Just the other day, I was thinking how nice it would be to add a feature to my blog where I connect the weekly Parsha (Torah Portion) or the upcoming holiday to something health related. And whaddya know … this coincidentally fell into my lap just this week.
Today as many of you already know is Gimmel Tammuz – the 17th yartzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The internet has many beautiful stories and articles on the Rebbe’s life, his infinite accomplishments and all that good stuff.
Just a few days ago, on Shabbos, I got a visit from my brother in law, Rabbi Shlomie Litvin. His reason for visiting was to show me something that he thought I would greatly appreciate. (and of course, he was 100% right) He had been reading a book which was a compilation of letters that the Rebbe had written to people over the years. In this particular letter Shlomie found, Rebbe addresses the topic of GMO foods.
What is GMO?
GMO – Genetically Modified Organisms are Genetically modified foods where specific changes have been introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. From my understanding of this vast concept is that due to GMO’s – crops are able to grow faster and larger which means feeding people faster (and CHEAPER!) Many of these crops are used to feed chicken and cattle – which means faster growth, larger chickens etc.
This topic is a HOT HOT HOT button issue. The organic community is up in arms because of obvious safety concerns of GMO’s and many petitions are going around to make sure that proper labeling is enforced on food products so we as the consumer understand what’s in our food. This is also a heavy political issue because many believe that with GMO crops – more people can be fed – the dollar can be stretched – and of course – big companies make big money.
Well, that’s the brief lesson on GMO. As a natural person (or as natural as possible) GMO is a great concern of mine. When my brother in law told me, “Do you know what the Rebbe said about GMO?” I was more than excited to find out.
And so, it needs no introduction – below – please find the portion of the letter where the Rebbe writes about this very issue. I would like to point out that this letter was written in 1968 – YEARS BEFORE the explosion of GMO debates – and the letter was addressed to a person in Chicago Illinois.
From the letter of the Rebbe:
(Duby’s note: I bolded and underlined certain key phrases)
“P.S. With reference to the matter you raise in your letter, relating to the endeavor to increase soil productivity by means of electrical currents etc, I wish to make the following point, (though, technically speaking, this is not my field). It is that it surprises me that no one has yet suggested doing basic research in the nutritive aspects of those plants and crops whose manner of growth has been artificially interfered with, whether by means of electricity or radiation, and the like, not forgetting developments of hydroponics. I think it is high time that a study were made of the effects of such foods upon humans in general, particularly those who are still going through physical growth and development, namely children and youths. Even to a layman like myself it seems incredible that the methods of speeding plant growth by means of techniques which are quite abnormal to it should have no effect on the food in relation to humans, who for thousands of years have been accustomed to eat only naturally-grown foods – all the more so since such effects would be cumulative.
As already mentioned, this is entirely unconnected with my field, but that a problem exists here seems to me so plain and logical that surely even a layman may call attention to it.”
– The Letter and The Spirit – Letters by the Lubavitcher Rebbe Volume 1, Page 251
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Well my friends, no explanation needed. The Rebbe was a wise man. As he says himself, even a layman – someone who isn’t a professional in these matters, can understand the importance of eating naturally grown food.
I would like to thank my dear brother in law – Shloimie – for thinking of me when he was reading this, and if anyone ever stumbles upon an article or a link to something they feel I would enjoy reading and/or blogging about – please please – send it my way