blog 7

This week’s classes have got me thinking about how the food we eat today is unhealthier than it ever was in the past.  This is because of all the high fructose corn syrup that you can find in almost everything sold at the supermarket.  The food of the past was more organic and didn’t have as much processed ingredients in them.  I also started thinking about why Americans are getting fatter while people in other developed countries are still getting fatter, but at a much slower rate.  Is this because we have greater access to fast food restaurants or because of the government subsidizing the farmers to grow corn, which starts the chain reaction of adding more and more corn syrup into the foods we eat? 

I read an article on Food Safety News about how researchers discovered a new and more convenient way to test for foodborne pathogens.  Biology researchers in England discovered that by using the chemical: Firefly luciferase, the enzyme that makes fireflies’ abdomens light up, they can pinpoint harmful bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella.  They developed a device called the “Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time” (BART), which activates the luciferase, which in the presence of bacteria, will convert the bacteria’s DNA sequences into distinguishable patterns of light.  This new system of spotting pathogens dramatically cuts the detection time from about a day to around an hour.  Along with shortened testing times, portable versions of this device can be made: allowing for testing in animal farms.  This is a huge breakthrough for the food safety sector because these devices will allow inspectors greater range of freedom and it sounds like this machine will also cut costs because the food will no longer have to be sent to a lab to get tested. 

Article: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/pathogen-detection-system-takes-a-cue-from-fireflies/

blog 6

            The Grocery Gap reading we had to do for class on Friday made a lot of sense to me.  When I was driving back from Florida over Spring Break, we were travelling through mostly rural areas of Georgia all the way up to Susquehanna.  I noticed that in these rural areas -there were no true places; like supermarkets- for people to buy food, just convenience stores and fast food restaurants.  After noticing this pattern, I became curious as to why this was the case.  After reading the Grocery Gap article, I think I came up with the main reason why these areas were lacking proper stores to buy healthier food: it is because the stores in these areas wouldn’t make enough money to support their expenses and this is due to the poverty levels of the areas.  These people don’t have the proper income or budgets to buy the healthy, more expensive foods so they have no choice but to buy the crappy food at the convenience stores.  People in these areas are unhealthier than people who live in more populated centers because they don’t have the resources or access to healthier foods. 

            I read an article on http://www.foodpolitics.com/2012/03/petitions-to-label-gm-foods-deserve-support/ and it was about why we should be labeling our foods if they are genetically modified.  There is a national campaign that is fighting for required labeling of genetically modified foods in all supermarkets.  They argue that if consumers distrust genetically modified foods, the industry has nobody to blame but itself. It has done little to inspire trust.  Labeling promotes trust. Not labeling is undemocratic; it does not allow choice.  This distrust in these companies is bad for business.  They aren’t saying GMOs are harmful or wrong, they would actually welcome GMOs into their shopping lists, they are just fighting for the honest labeling of these products, which I found surprising.  Every time I read/hear something that is about GMOs, the argument is always about how GMOs are harmful to people and the environment.  I actually liked this article because these people are welcoming the inevitable future of food production, but they want an honest labeling system established to create a firmer market for the companies making and selling these GMOs and also honest labeling in the sense that it is upholding our democracy.