Show #48: How food SHOULD be, with Fran Murrell


Now onto the show…

This week I’m chatting with the ever-energised activist, Fran Murrell, co founder of MADGE. Fran was just going about her environmental studies degree in the mid 90’s, also a new mum at the time, horrified by pesticide use and its implications concerning our health in the long term. She decided to do a thesis on how these new GM crops back then, were going to be these amazing developments that would allow farmers to use minimal to zero pesticides. What she found in her research was quite the opposite, and in todays episode we share her deeply personal realisation as both a student of environmental studies, a researcher and a parent, and we have a beautiful chat FULL of those nuggets of wisdom on just how simple it is to change the world from our own homes through our daily choices. You are guaranteed to leave this weeks show feeling a whole lot more positive about the future and I hope you enjoy the chat as much as I did.

And excitingly, MADGE’s “GM FREE FOOD” app has launched and you can get the app HERE.  

Here’s a little snapshot of the goodies in today’s episode…

  • M.A.D.G.E => Mothers Are Demystifying Genetic Engineering => Mothers Advocating Deliciously Good eating!
  • How do people get involved? the most effective way is to become aware and share your knowledge with others – really think about what you’re buying, with the aim being that this is local, delicious and sustainable food, wherever you are. The exercise should be fun and enjoyable though – do things that make sense to you, and fit in with your life.
  • Check out the newly released 2017 GM Free Shopping Guide and keep your eye out for their soon to be released new app.
  • The main GM crops are soy, corn, canola, cotton seed, and sugar beet. These are the products to look out for in your ingredients lists when shopping, if the product is organic then it’s fine, but if not organic then it’s difficult to know what you’re actually buying. In Australia, if a product comes from a GM crop, then it does not need to be labeled as such! Cotton seed, unsustainable Palm oil, Canola – these can all be lumped under the label ‘vegetable oil’… and Sugar beet can be labeled ‘sugar’… it’s a bit of a minefield, but the easiest way to navigate this is to choose labels / brands who are forthcoming and honest with their ingredients. Where there are vague ingredient lists, the chances are high that there are nasties hiding in there.
  • Handy hint: When it comes to butter vs margarine / vegetable oil spread – trust cows more than chemists!!
  • This year the first GM potato has been approved for growth, which will be grown in the US and imported to Oz… this could be present in our oven fries or frozen potato products, but won’t be your average dirt covered potato. Stay tuned for the petition we can all sign to help stop this being brought to our shores.
  • Fran’s predictions for our future – how do we get our government to crack down? If you look at the science and evidence, the way forward is smaller farms which are more productive and produce a wider range of foods, they cool the climate, they reduce poverty, product nutrient dense food and lower chemical levels, product community and meaning into our lives… and what’s important is every single one of YOU, we are trained to think the system is so big outside of us that we can’t do anything about it – but the system IS US! Be the change, make better decisions and it WILL have an impact.
  • Follow your heart, do it by feeding everybody well, taking care of the whole network of life and the food system, and make it fun! Think about one night a week or month getting together with friends and cooking things up, whatever makes it fun for you.

THIS WEEK’S LIVE HAPPIER, HEALTHIER CHALLENGE: Many schools have kitchens which are often empty or unused during the daytime, if any enterprising parents wanted to go in there to use the kitchen to make meals, that parents when they picked up their kids could come and pick up their child AND their pre-ordered dinner at the same time – the outcome would be more families and children eating delicious home-cooked food, there’d be a reduction in the number of frazzled parents, a reduction in unemployment – the benefits are many! If any of you are inspired to start this at your school, PLEASE let us know, I’d be super excited to hear all about it. What a fabulous idea!!!!

And here are all the important links:


MADGE community on Facebook

Discussed on the show:


Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world. (To do this from your phone, you can’t be ‘in the show list’ – go to the podcast search function and type low tox life, and then click on the show and click ‘review’. Annoyingly tricky but hey. I figured I may as well help you out if you’re going to take the time to leave a review!)

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *