Author Topic: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats  (Read 11074 times)

skyrefuge

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Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:46:03 PM »
Walked across the parking lot to the store today to pick up some lunch (forgot my sandwich at home, facepunch!) and got some extra groceries while I was there. On the list were quick oats, as part of Mr. Money Mustache’s Amazing Save $100 on Cereal Per Year Trick (the single most-awesome thing I've learned from the MMM blog!)

There are two store brand options for sale: "Meijer Quick Oats", and "Meijer Naturals Quick Oats".

WTF? How can "natural" quick oats be any different than "unnatural" quick oats? Looking at the ingredients, they can't. Both obviously have a single ingredient, though, ironically, on the "Naturals" carton they were labeled "100% Whole Grain Rolled Oats", while on the "unnatural" carton they were "100% Natural Whole Grain Rolled Oats" (emphasis added.)  ???

Oh, wait, but of course there is one major difference, the "Meijer Naturals" cost 40% more!! ($3.49 vs. $2.49 for 42oz)

I've always known that slapping a fancy label on sunglasses or jeans or a car could trick idiots into spending way more than they would without that fancy label, but now that this is happening in the world of oats (and store-brand oats no less!) I think our level of consumer brainwashed idiocy has reached its nadir and we can only go back up from here. Right?

slugline

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 01:09:19 PM »
Got curious. Googled and saw that someone else on the Internet had the same question:

http://ohshecooks.com/2013/02/07/oatmeal-scam-someone-please-explain/

A commenter on that post says that the difference is that the "Naturals" version claims to be GMO-free on the package. Is that true?

MgoSam

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 01:15:19 PM »
This is akin to buying a generic cereal versus a brand name, it's all about the branding!

PloddingInsight

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 01:18:10 PM »
This is akin to buying a generic cereal versus a brand name, it's all about the branding!

Except the profit goes to the same company no matter which demographic you fall in.

How evil.  I love it.

skyrefuge

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 02:15:53 PM »
Got curious. Googled and saw that someone else on the Internet had the same question:

A commenter on that post says that the difference is that the "Naturals" version claims to be GMO-free on the package. Is that true?

Yeah, I immediately googled when I got back from the store and found that page too. I initially dismissed that comment because I didn't remember seeing it on the carton, couldn't see it when I looked again at the photo I took of the shelf, and most of the commenters there seemed pretty dumb.

But now looking a third time, yes, in fact the "Naturals" carton DOES have a "No GMOs - No Bioengineered Ingredients" label on it.

Ok, nevermind then, I retract this issue from Antimustachian Shame and Comedy. Even though it's dumb to be scared of GMOs, at least that's a quantifiable difference between the two products.

WAIT, EXCEPT IT'S NOT!

Apparently, there is no such thing as genetically-modified oats! They simply don't exist. So my "unnatural" carton of oats could just-as-truthfully have the exact same "No GMOs" label printed on it (I checked, it doesn't).

I almost feel like this is an even more brilliantly diabolical plot by Meijer than I did before. They're basically saying "here are our normal oats, but if you're willing to pay 40% more, you can have these others, which we don't put any poison into. Which would you like for you and your children? (shh, don't let them know that we keep the cheaper ones poison-free too!)"  Perfectly truthful and perfectly misleading!
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 02:30:20 PM by skyrefuge »

slugline

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 02:20:13 PM »
A-ha! So this store is basically running the oats equivalent of a premium bottled water play?

I like it if I'm a shareholder. :)

Hunny156

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 03:07:02 PM »
Oh, wait, but of course there is one major difference, the "Meijer Naturals" cost 40% more!! ($3.49 vs. $2.49 for 42oz)

Another reason to love Sprouts.  All types of oats are $0.99/lb regular price, but the sale price drops to $0.69, and if you watch out for the special deals, they can drop as low as $0.49.  Last time that happened, hubby bought a 50 lb sack home.  A bargain for sure (it will not go to waste), but it was 3 weeks before we were moving.  Rather than risking the paper sack getting ripped during the move, I scrambled to find every storage container I could to store all the oats.  My new pantry has an entire shelf devoted to oats right now.

I'm kinda scared, b/c I know it's only a matter of time before the brown rice goes on sale for $0.49/lb!

Quark

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 03:10:18 PM »
I'm so jealous. As someone with Celiac Disease I have to buy certified gluten free oats from Bob's Red Mill at ~$7/2lbs. Not exactly Mustachian, so its a special treat for me to have oatmeal.

agent_clone

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 03:19:54 PM »
Got curious. Googled and saw that someone else on the Internet had the same question:

A commenter on that post says that the difference is that the "Naturals" version claims to be GMO-free on the package. Is that true?

Yeah, I immediately googled when I got back from the store and found that page too. I initially dismissed that comment because I didn't remember seeing it on the carton, couldn't see it when I looked again at the photo I took of the shelf, and most of the commenters there seemed pretty dumb.

But now looking a third time, yes, in fact the "Naturals" carton DOES have a "No GMOs - No Bioengineered Ingredients" label on it.

Ok, nevermind then, I retract this issue from Antimustachian Shame and Comedy. Even though it's dumb to be scared of GMOs, at least that's a quantifiable difference between the two products.

WAIT, EXCEPT IT'S NOT!

Apparently, there is no such thing as genetically-modified oats! They simply don't exist. So my "unnatural" carton of oats could just-as-truthfully have the exact same "No GMOs" label printed on it (I checked, it doesn't).

I almost feel like this is an even more brilliantly diabolical plot by Meijer than I did before. They're basically saying "here are our normal oats, but if you're willing to pay 40% more, you can have these others, which we don't put any poison into. Which would you like for you and your children? (shh, don't let them know that we keep the cheaper ones poison-free too!)"  Perfectly truthful and perfectly misleading!

I"m not sure on the Oats situtation, but if we want to be technical about it, most food is GMO.  It just may or may not have occurred in a lab.  A good example of this are apples!  Of the non-food items, roses in particular have been genetically modified for hundreds of years to get the variety we have.

gillstone

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 03:43:27 PM »
I only drink $10/liter non-GMO water. 


ncornilsen

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2014, 04:20:41 PM »
yeah, I want my waterborn bacteria to be organic and unmodified.


actually, that may not be sarcastic....

halfshellmeijin

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2014, 09:26:18 PM »
Got curious. Googled and saw that someone else on the Internet had the same question:

A commenter on that post says that the difference is that the "Naturals" version claims to be GMO-free on the package. Is that true?

Yeah, I immediately googled when I got back from the store and found that page too. I initially dismissed that comment because I didn't remember seeing it on the carton, couldn't see it when I looked again at the photo I took of the shelf, and most of the commenters there seemed pretty dumb.

But now looking a third time, yes, in fact the "Naturals" carton DOES have a "No GMOs - No Bioengineered Ingredients" label on it.

Ok, nevermind then, I retract this issue from Antimustachian Shame and Comedy. Even though it's dumb to be scared of GMOs, at least that's a quantifiable difference between the two products.

WAIT, EXCEPT IT'S NOT!

Apparently, there is no such thing as genetically-modified oats! They simply don't exist. So my "unnatural" carton of oats could just-as-truthfully have the exact same "No GMOs" label printed on it (I checked, it doesn't).

I almost feel like this is an even more brilliantly diabolical plot by Meijer than I did before. They're basically saying "here are our normal oats, but if you're willing to pay 40% more, you can have these others, which we don't put any poison into. Which would you like for you and your children? (shh, don't let them know that we keep the cheaper ones poison-free too!)"  Perfectly truthful and perfectly misleading!

I"m not sure on the Oats situtation, but if we want to be technical about it, most food is GMO.  It just may or may not have occurred in a lab.  A good example of this are apples!  Of the non-food items, roses in particular have been genetically modified for hundreds of years to get the variety we have.

Not to be picky, but a really good example is broccoli. If you look at this page for broccoli, broccoli did not exist until about the 6th century until it was bred into existence.  But I do agree that being worried about GMO foods is hard to justify. There is the breeding technique mentioned by both of us, but plants also behave differently with genetics as well. For instance, when you add copies of chromosomes to strawberries, they just grow larger. That is why store strawberries are larger than wild strawberries. I personally don't think that selective breeding, nor insertion of extra copies of chromosomes is dangerous to ingest. I also do not think anyone is adding engineered genes that themselves are harmful to the human body. So my issues with GMO foods lies elsewhere.

seanc0x0

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2014, 04:13:02 PM »

I"m not sure on the Oats situtation, but if we want to be technical about it, most food is GMO.  It just may or may not have occurred in a lab.  A good example of this are apples!  Of the non-food items, roses in particular have been genetically modified for hundreds of years to get the variety we have.

Not to be picky, but a really good example is broccoli. If you look at this page for broccoli, broccoli did not exist until about the 6th century until it was bred into existence.  But I do agree that being worried about GMO foods is hard to justify. There is the breeding technique mentioned by both of us, but plants also behave differently with genetics as well. For instance, when you add copies of chromosomes to strawberries, they just grow larger. That is why store strawberries are larger than wild strawberries. I personally don't think that selective breeding, nor insertion of extra copies of chromosomes is dangerous to ingest. I also do not think anyone is adding engineered genes that themselves are harmful to the human body. So my issues with GMO foods lies elsewhere.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what GMO is. It's become a word that has a lot of pseudoscientific dreck attached to it. GMO can be used for good purposes.

I am, however, not in favour of GMO for other reasons. For one, as I live in a large agricultural region I am aware that GMOs don't stay where they're supposed to. Plants propagate, and genes can be transferred from GMO to non-GMO crops, destroying markets for entire categories of produce because places like the EU ban GMO and we can't separate non-GMO from GMO crops.

My biggest concern, however, is the issue of intellectual property covering seeds. I am generally not sympathetic to most (but not all) intellectual property (you can't like, OWN an IDEA, man!) but preventing a farmer from planting seeds he himself grew is just wrong, in my opinion, as is patenting anything living.

grantmeaname

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 05:57:59 AM »
My biggest concern, however, is the issue of intellectual property covering seeds. I am generally not sympathetic to most (but not all) intellectual property (you can't like, OWN an IDEA, man!) but preventing a farmer from planting seeds he himself grew is just wrong, in my opinion, as is patenting anything living.
Nobody forces the farmer to sign an agreement that he will not reuse the seeds. And if the farmer signs and then does so anyway it's a simple contract violation. I don't get what's so objectionable about this.

seanc0x0

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2014, 11:20:28 AM »
My biggest concern, however, is the issue of intellectual property covering seeds. I am generally not sympathetic to most (but not all) intellectual property (you can't like, OWN an IDEA, man!) but preventing a farmer from planting seeds he himself grew is just wrong, in my opinion, as is patenting anything living.
Nobody forces the farmer to sign an agreement that he will not reuse the seeds. And if the farmer signs and then does so anyway it's a simple contract violation. I don't get what's so objectionable about this.

If the farmer signs the agreement, then yes, I agree that they should be bound by it.

However, it's getting harder to find non-GMO seeds. AgBio companies are trying to shut down people who own seed cleaning equipment with complaints of 'patent infringement'.  They send investigators to snoop around farms, trespassing to obtain evidence that the farmers are illegally using seed, even though it has been shown that the modified genes are being transferred to non-GM crops.

That's why I am not in favour of GMOs in their current legal framework.

maizeman

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 06:51:25 AM »
I'm seeing this more and more. The last time I was in a Whole Foods I noticed they had labels on different kinds of frozen fruit "certified GMO free by the non-gmo project." However, absolutely none of the species with the labels had so much as a single genetically engineered variety on the market so you can imagine how much work goes into getting that certification.

Quark

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 08:53:28 AM »
Politics aside...


No, all plants are NOT technically GMO. SELECTIVE BREEDING is not the same as GENETIC MODIFICATION. Yes, "technically," (IE SCIENTIFICALLY ACCEPTED DEFINITION)to use your phrase, genetic modification is accomplished through inserting genes into bacterial chromosomes.

Cromacster

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 09:39:00 AM »
Politics aside...


No, all plants are NOT technically GMO. SELECTIVE BREEDING is not the same as GENETIC MODIFICATION. Yes, "technically," (IE SCIENTIFICALLY ACCEPTED DEFINITION)to use your phrase, genetic modification is accomplished through inserting genes into bacterial chromosomes.

^This!

I'd be much more concerned that a product is organically grown without pesticides and and other chemicals than to have it be labeled GMO-free.  Semantics aside, I'm not convinced GM foods automatically have adverse health affects.

It is funny to see these companies take advantage of it.  The same with the gluten free rage.  All sorts of products popped up with the gluten free label and raised the price to bear such and honor.

Daley

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 10:20:15 AM »
It is funny to see these companies take advantage of it.  The same with the gluten free rage.  All sorts of products popped up with the gluten free label and raised the price to bear such and honor.

As someone who genuinely has to avoid gluten exposure, I cannot wholly agree with this statement. You'd be surprised how many manufactured products that logically you would think would truly be gluten free that aren't either through cross-contamination or nondescript mystery ingredients such as "natural flavorings". It helps reduce the minefield, and I for one am thankful for the labeling as a start. It doesn't mean that all foods labeled "gluten free" have actually been so in my experience, and the FDA guidelines kicking into effect next month aren't instilling a great deal of confidence in that regard for things improving, but it's been a useful baseline to at least help more quickly narrow down what I can and cannot eat, and I've found a lot more items safe to eat that are already labeled GF than I have that aren't.

Cromacster

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2014, 11:54:37 AM »
It is funny to see these companies take advantage of it.  The same with the gluten free rage.  All sorts of products popped up with the gluten free label and raised the price to bear such and honor.

As someone who genuinely has to avoid gluten exposure, I cannot wholly agree with this statement. You'd be surprised how many manufactured products that logically you would think would truly be gluten free that aren't either through cross-contamination or nondescript mystery ingredients such as "natural flavorings". It helps reduce the minefield, and I for one am thankful for the labeling as a start. It doesn't mean that all foods labeled "gluten free" have actually been so in my experience, and the FDA guidelines kicking into effect next month aren't instilling a great deal of confidence in that regard for things improving, but it's been a useful baseline to at least help more quickly narrow down what I can and cannot eat, and I've found a lot more items safe to eat that are already labeled GF than I have that aren't.

As I understand isn't there still a small amount of gluten allowed, yet it can still be labeled gluten free?  Or is this due to the cross-contamination....which would still mean trace amounts of gluten whether or not it is disclosed in the ingredients list or not.  I know many gluten free beers still have trace amounts of gluten. 

I do tend to forget that there is a group of people out there who are seriously health adverse to gluten.

grantmeaname

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2014, 12:18:43 PM »
As I understand isn't there still a small amount of gluten allowed, yet it can still be labeled gluten free?  Or is this due to the cross-contamination....which would still mean trace amounts of gluten whether or not it is disclosed in the ingredients list or not.  I know many gluten free beers still have trace amounts of gluten.
SWMBO is far more of an expert on it than me, but I think traditionally the gluten-free label meant no ingredients containing gluten and nothing with gluten in it went anywhere near the production facility. There's a parts-per-million test now but that's not worth as much since you can get symptoms at even lower levels that

Quote
I do tend to forget that there is a group of people out there who are seriously health adverse to gluten.
I tell you what, I do not envy them. Not eating bread or food science or drinking beer sounds like it isn't too bad, but every time we need to grab a quick bite to eat somewhere that's not super progressive (like a hipster neighborhood chinese place) SWMBO is left with three bad options for dinner. And then there's the products like those IP mentions - gluten has no business being anywhere near them, but if you roll the dice it can only end in pain.

odput

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2014, 01:33:24 PM »
but every time we need to grab a quick bite to eat somewhere that's not super progressive (like a hipster neighborhood chinese place) SWMBO is left with three bad options for dinner.

Dear God this is by far the worst part...if you are out later than you planned and need emergency food (and stupidly forgot a backpack full of goodies) it is awful to find something on the fly that is friendly for the gluten free wife that isn't a salad.

Also, +1 on using SWMBO!

grantmeaname

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2014, 03:14:52 PM »
Yeah, I got it from a tech forum I read, where it's the standard title. Turns out it's controversial in these parts, even though SWMBO is a forum member who finds the title humorous. Ah well, what can you do?

I think in the fall (when I'm back in the states and around a decent kitchen again) I may work harder at homemade granola bars and the like to have as "emergency food". I like that term - I'm a rational, sentient person and then ten minutes later my lizard brain kicks in and there's no thinking about anything but where I'm gonna get the next kilocalorie.

galliver

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2014, 12:17:19 PM »
I think this article encompassed a lot of what I think about genetically modifying organisms. http://boingboing.net/2013/03/25/the-case-of-the-poison-potato.html (My concerns about GMO-agribusinesses were nicely summed up by seanc0x0).

"There’s this idea that GM plants are uniquely at risk of producing unexpected side effects, and that we have no way of knowing what those effects would be until average consumers start getting sick, Gould told me. But neither of those things is really true. Conventional breeding, the simple act of crossing one existing plant with another, can produce all sorts of unexpected and dangerous results." (From article.)

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2014, 09:30:38 PM »
I'd be much more concerned that a product is organically grown without pesticides and and other chemicals than to have it be labeled GMO-free. 

But of course an Organic label or certification does NOT mean no pesticides.  It only means the pesticides are "natural" and not man-made in a lab.  Unfortunately, a lot of those natural pesticides aren't nearly as effective, so the organic foods end up doused with way more pesticides than the non-organic.  Yet it's a common (mis)belief that organic is pesticide free, when in fact they could've had much more exposure. 

Eric

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2014, 09:31:38 PM »
I almost feel like this is an even more brilliantly diabolical plot by Meijer than I did before.

It is brilliant!  I'm buying Meijer stock as we speak.

Primm

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2014, 10:03:45 PM »
Yeah, I got it from a tech forum I read, where it's the standard title. Turns out it's controversial in these parts, even though SWMBO is a forum member who finds the title humorous. Ah well, what can you do?


Original source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She:_A_History_of_Adventure

Made famous as used by Horace Rumpole in Rumpole of the Bailey.

Quark

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2014, 09:01:37 AM »
I think this article encompassed a lot of what I think about genetically modifying organisms. http://boingboing.net/2013/03/25/the-case-of-the-poison-potato.html (My concerns about GMO-agribusinesses were nicely summed up by seanc0x0).

"There’s this idea that GM plants are uniquely at risk of producing unexpected side effects, and that we have no way of knowing what those effects would be until average consumers start getting sick, Gould told me. But neither of those things is really true. Conventional breeding, the simple act of crossing one existing plant with another, can produce all sorts of unexpected and dangerous results." (From article.)

I feel like selectively bred plants that have been around for generations are generally safer than GM plants around for less than one generation. Somehow I'm ok with edible plants crossed with other edible plants. However, if they try to cross poisonous plants with edible ones, yeah I think I would avoid those too.

Quark

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2014, 09:04:34 AM »
It is funny to see these companies take advantage of it.  The same with the gluten free rage.  All sorts of products popped up with the gluten free label and raised the price to bear such and honor.

As someone who genuinely has to avoid gluten exposure, I cannot wholly agree with this statement. You'd be surprised how many manufactured products that logically you would think would truly be gluten free that aren't either through cross-contamination or nondescript mystery ingredients such as "natural flavorings". It helps reduce the minefield, and I for one am thankful for the labeling as a start. It doesn't mean that all foods labeled "gluten free" have actually been so in my experience, and the FDA guidelines kicking into effect next month aren't instilling a great deal of confidence in that regard for things improving, but it's been a useful baseline to at least help more quickly narrow down what I can and cannot eat, and I've found a lot more items safe to eat that are already labeled GF than I have that aren't.


^This. See my earlier comment about GF oats being a treat instead of a frugal staple :(

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2014, 09:20:17 AM »
I'd be much more concerned that a product is organically grown without pesticides and and other chemicals than to have it be labeled GMO-free. 

But of course an Organic label or certification does NOT mean no pesticides.  It only means the pesticides are "natural" and not man-made in a lab.  Unfortunately, a lot of those natural pesticides aren't nearly as effective, so the organic foods end up doused with way more pesticides than the non-organic.  Yet it's a common (mis)belief that organic is pesticide free, when in fact they could've had much more exposure.

Yep. And ironically, "natural" pesticides can be more toxic to humans and are usually less pest-specific than comparable man-made pesticides. Fortunately, nicotine is no longer considered "organic", even though it is "natural", and I believe that rotenone is on the way out as well (if it isn't already).

galliver

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Re: Meijer Naturals Quick Oats
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2014, 10:56:50 AM »
I think this article encompassed a lot of what I think about genetically modifying organisms. http://boingboing.net/2013/03/25/the-case-of-the-poison-potato.html (My concerns about GMO-agribusinesses were nicely summed up by seanc0x0).

"There’s this idea that GM plants are uniquely at risk of producing unexpected side effects, and that we have no way of knowing what those effects would be until average consumers start getting sick, Gould told me. But neither of those things is really true. Conventional breeding, the simple act of crossing one existing plant with another, can produce all sorts of unexpected and dangerous results." (From article.)

I feel like selectively bred plants that have been around for generations are generally safer than GM plants around for less than one generation. Somehow I'm ok with edible plants crossed with other edible plants. However, if they try to cross poisonous plants with edible ones, yeah I think I would avoid those too.

I feel like you're perfectly illustrating the point of the article, haha. That feeling *is* pervasive among us, that cross-breeding plants is the more established, safer technology, but it looks like there are counterexamples to that. We shy away from new technologies, but the only way we can establish them is by using them. Of course new products (regardless of the means of production) deserve scrutiny, and I think the way GM is used now (to allow the plant to survive ever-harsher pesticides) is far from ideal. But I also think it's unfortunate that this is forcing us to turn away from and fear a technology that could be a very promising and more efficient way of creating better plants and foods...