I never really understood what all the hype was about NonGMO Foods. I especially thought that organic labeling was a fad diet type of thing. Something that only Birkenstock wearing hippies cared about. Boy was I misinformed and wrong.
In the world of organic, nonGMO, and “all natural” there are so many particulars. Particulars I truly had no idea about until I started researching it myself.
Okay, let’s talk about this.
What is a GMO?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Genetically engineered crops are crops that are altered with inserted genetic material to exhibit a desired trait.
They are altered in such a way that they do not die when sprayed with pesticides so that the crop can be mass produced and grown not by humans, but machines, and sprayed with pesticides to kill everything but the GMO crop. A real, natural plant would immediately die from the amount of pesticide sprayed (the pesticides themselves are a whole other story).
Okay… and what’s your point, Anna?
I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!
Genetically modified foods haven’t actually been proven to be safe in any way. Most studies are showing major concerns for the consumers health and the health of the next generation. The lack of long term studies and testing may be hiding disastrous health defects. Enough concern that 50 countries around the world have banned GMO foods.
Unfortunately, GMO foods aren’t labeled in America and a majority of people have no idea this is even a “thing”. GMOs are in your produce and about 80% of processed foods. Animal products are not exempt. Besides the hormones and antibiotics administered (a story for another day), livestock is fed GMO crops.
Before you continue, if you are someone saying “My parents and I have eaten this way my whole life and we are just fine.” Because that’s what I thought too! Not exactly. Genetically modified foods didn’t actually make their way to the market until 1996 and their presence has increased over the years. So no, we and our parents haven’t eaten this way our whole lives.
In 2012 Kaiser Permanente published a newsletter article titled “What you need to know about GMOs”. That article shared “Despite what the biotech industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. Independent research has found that several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that GMOs may lead to an inability in animals to reproduce.”
The newsletter recommends that consumers purchase organic foods, or foods with the “Non-GMO verified” logo.
I sure didn’t know ANY OF THIS before watching GMO OMG on Netflix and researching. I honestly thought it was some hippie fad that made my food more expensive!
May 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA’s anti consumer right-to-know policy which stated that GMO foods need NOT be labeled nor safety-tested. Meanwhile, prominent scientists such as Arpad Pusztai and Gilles-Eric Seralini have publicized alarming research revealing severe damage to animals (monkeys, lab rats) fed GMO foods including: sterilization, miscarriages, cancer, NEW allergies, seizures, and death!
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) shared animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Yeah, you know that “I” word caught my attention immediately. Aside from infertility, a growing number of studies are finding hundreds of toxic chemicals in mothers’ and, subsequently, their babies’ bodies when they are born. Including pesticides industrial and environmental chemicals.
In studies, the organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans (GMO soy) gave birth to stunted and sterile pups. Sterile pups, meaning no babies down the road.
What this means for us.
Now I definitely know GMOs don’t cause all infertility or all miscarriages or all allergies, all cancers, or all autism.
I also know that not all people who smoke cigarettes get lung or mouth cancer, but I still don’t smoke because it and the risk it brings isn’t good for my health. I know that the majority of us can and will admit smoking can cause cancer, but there was a time where the tobacco companies FOUGHT to say smoking didn’t cause cancer.
If I held your interest for this long, thank you. There are so many facts supporting the negative impact of GMO foods in our culture. Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise.
How can you make a difference for your family’s health?
Make informed choices.
I recommend researching and making your own informed choice. You can read the book Seeds of Deception. Try watching GMO OMG on Netflix, along with The C Word. Both documentaries are so informative and educational, something that we as consumers have to take seriously. It isn’t enough to expect that ALL of the facts are in plain view, because they aren’t. For your health, your family’s health, and the health of your children, do a little research. You can also choose to ignore it, but that doesn’t make the problem disappear.
Avoid GMO food
Avoid GMO foods whenever possible. In the US there are currently no labeling laws requiring that the inclusion of GMO foods be placed on the label.
Look for the “Non-GMO verified” logo on packaged foods. The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization offering a third-party non-GMO verification program.
Choose only organic, free range, wild caught, and grass-fed animal products. “All natural” doesn’t cut it, it doesn’t mean GMO free.
If it is organic it is not a GMO food. In the US and Canada manufacturers are not allowed to label something as 100% organic if it has been genetically modified or if it is an animal and has been fed genetically modified feed. So when it comes to eggs, dairy and meats, organic is a must.
While soy, corn and potatoes are the most prevalent GMO foods, there are many others that you should be aware about as well, such as:
- Canola oil
- High fructose corn syrup/corn sugar (on of the reasons there is so much GMO corn being grown. The other reason for so much corn is that it is readily fed to livestock)
- Dairy (conventional cows are injected with the genetically engineered hormone rBGH/rBST and are frequently fed GMO corn and grains.)
- Processed foods (many processed foods have been tested and shown to contain some GMO ingredients.)
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I know it is a little more lengthy than most, but it is truly something I feel needs to be talked about more. If you read this post, would you please let me know by commenting below or sending me a quick message or comment on Instagram or Facebook? I would love to know that I’m not just talking to a lifeless screen!