Magazine cover of "Common Ground," March 2010 issue, featuring a close-up image of fresh corn with headlines about food, mindfulness, and healthy living.

March 2010

The Food Issue

We received very positive feedback about the February Sex issue. Food and sex are closely related, but I felt a lot less sexy after pulling together our cover story about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). So to revamp my mojo, I’ve included some tantalizing approaches to food, much akin to sweet sexual union. There are three mouth-watering restaurant reviews. And in addition to stories about mindful eating, slow food, raw foodism, practical vegetarianism, and an individual journey into veganism, we have a neighborhood profile of Walter Robb, co-president of Whole Foods, a vociferous proponent of organic foods. Open the pages and roam.

Back to the story that wilts my appetite: GMOs. It makes me feel as though I’ve been in a relationship with a lover who never had the courage to cop to having exposed me to a communicable disease — duped and pissed off. I wish I could return all the corn tortillas, corn chips, and corn puffs I’ve ingested over the past dozen years.

Do you realize that corn has been around for millennia in North America, but since genetic modification was introduced in 1996, it’s practically impossible to find any that eludes genetic tampering? Oh my God! How could this happen? Why didn’t we know?

Had I not happened upon Jeffrey Smith, the world’s preeminent voice in opposition to GMOs, at a small boarding house in Hawaii last year, I would probably have not thought much about them. The collective apathy around GMOs is startling. And why isn’t the FDA protecting us? That’s a whole other story. Unlike Europeans, we in the U.S. have been lulled into an apathetic slumber about the documented health risks of genetically engineered
foods. Frances Moore Lappé, author of Democracy’s Edge and Diet for a Small Planet, writes: “We need wonder no longer why corporations spreading GMOs are so secretive, why they’ve spent hundreds of millions to keep us from even knowing which foods contain GMOs. They don’t want us to examine the shoddy science, the suppressed evidence, and most of all the real health risks that GMOs present.”

As fellow consumers, I encourage you to take steps to stop this madness. For example, in our pantry I just found corn and soy foods that weren’t organic, suggesting that they were likely made with GMOs. Now they’re in the garbage — I don’t think such Frankenfoods even belong with natural compost. For my part, I will petition that foods containing GMOs be labeled. I will make it a topic of conversation. I will be voting with my wallet. I invite you to join me.

We can help trigger a tipping point. That’s what we’re famous for by the bay. As Michael Pollan, the famous food writer, pointed out: “Perhaps more than any other, the food industry is very sensitive to consumer demand.”

In April, we’ll have a Green issue commemorating Earth Day. We look forward to seeing you at Green Festival and New Living Expo next month.

As ever, please show your support for Common Ground by patronizing its advertisers. And please consider advertising in these pages or referring a prospect. Friends tell friends about Common Ground.

Many blessings,


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