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November 26th, 2013

Thanksgivukkah: Twice the Holiday Fun, Twice the Biotech Trouble

By Briana Kerensky

While Thanksgiving always falls on the last Thursday of November, Hanukkah moves around every year. For the first time since 1888, it just so happens to start the night before Thanksgiving. Since the holidays won’t collide again for another 79,000 years, my family is having a very special “Thanksgivukkah,” to commemorate the occasion.

The two holidays couldn’t be any more different. On Thanksgiving, Americans celebrate the fall harvest and give thanks for another year of health and loving family. On Hanukkah, the Jewish community commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after it was ransacked and defiled. This is done by lighting candles or oil every night for eight nights in a menorah, or ritual candelabra. It’s also traditional to eat foods fried in oil, like potato pancakes (latkes).

The one thing Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have in common is an emphasis on the dinner table. Both holidays are steeped in delicious traditions, and this year, both are steeped in trouble from the biotech industry.

The USDA is currently reviewing J.R. Simplot’s Innate Potato, which is genetically engineered to reduce black spot bruising. If approved, this potentially harmful food could end up on our Thanksgiving and Hanukkah tables in the coming years. And since Simplot has submitted its petition for approval in Canada, Mexico and Japan, genetically engineered potatoes could end up in the celebratory meals of people around the world. 

While genetically engineering a potato to travel and freeze better may sound harmless, the USDA currently doesn’t have risk assessment requirements in place to make sure these potatoes are safe for consumption. When will we find out whether or not this technology is truly safe? After we’ve already eaten GE foods and harmed our health?

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are two holidays in which we honor traditions that bring our families and communities together. But the thought of eating food on these holidays that could harm my friends, family, the environment and my personal health truly leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This Thursday, my family will serve potato latkes with our turkey. But next year, we may have to leave potatoes off the dinner table.

3 Comments on Thanksgivukkah: Twice the Holiday Fun, Twice the Biotech Trouble

  1. Reginald Miller says:

    The mission, by the powers to be, is to cull 3 to 4,000,000,000 human beings on our planet, it is a global genocide and the weapon of choice is not nuclear missiles or bombs. The weapon is what every single human being needs to live. FOOD is the weapon. Henry Kessinger, the former Secretary of State, put together legislation which was approved by the House of Representatives and signed into law under National Security a agenda mandate that allows us the United States of America to skillfully use food as a weapon to depopulate 3 to 4,000,000,000 human beingssaying that the earth cannot produce enough food to feed her (Mother Earths’)human inhabitants. Which is false. So unless you and I stand up to the government and say that we don’t want to consume any type or forms of engineered foods, the chemical merchants of death, will make you and I partakers in our own suicide. This is very real and it is going on at this very second all over the globe especially in the poor and under underdeveloped countries of our planet. Don’t wait until you are on your death bed wanting and wishing that you had taken action. Hine sight will always be twenty, twenty. Take action now while you can.

  2. Donald Berry says:

    I am very opposed to t his type of genetic modification.

  3. Mary Lou Francis says:

    No GMO’s and no pesticides! We can grow healthy food organically with much more success and with more safety to our citizens. Money is the root of all evil. Let’s not let it affect our food.

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