Food For Thought
Please, for the love of all that’s good and holy, say no to GMO
By: Leanne Ely
Scientists involved in the development of genetically modified foods are using their powers for evil and not for good, if you ask me.
The low down on GMOs
No doubt you’ve heard of GMOs by now. If you are familiar with GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), you’re hopefully doing all you can to avoid them. If you’ve heard the term but you aren’t quite sure why GMOs are bad, keep reading.
Now to give you a bit of context before you read any further, folks in California are preparing to vote on a bill about GMOs and the right to know what is in their food. Can you believe that GMOs are not required to be labeled by law?
In my humble opinion, that has got to change.
Now let me back up and give you an idea of what a Genetically Modified Organism really is.
Essentially, it’s any crop or animal that has had its DNA altered to make it grow larger, make it more resilient to pests or harsh conditions, or to “enhance” its nutritional value. One example of a type of genetic modification is adding bacterial genes for natural pesticides into crops to prevent the need for chemical pesticide use. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel any better about ingesting natural pesticides that were built into my food than I do about ingesting chemical pesticides.
The Arctic Apple is a good example of how frightening this is all getting. A GMO manufacturer in Canada has been hard at work developing a new variety of apple that won’t go brown. It’s being called the Arctic Apple. Scientists have injected the fruit with a manmade gene that prevents it from turning brown. You can bite it and slice it and it won’t change color.
Now, the manufacturers say they’re doing this so that we won’t throw away fruit but . . . um . . . there’s a reason fruit turns brown. Apples exposed to oxygen start to spoil and we don’t want to eat rotten apples, so we don’t eat brown apples. Won’t this new genetic modification have us munching on rotten fruit?
No thank you.
The truth is, we don’t know all of the side effects that will come from these GMOs because they haven’t been around long enough. We do know, though, that GMOs have been linked to infertility, birth defects, allergic reactions, kidney disease, high infant mortality rates and miscarriage.
We also know that bees are taking pollen from tainted crops and passing it on to other fields—even the fields belonging to organic farmers.
We also know that some of these foods become toxic to humans once the DNA is changed. Again, we don’t know all of the side effects that come along with messing with our food supply.
Random facts about GMO
* GMOs have been around since 1994.
* GMO foods are NOT subject to thorough research or testing (scary).
* When weeds grow close to GMO crops, they become resistant, turning into super-weeds. More and more chemicals then need to be used to get rid of them.
* To make crops more resistant to weeds, glyphosate is applied to plants, increasing plant estrogen levels. This elevated estrogen level may pose longterm health risks to all mammals including humans – especially children.
* Once upon a time, scientists thought modified genes were destroyed at some point through the digestion process. However, modified food genes have been found in the brains of infant mice. From this we can deduce that there are unknown risks for anyone ingesting GMOs.
* 87% of soybeans grown in the United States are GMO. GMO soy has been shown to alter liver function in mice and rabbits. GMO soybeans are also linked to infant mortality and infertility.
How do you keep yourself safe from GMOs?
1. For starters, don’t buy processed foods because if it’s coming out of a box or a bag, it probably contains GMOs. You may be lucky enough to find some packages labeled “Non-GMO” but if not, some common ones to look out for would include: cottonseed oil, soy flour, Aspartame, soy lechitan, maltodextrin and corn syrup.
2. Ditch the corn and canola oils. This statistic is rather staggering, but the USDA tells us that 75% of canola crops and 73% of corn crops that are grown in the United States are GMO. Stick with the healthier oils. http://www.savingdinner.com/news/SkinnyOnFatsAndOils.html
3. Make more informed decisions when it comes to purchases. Do your research. Go and Google GMOs, GEMs and Monsanto. I could go on all day about this stuff but it really is up to you to protect yourself and your family.