Yikes! Is That Really In My Food?!?

Posted on April 6, 2013
nonGMO labels
So why should I be concerned about GM foods? Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs are when the genes of one plant or animal are physically transferred into a plant or animal of a different species, to modify its natural state for the purpose of sustainability. This is not an extension of natural breeding. In fact, there's nothing natural about these foods. There are many risks involved in manufacturing and consuming GM foods.

GMO foods are grown with a different biological component than their parent crop. According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, the most commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include: soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, corn, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini and yellow neck squash. These "Frankenfoods" are now equipped at the cellular level to secrete pesticides. When bugs eat these crops, their stomachs explode, thus killing the bug but not the crop. Think about that for a moment. Pesticides are meant to kill things. Why would that be safe for human or animal consumption? Well, many studies have proven that they are not.
When you eat foods created to kill pests, those chemicals go into your digestive system as well. They don't discriminate. They can cause damage to the lining of your intestines which in turn causes "leaky gut syndrome". The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) cites several animal studies showing "organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility due to GMO foods. Human studies show how genetically modified food can leave chemicals behind inside our bodies, possibly causing long-term problems. For example, genes inserted into GM soy, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses."  good_bad_bacteria

Since GMOs were introduced in 1996, the percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped, food allergies skyrocketed, and autism, reproductive disorders and digestive problems have all been on the rise. Although it has not been proven that GM foods are the sole cause for the rise in health problems, it is also impossible to make these newly modified genes go away once they exist, and therefore likely to not be dismissed as a cause. They persist in the water, land and seeds blown miles away contaminate other environments, which make it difficult to pinpoint one particular strand. We do know that with the very process of blasting genes into crops and animals via a "gene gun," genetic engineering creates a veritable crapshoot of potential side-effects such as: new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

So how can I tell which ones foods are GM or have GM ingredients so I can avoid them? Well, that's the trick. You can't tell by looking at them. The food is technically edible, but the chemicals injected into their cells become innate parts of these foods that we cannot wash, boil or peel off. GM foods look identical to their organic counter-part. The differences are at the cellular level and you won't know until you eat the food and either have an allergic reaction, or develop other health issues somewhere down the line that can then be traced back to your food, as allergic reactions sometimes take time to develop. Everything we eat becomes our body on a cellular level. The human body is made up of trillions of replicating cells, so it's key that these cells be in their best possible shape and that starts with how you feed them.

A ballot initiative in California, known as Prop 37, was to require foods that are genetically modified or contain GM ingredients to be labeled. This would help consumers make informed choices. Unfortunately, the measure only received 48% of the vote, likely due to the millions of dollars spent by the companies who make GM foods to purposefully confuse voters with their ads. For the sake of others and with respect for the many past food, drug, chemical and lifestyle products that were once deemed safe and now banned due to severe health risk and even death, labelling GM foods is most helpful in determining food safety. Labels make it clear to consumers there is a possibility of risk should they choose to eat this food.

Non-profit organizations like www.nongmoproject.org provide valuable resources for your right to know. You simply have to look for their "verified" label on food produced by companies who are compliant and whom acknowledge their role and responsibility to the public. If people are expected to be responsible for their own well-being, it's important that they have all the information available to them and are educated about options. Buy organic whenever possible, and know that you do have a choice. Eating food should not be a gamble.

The conversation about GM foods can be controversial. It comes down to one's right to know that their food could cause them bodily harm, versus another's preference not to know about potential risk. The devil is in the details.

Hippocrates said, "Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food". The food that sustains our livelihood should not do us harm. Visit my website at the above link for more information about how working with a health coach will support you to weed through the rhetoric and onto the path of clean eating and happy living!