All this Prop 37 talk about labels has me thinking about a flippant, but totally on-point comment someone made to me in an interview nearly a year ago. At the time, I was interviewing Chip Marsland—a food scientist and consultant who, among other things, developed foods for Dr. Barry Sears’ Zone Diet—about kids’ nutrition and the rising epidemic of diabetes and obesity in the United States.
Marsland was lamenting the low quality foods available in the center of the grocery store—everything packaged and processed—and commented that these foods, particularly the ones with high sugar content, should get a Surgeon General’s warning akin to the kind found on cigarettes.
“We have foods over here that give us diabetes, and we have cigarettes over here that give us lung cancer,” he said.
And he’s spot on, you know. Some of the foods being eaten around the country could be said to cause similarly devastating diseases as lung cancer. Diabetes is a much uglier disease than we give it credit for—dementia, peripheral neuropathy, loss of circulation, amputation of fingers, toes, even limbs. Obesity can cause metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, depression and early death—not to mention loss of quality of life while your heart still beats.
So while we’re talking about labeling GMOs and all of the environmental and indirect health consequences of those products, I want to raise my voice in favor of labeling the foods that we know without the shadow of a doubt cause disease and death.
Don’t consumers have a right to know about that as well? Share in the comments.