When you make your grocery list, are you thinking about how to avoid products with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or pesticides? If so, that's great but many shoppers don't know what a GMO is or the danger of eating these foods. So.....I'd like to shed some light on this subject for those of you who may not know what is really in your food!
GM or GE (genetically engineered) foods are created when the genes of one plant or animal are changed by adding genetic material from a different species of plant or animal. One reason that biotech companies do this is to create plants that can withstand drought or pesticide exposure. We are told that this increases crop production. So what's wrong with that?
I don't know about you but something sounds very Frankensteinish about creating plants that contain pieces of genes from animals or bacteria or viruses. It just doesn't sound like food I want to eat.
It's important to note that this genetic engineering is not the same as selective breeding where a tomato plant is bred with another tomato to produce one that is sweeter or larger.
Unfortunately, when the FDA states that a GM food is safe, it is relying on the biotech company itself to do the"safety" studies. These companies do not submit their products for independent safety testing and therefore the health risks to humans are not fully known.
What we do know is that crops which are created to survive large amounts of pesticide exposure are then consumed by people and livestock. Monsanto is the company that produces Roundup, a widely used pesticide and they create GMO seeds to survive being sprayed with this pesticide. Roundup contains glyphosate which has recently been designated a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization, but continues to be sold around the world.
Glyphosate is well known to be a xenoestrogen which means that it mimics estrogen in the body. Animal studies show that these fake estrogens contribute to tumor growth and chronic disease by disrupting normal chemical processes in the body and may be linked to chronic fatigue, mood disorders and autism.
Other chronic diseases associated with glyphosate include:
- autoimmune disease
- chronic fatigue
- mood disorders
The environmental impact is significant as well. Repeated exposure to glyphosate has allowed "super weeds" to develop which are resistant to Roundup and so Monsanto has created even more toxic pesticides to kill them. Europe doesn't allow GMOs as food ingredients but in the U.S. the FDA doesn't even require labeling to let you know that a particular product contains these ingredients.
We have several GM crops in the United States that are produced by large industrial farms. These include most of the U.S. grown soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets and corn. So, most processed foods contain GMOs because they are made with ingredients like soy protein, cornstarch and corn syrup. Other GM crops include some Hawaiian papaya, zucchini and yellow squash.
So what can you do to avoid these toxic foods? First, spend your grocery money on real food- whole vegetables, fruits and grains. Not processed foods! Foods that are certified organic cannot contain GM ingredients, so buy organic when possible. Look for grassfed meats and eggs from chickens that aren't fed GMO feed. Find out which farmers in your area grow foods without pesticides and don't use GM seeds.
I encourage you to get educated about your food supply and then spread the word. If consumers refuse to buy these scary foods, the companies will stop producing them! For more information, please visit The Institute for Responsible Technology www.responsibletechnology.org or The Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org where you can find a list of the most heavily and least pesticided foods. Let's take back our food supply!