Genetically Modified Food Has a Low IQ

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So says "Australia's largest and finest holistic print magazine" Living Now. To wit:

Food contains intelligence. A food's intelligence can be loosely translated as nutritional value although it also includes the quality, freshness and degree of life of the food…Food that is old, processed, microwaved and genetically engineered is low in the intelligence….

In fact, current genetically modified crops are "substantially equivalent " to conventional varieties. Of course, researchers are hard at work developing new crop varieties that offer improved nutrition, such as, soybeans with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Since these crops will differ from conventional varieties regulators will require that they be labeled. Producers will be more than happy to label them even without regulatory intervention because they believe that consumers will want to buy their products for their improved nutrition.

My question to Living Now: Does this mean that crops genetically enhanced for better nutrition will have a higher IQ than conventional and organic crops? 

Kudos to C.S. Prakash for the link. 

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  1. “Of course, researchers are hard at work developing new crop varieties that offer improved nutrition […]”

    Of course, obstructionist food nazies are also hard at work…developing new ways to slander that which they do not approve.

  2. When comparing the intelligence of young, “unmodified” food to someone like Wendy Rosenfeldt, who makes the claim that “food has intelligence”, I can see justification for such an argument.

  3. In fact, current genetically modified crops are “substantially equivalent ” to conventional varieties.

    Correction:

    [b]All[/b] genetically modified crops are “substantially equivalent ” to conventional varieties. We do test the GM foods for all the conventional allergans, though, which makes us confident they are safe without the need for any sort of formal testing.

  4. The word intelligence derived from the latin verb intellegere which means “to understand”. A person’s intelligence is their capacity to understand, ie emotional intelligence is their ability to understand emotional signals, their spatial intelligence is their ability to understand spatial relationships etc.

    Is this guy seriously arguing that vegetables understand things? Or is this a personal redefinition of the word worthy of Humpty Dumpty?

  5. Now I really won’t eat those stupid vegetables.

  6. Food contains intelligence.

    Lost me right there.

    You hate to generalize from a limited sample, but since my time and attention is a finite and indeed a wasting asset, I am willing to make the leap to the conclusion that anyone who would write such a sentence has nothing of value to say.

  7. “Food contains intelligence.”

    I don’t know maybe the people in my neighborhood who yell at fire hydrants and talk to their food have a point.

  8. Isn’t this just a simple argument in favor of eating DOLPHIN

  9. Come to think of it, all of my best and brightest food does seem a bit lackluster after its been microwaved.

  10. Food contains intelligence.

    Lost me right there.

    Yeah, the food doesn’t know where Saddam’s wmd’s are hid. The food doesn’t know how far Iran and North Korea are getting along on their arsenals.

    Dossiers may have intelligence, but never food.

  11. Soylent Green is intelligent!

  12. I’m with RC

    “Food contains intellig – ”

    gotta go.

  13. In the sense that GM foods manifest the physical product of very smart people’s intellectual efforts (kind of like a plane represents the codified intellect of aerospace engineers, etc.), I’ll stick with the GM foods. The other foods can be left to those who are what they eat.

  14. Some posters here would probably agree that a room filled with broccoli and word processors would eventually turn out the Complete Works of Ayn Rand.

  15. This is not a result of cloning, but of the substandard food education system. There are intelligent cloned food items out there, who are currently falling through the cracks. We’ve got to start better teaching food when it’s still young– if we do, we can look forward to plenty of ripe, tomato doctors and lawyers.

  16. some people think that when Dolly the sheep was born, her genes were aged or old relative to the genes of a normal baby sheep.

    let’s imagine that Dolly’s genes were indeed “old” in some meaningful sense.

    Is she as healthy to eat as a genetically fresh young sheep?

    Hard to tell. Dolly died prematurely b4 anyone got a chance to eat her.

    I think this is part of what the author is getting at.

  17. Perhaps Dolly’s genes didn’t want to be eaten. If so, her genes did the intelligent thing in killing themselves off early.

    That encourages me to eat GM sheep while it is still lamb. Besides, mutton taste nasty!

  18. Confession: I have a T-Shirt that was produced for a baseball game between the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Greenpeace that is emblazoned with a happy looking whale. The motto reads: “Intelligent people eat intelligent food.” I’m not justifying, I’m just saying…

  19. Wow, you really nailed them for…uh…using that metaphor. Way to fight the good fight.

  20. That encourages me to eat GM sheep while it is still lamb. Besides, mutton taste nasty!

    Tastes like lamb in your mouth, but on the cellular level, older than the oldest mutton on the feed lot! I don’t see how that could possibly mislead anybody into bad health consequences./sarc

  21. Wow, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about GM food. Re Dolly: The only thing old about Dolly was her shortened telomere length. She may have suffered from premature “aging” for that reason, but in every meaningful respect her cellular material was just as new as that found in any other sheep.

    And what does a shortened telomere taste like exactly? Does anyone think that we derive any nutritive value from consuming longer or shorter telomere? What exactly are people afraid of here? That’s a serious question.

  22. I’m not buying it as to vegetables. But as to venison? I think I’m eating the dumb ones.

  23. And what does a shortened telomere do at the cellular level in a human body exactly? Does anyone think that consuming longer or shorter telomere affects the probability that a malignant tumor will get started? Why exactly are people unconcerned about these questions? That’s a serious question.

  24. Let’s say the GM component of the argument is a stretch.

    The article is basically making the same point about processed food vs. raw and fresh food that Reason often makes about Marinol vs. medicinal marijuana.

    Why, I’ve even seen Jacob Sullum back up his argument that “fresh, raw” marijuana has a more complex variety of chemicals that we don’t understand very well, and that this broader range of related materials produces better results for consumers.

    What is substantially different about this article about fresh vs. processed food?

  25. joe: Some metaphors are just plain stupid. That’s all.

  26. And what does a shortened telomere do at the cellular level in a human body exactly? Does anyone think that consuming longer or shorter telomere affects the probability that a malignant tumor will get started? Why exactly are people unconcerned about these questions? That’s a serious question.

    What does a shortened telomere do to a human body? Nucleic acids are water soluble, and as far as I know, none of them survive digestion intact, so your body wouldn’t know the difference between one telomere and another. I seriously doubt that we absorb any of this material. Even if we did, so what? Have you ever worried that eating a diabetic sheep will give you diabetes? I hope not. You shouldn’t be worried about inheriting any other genetic defects from your food either, nor should you be concerned that repetitive sheep DNA will somehow interact with oncogenes. The idea makes no sense. We haven’t tested it for the same reason that we’ve never tested the link between, for instance, my bowel movements and tectonic plate movements.

  27. I think the point, Chris S., is that altered genes will code for different proteins. The issue is the proteins themselves, not the consumption of the genetic material.

  28. Oh, well that settles that then. i guess we wouldn’t want to do something crazy like a controlled study where test subjects are fed foods of controlled telomore lengths to see if any correlations exist. that would pretty much be the same thing as testing whether your bowels moved techtonic plates. We don’t know why people get colon cancer, but there is no way it could be related to telomore length in the meat. It probably has a lot more to do with . . . uh with . . . with something else.

    Like when diabetes went up by 700% and the scientists determined that modern children eat 8 times the amount of sugar that they used to in the 1970s./do i even need the tag?

  29. I think the point, Chris S., is that altered genes will code for different proteins.

    and viruses and prions.

  30. Dolly died prematurely b4 anyone got a chance to eat her.

    What, they were going to eat her while she was still alive, but only if she lived to an old age?

    News flash – with the exception of a few exotic Chinese dishes, people don’t generally eat animals “b4” they die.

  31. I think the point, Chris S., is that altered genes will code for different proteins. The issue is the proteins themselves, not the consumption of the genetic material.

    That’s fine, but proteins are also largely digested and reduced to individual amino acids prior to digestion. Almost no organic material survives digestion intact, and large, intact proteins couldn’t diffuse through intestinal cell membranes anyway. Some bacteria are capable of surviving digestion, but adaptations to this effect are the result of millions of years of evolution. It’s absolutely unfathomable to think that random mutations in a sheep gene would create such a specialized adaptation. This is all basically a long winded way of saying that genetic and proteomic defects are seriously unlikely to be preserved after digestion.

    Problems with GM foods could arise if we specifically engineer plants and animals to manufacture small, soluble, and readily absorbable chemicals. This isn’t going to happen accidentally through genetic decay – it can’t possibly result from routine cloning. It may happen with insect/disease resistant crops, but that’s not really what Sam Franklin and I were discussing.

  32. Like when diabetes went up by 700% and the scientists determined that modern children eat 8 times the amount of sugar that they used to in the 1970s./do i even need the tag?

    No, because that makes perfect biological sense. You can’t seriously compare the link between glucose and diabetes with the link between telomere length and colon cancer.

  33. I guess I did need the tag.

    1. I understand that they were not raising Dolly for food. My comment was faceticious and should be understood to mean that there were suspicious circumstances involved in Dolly’s death, and the existence of those mysterious circumstances should, in and of themselves, give us pause before shoving Dolly meat into our mouths.

    2. Sugar consumption did not go up by a factor of 8 since the 1970s. I made that up.

  34. The diabetes really did go up 700%, tho. that part was true.

  35. The “intelligence” of foods sounds pretty similar to the yin/yang values of foods in the macrobiotic diet. And by pretty similar, I mean just as laughable.

  36. Ah, sorry I missed the sarcasm w/respect to diabetes. I will say that the fact that there isn’t a 1:1 correlation between sugar uptake and increased diabetes doesn’t mean that increased diabetes isn’t the result of increased sugar uptake rather than some shadowy third force. It may simply mean that modern sugar uptake has crossed some critical threshold. Then again, I don’t presume to be an expert on diabetes.

  37. has crossed some critical threshold

    Are there any critical thresholds related to telomore length?

    I mean nobody saw the sugar threshold coming, at least not in advance. if we don’t know in advance the thresholds associated with a familiar substance like sugar, then what is the liklihood that we will know the relevant thresholds when it comes to less familiar substances?

    ps: i actually have a theory about why the diabetes went up . . .

  38. Are there any critical thresholds related to telomore length?

    Again, I don’t believe that we absorb telomeres as telomeres, but rather as disassociated nucleotides, which would be undistinguishable from nucleotides from non-cloned and unmodified foods. Glucose diffuses directly into the bloodstream as glucose, so the telomere:glucose analogy isn’t very useful.

    I mean nobody saw the sugar threshold coming, at least not in advance. if we don’t know in advance the thresholds associated with a familiar substance like sugar, then what is the liklihood that we will know the relevant thresholds when it comes to less familiar substances?

    This is fine question for chemicals that can actually diffuse into our bloodstreams without being denatured/destroyed during digestion.

    ps: i actually have a theory about why the diabetes went up . . .

    Oh, I’m sure you do 🙂

  39. Let’s say the GM component of the argument is a stretch…The article is basically making the same point about processed food vs. raw and fresh food that Reason often makes about Marinol vs. medicinal marijuana.

    Yeah, and that’s the point – that calling it “intelligence” is silly and that comparing GM food to stale food is just absurd.

    Knee-jerk much?

  40. I usually hate it when people post song lyrics as a response in a discussion, but I guess I’ll be a hypocrite.

    ————————–

    And the angel of the lord came unto me.
    Snatching me up from my place of slumber,
    and took me on High, and higher still
    until we moved through the spaces
    betwixt the air itself.

    and he brought me into a Vast farmland
    of our own midwest.
    And as we descended, cries of impending
    doom arose from the soil.

    One thousand, nay, a million voices full of fear.

    And terror possessed me then.
    And I begged:
    Angel of the lord, what are these tortured screams?

    And the angel said unto me: these are
    the cries of the carrots.

    The cries of the carrot.

    You see, reverend Maynard, tomorrow is
    harvest day, and to them, it is the Holocaust.

    And I sprang from my slumber drenched in sweat
    with the tears of one million terrified
    brothers and roared:
    Hear me now! I have seen the light!
    They have a consciousness!
    They have a life!
    They have a soul!
    Damn you!

    Let the rabbits wear glasses.

    Save our brothers. can I get an Amen?!
    Can I get a haleluia?!

    Thank you, Jesus.

    This is necessary.
    Life feeds on life.

  41. What does a shortened telomere do to a human body?

    Do-no. But I would have never figured a badly folding protein could fuck up the proper ones. So, there is that.

  42. If food contains intelligence, I suspect cannibalism will make me stupid.

  43. ‘Intelligent food” is the STUPIDEST FUCKING THING I HAVE READ SINCE ‘EARTH FEELINGS’ and ‘GLOBAL WARMING FROM JEEPS’!

  44. ‘GLOBAL WARMING FROM JEEPS’

    not just those articles about the jeeps — there were articles about global warming arising from all kinds of things. How ridiculous. I greeted every one of those global warming articles with scorn and disgust and boy have I been vindicated. errr, oops.

  45. My cheeseburger thinks that this entire discussion is beneath her.

  46. Joe,

    They had a plan. It involved being greeted by Iraqis happy to be liberated, and free elections that established a democratic government.

    Both things happened. Unfortunately the losing side refuses to accept defeat.

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