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GMOs, rBGH, and an Episode of Hives

August 26, 2009

I’ve been reading Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall. I’ve learned more about genetically modified (GM) foods and seeds, as well as the effects of rBGH (synthetic bovine growth hormone) on dairy cows and humans than I thought possible.

I’ve learned about Monsanto, and that it is a pimple on the butt of humanity. I’ve always know that buying organic meant farmers used natural fertilizers and no chemical pesticides. But I had no idea about the frankenfoods that Monsanto creates…I mean, can you imagine eating corn with Bt in every single cell of the kernels you chew? Not just that, but every single cell of the plant?

I knew about the terrible conditions that cows and chickens live in, but really, has our sense of compassion and humanity degraded so far as to treat these animals like machines?

I’m only a third of the way through the book. Ugh.

So yesterday afternoon consisted of a trip to the grocery store interrupted by the need to run to the minor care center around the corner.

It’s an adventure. The little one and I enjoyed a peach we purchased from the produce  department while we shopped for other things. It only took about ten or fifteen minutes for me to realize I was itching uncontrollably. I began to feel self conscious, so I discreetly pulled a tiny mirror out of my purse to discover giant red splotches all over my neck. Five minutes more, and my lips were tingling and my throat was tightening up. The splotches were spreading up my face, down my arms and onto my trunk.

I didn’t ditch the groceries: no way when shopping with toddler. I just stopped, checked out, and hauled ass to the minor care center.

After some benadryl and prednisone, I was on my way back to normal. It was minor in the end, I guess. But I wasn’t going to mess around with a tight throat. No way.

So the point of this,  as much of a coincidence as it is, I’m not allergic to peaches. It was something ON the peach. Pesticides? Possibly. It could have been any number of things the fruit was exposed to during shipping.

No, they weren’t local. I was going for cheap, since this month’s budget is tight.

Lesson learned: Make room in the budget for local/ organic. Or get hives.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2009 2:15 pm

    Good morning!

    I wandered over from Little House on the Southern Prarie’s blog. Very glad to “meet” you.

    It amazes me what people will do to food just to save a buck. I’m always at a crossroads when it comes to purchasing groceries. I want to buy local and organic, but usually the budget dictates otherwise. It’s a shame we have to sacrifice quality in the name of cheaper prices. I’m glad you were able to make it to the minor care center and that everything was, indeed, minor.


    • greenanthropology permalink*
      August 27, 2009 11:45 pm

      Hi Jen!

      Nice to meet you, too! Hope you stop by often. I try to buy organic and local as much as possible, but not everything can be- until our country’s purchasing habits change significantly enough to make organic food prices go down a bit more, there are things in my pantry that won’t be as natural as I’d like them to be. It is frustrating- I tried to stay in my budget by purchasing conventional peaches, and I feel like I paid for it- $50 for those damn things!(Actually $52.37 if you count the peaches AND the trip to the doctor.) It’s a difficult decision when I try to do right by the health of my family and my own health.

      Hope you have a fabulous weekend!


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