable (which could be soy, I admit), peanut, canola, sunflower… sure. But it honestly never occurred to me that restaurants would lean on soybean oil so heavily in their cooking. So now I’m sticking to a salad with carnitas and salsa if I go back.
The more roadblocks I run up against in this experiment, the more I appreciate the need for labels. Unless you make it yourself, you just don’t know what’s in your food.
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Photo: my favorite (mostly) Nonsanto meal of the week. Wild-caught salmon, CSA broccoli, CSA mashed potatoes, homemade applesauce.