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As a mom and budding nutritionist, I take great care to know what is in my food. It wasn’t until I started school at Canadian School of Natural Nutrition two years ago that I heard about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). I had seen this video, and was blown away by the fact that our foods are being manipulated by large companies seeking to increase their bottom line. I was shocked, why had I never heard of this before? All the seemingly healthy foods I had fed my first-born son were in fact part of some weird science experiment. I’m so grateful for this nutrition program for opening my eyes to an ever-growing concern.
What is a GMO anyway?
A GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism is exactly what it says on the tin. An organism such as a food, that has had its genes modified in one way or another, usually to make it resistant to bugs or to powerful insecticides.
It’s an experimental technology that injects DNA from one species into another creating an unstable combination of either plant, animal or bacterial genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding. The genes come from bacteria or viruses and have never been in human food supply… Until now.
Where do I find GMO’s in my foods?
Corn – Anything made with corn (corn chips, corn flakes, cornstarch and syrup, oil, some sweetcorn).
Soy – Soy is EVERYWHERE. It’s in our foods, our yogurts, our lattes, our face creams. Watch for tofu and any “vegetarian” products made with soy; unless it’s marked “organic”, it will be made from GM soy.
Canola – Canola oil is ubiquitously found in many packaged goods because it has a completely neutral taste, but did you know that Canola actually stands for Canadian Oil? It’s made from the genetically modified Rapeseed plant, but for obvious reasons, “rapeseed” just doesn’t have a nice ring to it.
Sugar beets – table sugar. This sugar is ubiquitous in coffee shops around the country, and it’s all GMO sugar.
Non-Organic eggs, milk and meat – It’s in the feed given to our chickens and cows, so they eat it, and we eat them.
In the pipeline:
Why is it bad for me and my family?
- Over 60 countries in the world have banned GMO’s for use in their food supply, including all of Europe.
- A recent study showed that GMO’s were present in the blood of 93% of pregnant women, and 80% of their fetuses.
- Environmental impacts, such as the fact that these pesticides and herbicides are being released into our air, our earth and our water causing damage to topsoil, the ozone layer and our lakes. In addition, our rainforests are being cut down so that crops of soy (for our soy lattes and veggie burgers) can be grown.
- We are being overexposed to GMO’s. As mentioned above, it’s found in so many packaged food products, and in our meat and dairy.
- Mother nature doesn’t like to be messed with, the weeds and bugs these pesticides are supposed to kill have actually grown to be resistant to them meaning even more powerful pesticides are being sprayed.
- Animal studies have shown direct links between GMO animal feed and illness. Once animals are taken off GMO feed, they fully recover.
- Studies have shown an increase in allergies/immune suppression – our bodies are not designed to recognize GMO’s or any of these additives in our foods. Click here for more.
- There have been no long-term studies, nor does the FDA require independent testing on GMO’s. This means that when the seed companies are telling us it’s safe, it’s based on research they (the seed companies) conducted, and is not third party verified. Health Canada bases their approval on GMO’s into Canada on this very research, without conducting their own research into the effects of GMO’s on Canadians.
- The same people who brought you agent orange are growing our food. (warning: graphic content)
What can I do about it? / I want to learn more please…
When shopping, look for the Non GMO Project symbol on approved foods. Mandatory labeling has not been passed in North America, so look for the symbol on foods to have peace of mind you’re buying a GMO free product. Click here for a list of GMO free/approved foods.
Buying certified organic eliminates any fear that you’re consuming something with pesticides. Buying organic also ensures that you are eating foods higher in vitamins and minerals than their conventional counterparts. You’re also supporting local farmers and local economy, and if you’re a foodie, organic food has exquisite taste – you can really tell the difference once you start cooking with organic food (meat /dairy & eggs included).
Avoid processed foods. Besides generally being bad for you, they have GMO’s in abundance. Most would contain corn and soy, along with several additives that also contain GMO’s, so you’re getting GMO’s in every bite.
Get involved! Every year there is a march against Monsanto. The Toronto march is coming up on May 24th 2014.
Petitions are another way to raise awareness and end bad practices around our food supply. Avaaz.org is an excellent resource that has been pioneering the fight for transparancy in our foods.
I give a big, fat COCONOT to GMO’s. Shop wisely, read your labels, especially the ingredients. At the end of the day, there is no smoke without fire. It may seem at first like propaganda, but there is a lot of research out there on the dangerous effects of GMO’s on both the environment and on humans and animals. Continue your research and protest with your feet and just don’t buy it.
Please click on the links below to continue your research on this topic.
Non GMO Project
Earth Open Source
GMO Myths and Truths
Health Canada’s stance on GMO’s
For anyone still unconvinced, 2 movies in addition to the one mentioned above to watch:
The World According to Monsanto
Google: Revolving Door Monsanto for politics behind GMO’s
Copyright – Krisha Young 2014
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