Kitchen Table Talks: What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food (VIDEO) | Civil Eats

Kitchen Table Talks: What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Food (VIDEO)

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For its sixth installment, Kitchen Table Talks will begin to dissect the complex issues of genetically engineered foods and equip participants with knowledge and specific actions to protect themselves, our community and the environment. Two of the most laudable champions in the fight to educate and protect the public from the unregulated, untested genetic engineering of food and unchecked interests of industrial agriculture will lead the conversation: UC Berkeley Microbial Ecologist Ignacio Chapela and Center for Food Safety attorney Zelig Golden.  Kitchen Table Talks No. 6 will take place Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 6:30 – 8:30p.m. in a new location, SUB-Mission gallery in the Mission District of San Francisco.

For more than a decade, one of the largest genetic experiments in history has been taking place and all of us have been unwitting, or at least non-consenting, participants.  According to the Center for Food Safety, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn, 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products), is genetically engineered, which means an estimated 70 percent or more of all processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients. Thanks to the tireless work of GE-critical farmers, lawyers and activists, progress is being made to shed light on GE food. The New York Times via Greenwire reported last week that the USDA has been ordered to conduct an environmental impact statement for the first time on a GE crop.

Representing the scientific perspective of genetically engineered food at the Oct. 27th Kitchen Table Talks, Dr. Chapela is the lead author of the ground breaking 2001 Nature paper that exposed the presence of genetically engineered DNA in wild Mexican maize and was a featured expert in the documentaries The Future of Food and The World According to Monsanto. Providing a view of the policy landscape and the powerful role of legal action against GE food, Zelig Golden is the Center for Food Safety attorney who was integral to the recent Federal Court victory that ordered the USDA to conduct a rigorous assessment of the environmental and economic impacts of “Roundup Ready” beets in Oregon.

Need a primer on the basics of GE food? Check out this entertaining, enlightening three-part series by Bill Nye before the Oct. 27 conversation:

Check out Part Two and Part Three.

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Kitchen Table Talks is a joint venture of Civil Eats and 18 Reasons, a non-profit that promotes conversation between its San Francisco Mission neighborhood and the people who feed them. Space is limited, so please RSVP to ktt@civileats.com or leave a message at 925.785.0713. A $10 suggested donation is requested at the door, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Sustainable food and refreshments will be provided, courtesy of Bi-Rite Market and Shoe Shine Wines.

KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING! Thursday, Oct. 29, 18 Reasons will host Kitchen Table Talks Continued in conjunction with its weekly 18th Hour community reception. Join our guest speakers Ignacio Chapela and Zelig Golden, and Kitchen Table Talks and 18 Reasons organizers, for an informal, drop in reception open to all, 7-9pm. A donation at the door is requested ($5 for 18 Reasons members, $10 for the general public); delicious Bi-Rite refreshments including Alter Eco chocolate will be served.

Photo: USDA

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Anna Ghosh is a writer and activist for environmental causes and sustainable food. She is a co-founder of the Kitchen Table Talks discussion series and was on the Slow Food Nation communications advisory committee. She is currently the Western Region Communications Manager for the consumer advocacy non-profit Food & Water Watch. Read more >

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  1. I was fortunate enough to attend a Provender workshop regarding GE crops and seeds which included Zelig Golden as on of the speakers. His passion combined with incredible knowledge, makes him a perfect spokesman on this issue and I urge every one to attend. This is the moment that the natural foods community needs to stand together and demand rigorous guidelines for our food supply. I will be there in spirit and hope this table talk will be a successful one.

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