Category Archives: Angry with The Food System

TrueFood 2011 Kids Edition – A Parent’s Guide to Non-Genetically Modified Food

By | Angry with The Food System | One Comment


As a follow up from my previous post, here’s a bit of good news. Following the launch of TrueFood 2011, Greenpeace’s guide to non-GM food brands, and the ensuing media coverage, Kellogg’s has announced that they will be adopting a GM free policy. Kellogg’s K-time twist bars were given the red-light for containing high fructose corn syrup which, being imported from USA, is in most cases  manufactured from genetically modified corn.

Kellogg’s adoption of a GM free policy is a huge win. Genetic modification has great detriment to natural crops, and only benefits the chemical companies (these are not agricultural companies) who produce the patented product. American farmers are being successfully sued by GM corporates, then forced to burn down their own seeds when GM seeds self-germinate in the farmers’ fields. These GM seeds are transported by air, birds, passing trucks, you name it, so the likelihood of them spreading is almost guaranteed. Patents of genetically modified seeds are used to monopolise agricultural markets which in turn will lead to a handful of companies literally owning the world’s food supply. Across the world farmers rely on their ability to save seeds from one crop to the next to ensure their livelihood, and our food supply.

TrueFood 2011 Kids Edition Launch, clockwise from top left: Murray from the Wiggles with children from Darlington School, Murray and Danks Street Depot Head Chef/Owner Jared Ingersol, Speakers Nick Ritar from Milkwood Farms and Greenpeace Genetic Engineer Campaigner Laura Kelly

If you are not convinced of how wrong GM food is, purely based on the idea I expressed above, consider this. Genetic modification is dissimilar to natural hybridisation and breeding. Breeding uses two very similar animals, for instance, two types of sheep, and through animal husbandry and a long period of selection of the fittest offspring, we end up with a certain type of breed. Genetic modification is, in contrast, bringing genes from two very separate species (bacteria and corn for instance) and fusing DNA to create a totally new species, with absolutely no guarantee that this species is safe for consumption. The safety of GM food is based on research done by the manufacturer, rather than by unbiased independent  study. We all know how that story goes.

Shamefully, Australian law allows genetically modified crops to exist, and they are in our food chain. Yesterday, at Danks Street Depot, Greenpeace has released TrueFood 2011, Kids Edition. This handbook allows me, as a parent, to choose the right food for my daughter. As people like you and me boycott genetically modified brands, the companies producing them will eventually go out of business. If you feel the problem is bigger than you and me, ask yourself, what would Michael Jackson do? I did, and as such, I’m starting with the man in the mirror 🙂

Download the TrueFood 2011 Guide Kids Edition here:
http://www.truefood.org.au/truefoodguide/

The Genetically Unmodified Bread of Life – Wholemeal Bread Recipe

By | Angry with The Food System, Recipes | 17 Comments

Have you, like me, had enough with buying basic foods that ought to have 5 ingredients in them but instead have 15? Take bread for instance. Can you find a pre-packaged loaf of bread that doesn’t use soy or emulsifiers? It’s extremely difficult, and that worries me.

I also worry about unknowingly eating genetically modified ingredients. If you’ve seen the documentary The Future of Food, you would also be concerned about what is happening to our food supply. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to. The issue of genetically modified food is one of the biggest facing agriculture today (and in consequence, humanity), along with climate change. Food that contains genetically modified ingredients is already out there, and we probably don’t know that we’re eating it. A recent article by Carli Ratcliff in Good Living centred around Greenpeace’s annual consumer guide, Truefood Guide. The guide gives a “red light” rating to manufacturers who either produce products that contain genetically modified ingredients or who “refuse to provide transparent information regarding the origin of their ingredients.” The Truefood Guide comes out tomorrow, and in the absence of any meaningful Australian labelling laws, it is essential reading, in order for one to be able to choose.

For the moment, I am trying to keep my family’s diet focused on ethically grown and harvested food. To me, that means organic or biodynamic, local and natural (not GM). With meat and eggs, I buy free-range/organic chicken and eggs as well as grass-fed cattle as opposed to grain-fed. I’ve given up supermarket bread since I want mine to be real bread, with real nutrients and nothing else. I’ve started buying bio-dynamic wholemeal wheat flour from Alfalfa House in Newtown and every 3 days or so, I bake a loaf for my family. I use a great little recipe which produces an absolutely delicious loaf with a crisp shell and a dense, moist interior. It involves 5 ingredients and requires no kneading. The bread mix is ready in 5 minutes, rises for around 2 hours and is then baked for 40 minutes. I’m getting into the habit of preparing the dough the night before I bake it, which means we can have warm bread for breakfast. And you know that nothing beats warm, genetically-unaltered bread for breakfast, right?

Recipe – Adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 500g wholemeal flour – I use and love the biodynamic flour from Alfalfa House
  • 500 ml tap water at room temperature
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7 grams yeast (make sure the yeast is alive)
  • 2 tbsp honey

Method

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Dissolve the honey in the water
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients
  • Add the water and using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes until well mixed
  • Grease a bread or cake tin (13 × 23 cm loaf tin)
  • Put the dough in the cake tin, cover it with greased paper and a wet kitchen towel and leave it to rise overnight or until it is doubled in size
  • Preheat the oven to 200c
  • Dust the dough with flour then bake for around 40 minutes. The more often you bake this bread, the more knowledgeable you will be about the correct baking time for your oven
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes