Just last week the Food and Drug Administration’s approved genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, making it the first genetically engineered animal that will available for purchase by consumers.
The salmon is not likely to show up in stores for another two years, but when it does, consumers will have no way of knowing if the fish they’re buying is genetically engineered.
While a few stores, Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target and Kroger, have said they will not be selling this to consumers there is no way to know what you will be getting when shopping at any other store.
I have been wanting to write this blog post for awhile and I finally decided to write this during the kids naps. I really hope that this post educates you and encourages you to take the time to look at what is in your refrigerator and pantry. GMOs disrupt the healthy balance in the digestive tract and increase your risk for certain diseases. Eliminating GMOs from your diet is so worth it, I promise.
WHAT IS A GMO?
Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other normally incompatible plants or animals. The hope in doing this is to create a new organism that exhibits a desired trait. An example would be a plant that can withstand direct application of a herbicide or produce an insecticide to directly repel pests.
- There have been no human safety trails to determine if GMO consumption is safe for humans.
- Japan, New Zeland, and Ireland have determined that the risks outweigh the benefits and have banned them. In addition to this, 60 nations label products to let consumers know if there are GMO ingredients in what they are purchasing, the United States does not do this.
- The America Academy of Environmental Medicine recommends prescribing GMO-free diets to all patients.
- Analysis of the most common GMO crops shows they do not produce a larger crop size and have inferior nutritional value when compared to the same crop that is GMO-free.
- 90% of soy, sugar beets, canola, and 80% of corn are GM.
- The average american consumes 193 pounds of GMO foods a year.
CHEMICALS AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Chemicals, like those in genetically modified organisms, will change the way your immune system functions. Toxins in the immune system will kill beneficial microbes and that can interfere with how our bodies absorb nutrients.
The greater your chemical exposure the more likely it is that your body will stay inflamed and you will have a harder time absorbing nutrients from your food.
Roundup is the most commonly used GMOs herbicide in the world. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. In 2012 a study in Current Microbiology showed that when exposed to the glyphosate in Roundup, the good bacteria that we have in our bodies died while the bad bacteria, like salmonella, were able to survive. For years Monsanto and companies like it have been telling the public that Roundup and glyphosate are safe enough to drink but there have been numerous scientific studies done that prove otherwise.
In 2014 in the Journal of Environmental and Anyalitcal Toxicology published findings that most animals and people tested in the study had glyphosate in their urine. This wasn’t really very surprising due to the fact that residue of gylohosate is often found in out water supply. What was surprising was that the study revealed “chronoically ill humans showed significantly higher glyphosate residues in urine than the healthy population.”
From 1996, when GM crops were first introduced, until 2010 there was a:
- 1,427% increase in glyphosate application to corn and soy crops
- 1,000% increase in intestinal infection death rate
- 550% increase in chronic constipation
- 205% increase in irritable bowel syndrome
The sad truth is many of the foods that are most popular with children contain GMOs. Let’s say you eat an animal that was fed GMO grains, and most are unless you buy organic pasture-raised animals, and then you eat the grains that were sprayed, this leaves your body susceptible to multiple mineral deficiencies and an intestinal track that has more bad bacteria than good. Overtime this will result in a weaker immune system and can create chaos on your overall health.
All of this to say, that when Roundup was created the purpose was to allow crops to live when sprayed, but it isn’t working anymore. Roundup is NOT working! It is failing to do the job that it was created to do because it has been overused. Many weeds are now resistant to pesticides being sprayed on GM crops.
REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE
Keep reading for several ways to make changes to your diet and reduce your exposure to GMOs. Tying to do all these at once will have you going crazy. When I started making changes to my diet I had no idea of the ripple effect I would be creating for myself and my family years down the road. It takes time and perseverance but I promise that these changes are worth it!
If you are not able to buy all your produce organic take a look at the Environmental Working Group. Every year they come out with an updated list highlighting the produce with the highest amount of pesticide residue called the Dirty Dozen™ list. This year, it is comprised of apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. Each of these foods tested positive a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items. Avoid the Dirty Dozen™ list.
Unfortunately GMOs don’t just effect our produce as mentioned earlier in this post. The animals that we eat also are fed these crops. Our family buys our meat at either Costco or Whole Foods. Other options include mail ordering meat, buying in bulk from a local farmer, or looking into a co-op.
BUY ONLY GMO-FREE FOODS
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. When you are buying any product in a package start looking for this label. Visit their website for more information.
BUY ONLY 100% CANE SUGAR
95% of the U.S. crop of sugar beets is sprayed with Roundup. This concerns me. I inwardly cringe when I see people drinking soda, eating a candy bar, or ingesting anything else that contains sugar because I know they are consuming a product that uses ingredients that have been sprayed with gylposhate. When you start to grasp the reality of how huge of fail this is that pesticides like Roundup were ever approved to be sprayed on food you will be concerned also. The good news is that once you eliminate this type of sugar from your diet you will start noticing changes in your waistline and overall health.
AVOID ALL SOY, CORN, COTTONSEED, AND CANOLA OIL
Our family avoids all soy, corn, cottonseed, and canola oils and instead uses organic olive oil and organic coconut oil. These items to avoid are made from crops heavily sprayed with Roundup.
Any of the above listed ways to reduce your exposure to GMOs would be a great place to start. Small changes over time will produce great results.