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Tinkering the staff of life: Jill Colleen Yarnall stays GMO-free with a simple southern treat. (New Recipes).

Cornbread has been a staple on American tables for generations. From pones baked up in cast iron skillets in the Appalachians to loaves laced with spicy peppers in the Southeast, cornbread has been the staff of life for many families. But today, key ingredients vital to making such simple fare as cornbread are tainted by genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Multinational companies are tinkering with the genes in important foods like corn, canola, sugar and soy to create all-new organisms. While these companies and some scientists say the foods are safe, the skeptical voice is strong. Leaders in the health, scientific and farming communities are raising serious questions and getting very unsatisfactory answers. Will pollen from these altered plants kill butterflies and other beneficial insects? Will these foods cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals? Is it morally, ethically or religiously right to modify foods in this way?

For now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require genetically modified foods to be labeled. When you purchase food for your family, you have no assurance that your choices are safe unless the food is organic. If you are concerned, support organic farms with your purchases, write letters to your elected officials and educate yourself on this issue. Greenpeace's True Food Campaign web site is a good place to start; click on

Small changes in your kitchen can make big changes for your family and the world. Start with the simple things--like cornbread. Handed down through at least three generations in my family, this heirloom recipe is modified to embrace GMO-free ingredients. I know my grandmother would approve.
Heritage Cornbread

1 cup organic yellow corn meal
1 cup organic unbleached flour
1/4 cup organic milled cane sugar
4 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 free-range, organic egg, beaten
1 cup organic soymilk
1/4 cup organic, expeller-pressed canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat 9x9-inch glass baking
dish or 9-inch round cast iron skillet with oganic oil and set aside.

2. Whisk corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in
a large bowl. Add egg, soymilk, and oil and stir until just combined.

3. Pour out into prepared baking dish.

4. Bake until sides start to pull away from pan and probe inserted in
center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

5. Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.

Jill lives in Asheville with her husband J.R. They like their cornbread best with organic butter and the pure maple syrup her father and grandfather make.
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Title Annotation:genetically modified organisms
Author:Yarnall, Jill Colleen
Publication:New Life Journal
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Previous Article:Say no to biotech in our backyard. (Take Action!).
Next Article:Natural and non-toxic skin care: Anita Shannon deciphers the labels on body care products. (Women's Health).

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