Agriculture in the US has undergone enormous changes in the past 50 years. Countless family farms have been forced to shut down or sell to gigantic corporations with whom they simply could no longer compete (or to Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, who is now the largest private owner of farmland in America).
Along the way agriculture became agribusiness and economies of scale replaced scarecrows. In the name of ever-greater efficiency Cargill, ADM, Bayer and other agribusiness giants enlisted the help of geneticists to create super veggies and fruits that resist common pests and even take on shapes that make them easier to pack and ship.
These altered foodstuffs are referred to as “genetically modified organisms” or GMOs for short, and they have found their way into the mainstream (non-organic) food supply nationwide. In fact, if you’ve bought fruits or vegetables in a supermarket in the past 10 years you have purchased GMOs whether you were aware of it or not.
In this post, we're going to take a closer look at GMOs and explain why we don't include them in any of our Sparkling CBD drinks.
The US Department of Agriculture defines a GMO as food grown from seeds that have been genetically modified. These days that includes potatoes, corn, soybeans, sugar beets and many, many more. GMOs are of interest to us at Sparkling CBD because genetic engineering is not limited to vegetables.
We use fruit flavors in most of our drinks and most common fruits have also undergone genetic alterations including apples, strawberries, papayas and watermelons, which are often bred these days to be both seedless and to take on a square-ish shape to facilitate shipping.
Other reasons fruits and veggies are genetically modified include making them bigger, hardier, pest resistant and to increase their vitamin content.
The controversy surrounding GMOs centers on whether they are actually safe for human consumption. Now, you would think that Gargill et al would have figured that out before they went ahead and created their super apples, but they didn’t. They proceeded on the supposition that the kind of genetic alterations they were attempting would not cause any harm to humans. And maybe that’s the case.
The reality, however, is that there have been no long-term, large-scale health studies into the effects of genetically engineered foods on people. In essence, the titans of agribusiness are crossing their fingers hoping everything will work out in the long run.
At Sparkling CBD we don't think that's any way to proceed. Sure, everything might work out swimmingly. But at this point, it's fair to say that we just don't know.
As of this writing, there has been no compelling evidence to definitively link GMOs with any particular health issues. As we said, however, one reason for that is because no one has conducted any large-scale, long-term cohort studies focused strictly on the issue.
The American Cancer Society, for instance, states there is no evidence that regular consumption of GMOs increases the risk of cancer. And that's true. There is no evidence. But - not to belabor a point - that's because there haven't been any big cohort studies on the subject. There was one smallish study that strongly suggested GMO consumption increased the risk of tumors. But after much agribusiness lobbying, the authors of that study withdrew their findings.
Other people are convinced that the consumption of GMOs is aggravating their food allergies, or in some cases, causing them to develop new food allergies. The tiny bit of research data available on this subject also suggests there may be something to those claims. The data, in this case, came from a Brazilian study conducted 25 years ago which concluded that soybeans modified with proteins from Brazil nuts have the ability to trigger allergic reactions in people allergic to Brazil nuts. In short, people were eating soybean products thinking they were safe and were having their Brazil nut allergies triggered as a result.
Our issue with genetically modified organisms is not limited to the dearth of reliable scientific data on their potential health risks. We also avoid them because of related environmental risks. For instance, most GMOs are resistant to the more popular commercial pesticides. This seems like a net positive because it means the apples or corn won’t absorb dangerous chemicals as they grow and mature.
However, the weeds that are the target of these pesticides are showing increasing resistance to them, meaning greater and greater amounts are being applied to keep weeds away from these hybrid crops. And the more pesticides you use the greater the chance that some will end up in the food chain. In addition, the more pesticides used the greater the amount that will wind up in groundwater as well.
Our goal with this article was not to frighten or cause undue concern. Our goal was to simply lay out the various reasons why Sparkling CBD as a company felt from the get-go that the right course of action was to avoid using GMOs in our products. In this case, "better safe than sorry" seemed like the smart way to proceed. To learn more about our Sparkling CBD Sodas and CBD waters, drop us a note using the contact form on our website. Or if you'd prefer you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Sparkling CBD drinks we are all-in on lemonade. As we mentioned at the outset our CBD Sparkling Lemonade is one of the most popular CBD beverages, giving even our top-selling Sparkling CBD Soda a run for its money. To learn more about our Sparkling CBD Lemonade or to order it for your next get-together use the contact form on our website or write to us at email@example.com.