This article is a continuation of my past blog post on avoiding GMOs in our food. In an effort to truly educate you on the importance of avoiding GMOs, I am posting this guest blog post, written by Cynde Christie from "A Parallel World." Cynde is a personal friend of mine, and has done an amazing job researching the health effects of consuming products that have been genetically modified. She explains this complex process in a clear, concise manor . I hope you find this information helpful and informative.
Most people who have heard of GMO’s want to avoid them. Not everyone actually knows what a GMO is, but people generally know that they are bad. So let us take a brief look at what a GMO is, why they were developed, how they are used and then, I will tell you how to keep them out of your life.
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. Take an organism, such as corn; insert a gene of another organism into the corn, and you have modified it into a GMO. For example, one of my personal favorites, putting spider DNA into goat milk for use in making bulletproof vests strong like spider webs. Unfortunately, there are currently no regulations for safety testing on genetically modified organisms.
Genes make up all living things within their DNA. Most living things, animal and vegetable have a natural ability to fight off the intrusion of alien genes. This means that the GMO scientists must take very drastic measures to force the genes from two different species together in one organism. These measures include using viruses and bacteria to invade animal or vegetable genes, injecting genes into other genes, and other, equally frightening and frankly draconian methods. A couple of examples of the “blending” used in GMO’s are: Arctic fish genes injected into tomatoes and strawberries for tolerance to frost, and human genes inserted into corn to produce spermicide. Nowadays vegetarians have to be really on their toes to make sure that they are actually eating only vegetable matter!
The general school of thought for the scientists when developing GMO’s was that they were good for increasing food production, and helping plants to become more pest resistant. The problem was, that in making those two seemingly beneficial things happen, so many negative aspects resulted. The nutritional value of the food diminishes due to cell disruption. The result is that we have food with little nutritional value, riddled with poison, but a much bigger profit margin. Also, Super Weeds! Super weeds are weeds that are so pesticide resistant, that stronger and stronger pesticides must be developed to keep them at bay. Glyphosate, a systemic pesticide that is soaked up inside the plants that the animals and we eat, is the primary pesticide used on GMO crops today. The main component of Roundup is glyphosate. Many GMO crops are bred to be “Roundup Ready” meaning that they can withstand multiple sprayings of pesticide. That means more Roundup sales. The result is that humans are eating more and stronger pesticide (poison) that has become endemic in their lives. Once again, Economy drives science.
On the human side, the scientific meddling has resulted in more and stronger allergens in children and adults that are harder to treat. More children are developing Autism than ever before. This is just a small example of the many human costs associated with GMO’s.
The currently commercialized GMO crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres). Any food that contains these ingredients most likely contains some degree of GMO and the pesticides that these plants are designed to tolerate.
According to Mother Earth News, other products that are heavily GMO include dairy, eggs, meat, cookies, snacks, chips, ice cream, frozen prepared meals, oils, fats, shortening (except Olive oil), condiments, prepared foods, bread and crackers. Many of these fall into the GMO category due to ingredients used in the preparation or feed ingredients fed to animals and poultry. The more ingredients listed on the packaging of a processed food, the more likely it is that it contains GMO components.
Now for the good news, GMO food items are not that hard to avoid. Here is how:
1.) Buy Organic. By law, Certified Organic foods cannot contain pesticides or fertilizers or genetically engineered seeds.
2.) No-GMO certifications. There are now Non-GMO Verified programs that test products to verify whether they contain any GMO material. This certification program will not approve any food product if it contains more than 0.9% GMO content. A new certification, the GMO Guard Verification Program from Natural Food Certifiers, is a stricter testing program that will not certify anything with more than 0.05% GMO material. These certifications appear as labels on Non GMO food products.
3.) Do not buy nonorganic frozen, processed (boxed or canned) pre-made meals. Most all of them are to some extent GMO products.
4.) Join a CSA. CSA’s are Community Sustained Agriculture and are in most areas where people have the ability to grow food. You pay a fee that the farmers use as seed money and then every week or so during the growing season you receive a box of whatever is fresh that week. CSA’s are a wonderful thing!
5.) Shop at a farmer’s market near you. Farmer’s markets are everywhere and you can buy fresh produce directly from the farmer.
Written by Cynde Christie,
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Coming soon… Finding My Way Notes of Inspiration, a compilation of quotes and notes of inspiration taken from Finding My Way, Facing My Journey with Courage. Will be available on Amazon soon!
To your health and happiness,