06/07/2013 05:18 pm ET

Table Talk: Ben & Jerry's Will Stop Using GMOs


This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

Soon, there are going to be some ingredients missing from your Ben & Jerry’s. Don’t worry -- the basics like chocolate chips, caramel swirls and cookie dough chunks aren’t going anywhere. But the ice cream company stepped into a major debate recently when it announced that it will stop using GMO ingredients in its products -- hopefully by the end of this year.

What is a GMO? Genetically modified organisms are made when DNA from one organism is placed into another. One of the first experimental genetically modified foods was a tomato that contained the DNA of a fish. Since the fish was native to the arctic, that DNA was meant help the tomatoes survive in frosty temperatures (the tomatoes never went on sale). For an 11-year-old’s powerful perspective on the problem with GMOs, watch Birke Baehr’s TEDx talk here.

Tonight, let’s talk about how we can be aware of the ingredients in what we are eating and drinking -- and the ways in which science can touch our everyday lives.

Questions for discussion:
  • What have you heard about GMOs in the past?
  • How much do you know about the ingredients used by your favorite brands?
  • Why do you think people are so concerned about GMOs? Do they worry you?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.



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