Do you know what a GMO is? Do you know why we need to avoid them? Do you know that the quality of food that you buy greatly impacts yours and your families health? Do you know that when you buy a product, whether food or not, you are voting with your dollars?
These questions and more are what I want to address is this article to you.
What is a GMO?
A GMO is a Genetically Modified Organism. Sometimes they are called GE (Genetically Engineered) foods too. They are a plant or an animal that has been modified from its original state to withstand bacteria, pesticides, herbicides and some are even modified to make their own pesticides (BT Toxin.) The genetically modified organisms would not be something that would occur naturally nor are they something God created. They are something man created. The plant organisms are modified so that they can withstand direct applications of herbicides and pesticides (like round-up and glyphosate) and not die. Only the weeds or pests will die around them. The reason certain companies feel the need to genetically modify both plants and animals is because they say they can grow bigger yields and feed more people.
Ask yourself the following questions – ponder them:
- What is the price we are paying (on our health) to “feed more people.” If the weeds and animals (pests) die that are getting sprayed with toxic, cancer causing, endocrine disrupting herbicides and pesticides so we can grow more food then what is happening to the humans that are ingesting the foods that have these sprays on them?
- In “feeding more people” are they getting wholesome food that is full of micronutrients necessary for life or are they eating dead food grown in dead soil?
- What about BT Toxin which is injected into the DNA of these organisms so that when they are eaten, the animals (pest) consumer dies. What happens to humans in this case? What happens to our delicate digestive system that is like our second brain when we eat GMO foods?
Think about these things. Please.
Crops that are genetically modified (GMO)
I used to think that I ate healthy.
For breakfast, I might have had a toasted whole grain bagel with earth balance spread topped with some fat free cream cheese. Or how about a bowl of steel cut oats in the morning served with a glass of orange juice and topped with some brown sugar (only a little I would tell myself.) For lunch, a sandwich of course, on whole grain bread (because that was better right?) The sandwich was laden with mayonnaise from Kraft foods and nitrate filled lunch meat. Maybe there would be a small piece of lettuce for good measure and it always had to have a thick slab of some sort of cheese on it. That was a healthy lunch – right? For dinner, we always loved casseroles. Enchilada casserole with corn tortillas, sauce with hidden sugar and canola oil in it, heavily pasteurized cheese and CAFO (concentrated animal feed operation) beef. Again, we would serve a casserole with a VERY small side of veggies (maybe canned) for good measure.
I look back at those days and wish I knew what I know now. It’s empowering and had I known, my health would be 100% different than it is today. These foods are one facet of what contributed to my Hashimotos Disease.
So what does what I used to eat have to do with GMO’s?
Let me show you, in a small nutshell, what was actually in my food in regards to GMO’s (there are a lot of other problems with those choices outside of GMO’s but we’ll only focus on GMO’s here.)
Breakfast – The bagel and earth balance spread had canola oil and soy which are both GMO. The bagel also had sugar in it which is GMO. The cream cheese came from milk from cows that feed on GMO grains (like corn and alfalfa) and was ultra-pasteurized .
Lunch – The sandwich bread and meat had the same problems as breakfast and the mayo had a base of GMO canola oil along with some other nasty preservatives. Even the “pure” Kraft Mayo has a base of soybean oil which also comes from genetically modified soybeans. The cheese has the same GMO problem as the cream cheese on the bagel.
Dinner – Corn tortillas are made from GMO corn (which is known to have BT toxin in it). The enchilada sauce had GMO canola and sugar along with MSG (aka autolyzed yeast)! Again, we are back to the cheese from cows given antibiotics and fed GMO feed. The CAFO cows were fed GMO feed and pumped full of antibiotics so they don’t get sick from their neighbor who is always 2 inches away standing in the same feces and urine as they all are.
The way I used to eat WAS FAR FROM HEALTHY!
Thankfully, we now make better food choices. We do this in many ways but the first thing is that we steer clear of GMO foods.
Before we talk about ways to avoid GMO food, lets talk about why to avoid it.
As you can see we, in the U.S., are the leading producer of GMO crops. The means that much of our food is contaminated with GMO ingredients and the much of our air is laden with herbicides and pesticides because they can spray more because it won’t kill the crops~ Everything else but not the crops.
GMO foods have been found to cause allergies, disease, nutritional problems, liver toxicity, reproductive problems, infant mortality and sterility. This article by leading GMO expert Jeffrey M. Smith has all the science linked to testing that has been done that has found these dangers to be very real.
More reasons to avoid GMO crops:
- 10 reasons to start with at this article.
- Organic food has been found to have 69% higher antioxidants
- You will not be internalizing pesticides or herbicides through what you eat which will significantly reduce your toxic load.
- You will not be hindering your gut health. Remember our gut is like our second brain?
- GMO’s can contribute, cause and/or exacerbate Autism. (I have a friend who cut out GMO’s from her Autistic son’s diet while working with a naturopath and she saw remarkable improvement in daily function and cognitive abilities. It was pretty amazing to hear about! I’d like to have her share her story here sometime.)
- There are many countries that actually ban GMO’s. Why aren’t we one of them? Like the Food Babe say’s, “What do they know that we don’t?”
Have you ever seen a person spraying a non-organic crop?
The pesticide won’t kill the crops but doesn’t what this guy is wearing lead you to believe it will harm a person who ingests or gets on his skin what’s going to be sprayed? But it won’t harm the crops.
Do you see the word Monsanto on the side of that can? They are the people who make GMO seed and make Round-Up and Glyphosate. They are also the ones who created Agent Orange. My dad got cancer from being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. I don’t like Round-Up. I don’t like Glyphosate. I don’t like Agent Orange. I don’t like cancer and I don’t like Monsanto.
If the GMO’s are safe for consumption and we don’t need to avoid them then why did multiple biotech companies (including Monsanto), between 2012 and 2014 spend 1,000,000,000 to fight the labeling of packages that have GMO ingredients in them? Friends, read that again. That is 1 BILLION dollars. Billion with a B. Think about how much money that is. Couldn’t that “feed the world?” If GMO’s are so safe, why are they trying to hide the fact that these are the foods you may be eating?
Watch this 2 minute video that talks more about Monsanto ~ What You Need to Know About GMO’s in Two Minutes
These are some videos I really recommend you watch to find out why to avoid foods that are genetically modified. You can even try to check them out at your local library. Watch them with your family and be informed.
Bad Seed (you can watch the whole version at the link on this home page)
Download one of these presentations and read through it to start to understand what GMO’s are and why to avoid them.
Go to my GMO’s/Non GMO’s & Clean Whole Food Facts and Info Pinterest Board to find many articles on this subject.
Here are 10 reasons why we DON’t need GMO foods.
Choose to be informed.
Ways to avoid GMO’s
Since changing our diet and lifestyle, and becoming healthier, we have found several resources in regards to GMO’s to be helpful. Here are ways to avoid GMO’s and resources to help you navigate where they hide.
- Eat organic.
- Avoid “vegetable” oils steering & clear of man made oils.
- Add grass fed and pastured meats into your diet that are organic.
- Buy grass fed dairy.
- Do your research.
- Become and AVID label reader. GMO ingredients do not just say soy or cottonseed. For example, if you buy a non organic mustard that has vinegar in it (which most do), that vinegar is fermented on corn – GMO corn. Beware and learn about ingredients in order to avoid GMO’s.
- Use this printable pocket guide about the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen when you shop so you can buy clean produce.
♦ This is a great place to learn in what ingredients GMO’s hide and alternatives to that food.
♦ You can download this shopping guide to take with you to help you remember what foods have GMO’s in them and what to avoid. It is extremely helpful!
♦ Find foods that are labeled with the Non GMO Verified Logo.
♦ This is a great website with more info and resources about GMO’s.
♦ When your kids get candy from outside your home have them sell it to you. It works quite well here. We give a certain amount of money for certain candies and either they choose to receive money or they choose to trade for a non-gmo candy that we stock.
♦ Speaking of candy, take advantage of he Natural Candy Store online. You can get GMO free candy and filter out candy with other allergens that you may want to avoid. We order there for holidays and it is wonderful to be able to give our kids treats that we know aren’t going to harm their health. Of course these treats are given in moderation but it’s nice to know they are available.
♦ If you are going to a potluck offer to bring a few food items to share that you know are made organically. Often it starts conversations about GMO’s and people are thankful to know why to eat organic and what a GMO is.
♦ Learn the GMO Myths and Truths.
♦ This is another great web resource to learn more about how to avoid GMO’s.
Voting With Our Dollars
I have to be honest. There was a time in my life that I looked at people who only at organic foods and I thought they were weird or even a bit crazy. I mean why would they spend money just for a label? They were the hippy, crunchy mama type. I did not understand anything about ingredients or food quality while making that judgement. I didn’t realize that organic (or now non-gmo verified) was more than just a simple label. Eating quality food without inflammatory ingredients like GMO’s that are labeled organic and GMO free are health promoting and truly valuable in the food industry and to the future of our society. I am one of those crunchy mama’s now.
Every time we buy a GMO food we tell the manufacturer to keep making it. We tell them we don’t care what is actually IN our food product, we just care about the taste or the cost. In other words we say, quality and the source of the food doesn’t matter. We vote on a product with our dollars when we buy it. Likewise, the same is true when we buy organic produce or a Non GMO Verified packaged product. We tell the company we like this food item and want more of it. The company then makes more because the demand is there. If we continue to purchase the food with GMO’s and junky ingredients they we are saying something loud and clear to the big food companies – keep creating the junk, we’ll still buy it.
If we want our food to be purer and cleaner then remember, every time you spend a dollar, you are telling the companies, farms, stores, local markets where the demand is. They will want to meet that demand. That’s where their profit lies.
A last note of good news…
Even though Monsanto and other companies have spent a billion dollars(+) to stop GMO labeling, the people are speaking loud and clear. Food companies are getting the government bureaucracy out of their way and choosing to label anyway. It is a ray of hope because I believe this will continue in the domino affect and more companies will choose this path as time goes on