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Diet, Nutrition, & Health: GMO

A topic guide covering aspects of diet, nutrition, and health.

Internet Resources

Food Evolution

Amidst a polarized debate marked by passion, suspicion and confusion, this fascinating documentary - narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and directed by Oscar-nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy - explores the controversy surrounding GMOs and food. Travelling from the cornfields of Iowa to banana farms in Uganda, Food Evolution brings a fresh perspective to one of the most critical issues facing global society today.

Source: Kanopy

Of The Land - GMOs and Industrial Food

OF THE LAND is a detailed exploration into our current food supply as well as a variety of organic options available to people who want to support sustainable farming methods

Source: Kanopy

Perspectives

Food Fight

Advocates hail GMOs as the future of food, an enhanced method of crop breeding that can help feed an ever-increasing global population and adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Critics call for their banishment. Where can we turn for the truth? Are GMOs an astounding scientific breakthrough destined to end world hunger? Or are they simply a way for giant companies to control a problematic food system? Environmental writer McKay Jenkins travelled across the US to form a comprehensive, nuanced examination of the state of our food system and a much-needed guide for consumers to help them make more informed choices about what to eat for their next meal.

Mendel in the Kitchen

While European restaurants race to footnote menus, reassuring concerned gourmands that no genetically modified ingredients were used in the preparation of their food, starving populations around the world eagerly await the next harvest of scientifically improved crops. Mendel in the Kitchen provides a clear and balanced picture of this tangled, tricky (and very timely) topic. Any farmer you talk to could tell you that we've been playing with the genetic makeup of our food for millennia, carefully coaxing nature to do our bidding. The practice officially dates back to Gregor Mendel -- who was not a renowned scientist, but a 19th century Augustinian monk. Mendel spent many hours toiling in his garden, testing and cultivating more than 28,000 pea plants, selectively determining very specific characteristics of the peas that were produced, ultimately giving birth to the idea of heredity -- and the now very common practice of artificially modifying our food. But as science takes the helm, steering common field practices into the laboratory, the world is now keenly aware of how adept we have become at tinkering with nature --which in turn has produced a variety of questions. Are genetically modified foods really safe? Will the foods ultimately make us sick, perhaps in ways we can't even imagine? Isn't it genuinely dangerous to change the nature of nature itself? Nina Fedoroff, a leading geneticist and recognized expert in biotechnology, answers these questions, and more. Addressing the fear and mistrust that is rapidly spreading, Federoff and her co-author, science writer Nancy Brown, weave a narrative rich in history, technology, and science to dispel myths and misunderstandings. In the end, Fedoroff arues, plant biotechnology can help us to become better stewards of the earth while permitting us to feed ourselves and generations of children to come. Indeed, this new approach to agriculture holds the promise of being the most environmentally conservative way to increase our food supply.

Designer Food

Absolutely everyone must eat. People decide several times a day what to eat and what not to eat, and the personal issue about genetically modified food is whether it is safe to eat--not only in the moment, but over the long-run. Designer Food addresses these and other pressing questions surrounding the ethics of genetically modified food in the premier, single authored commentary on the subject. Beginning with a thorough chronicling of GM Food's rise to fame first in England and later in North America, the book considers such issues as the symbolic importance of food, world hunger, food terrorism and sabatoge, and democratic public participation in the growing debate surrounding genetically modified food.

Hacking Darwin

"A gifted and thoughtful writer, Metzl brings us to the frontiers of biology and technology, and reveals a world full of promise and peril." -- Siddhartha Mukherjee MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene Passionate, provocative, and highly illuminating, Hacking Darwin is the must read book about the future of our species for fans of Homo Deus and The Gene. After 3.8 billion years humankind is about to start evolving by new rules... From leading geopolitical expert and technology futurist Jamie Metzl comes a groundbreaking exploration of the many ways genetic-engineering is shaking the core foundations of our lives -- sex, war, love, and death. At the dawn of the genetics revolution, our DNA is becoming as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology. But as humanity starts retooling our own genetic code, the choices we make today will be the difference between realizing breathtaking advances in human well-being and descending into a dangerous and potentially deadly genetic arms race. Enter the laboratories where scientists are turning science fiction into reality. Look towards a future where our deepest beliefs, morals, religions, and politics are challenged like never before and the very essence of what it means to be human is at play. When we can engineer our future children, massively extend our lifespans, build life from scratch, and recreate the plant and animal world, should we?

GMO OMG

Filmmaker and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how they affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice. His journey takes him to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and even agri-giant Monsanto as he poses perhaps the ultimate question about what we eat: is it still possible to reject our current food system, or have we already lost something we can't get back?

Source: Kanopy