5 Easy Ways to Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms –
In this article I will show you 5 easy ways to avoid genetically modified organisms at the grocery store. When I first saw Food Inc. 4-5 years ago I was blown away by the idea that our food could have viruses and pathogens inserted into its DNA. It was also shocking to find out that this practice had not been well tested on humans. North Americans are actually the the real time experimental guinea pigs for these unnatural food products. GMO’s were introduced into the general food supply without warning in the mid-1990’s which explains why there has been such a huge rise in food allergies and sensitivities over the past 20 years.
This issue of GMO foods makes me very upset and scared for future generations. I believe that the most important thing we can do is support organic farmers who refuse to participate in genetic modification. By voting with our pocketbook and boycotting GMO’s the food industry will hear our message and eventually stop producing these dangerous crops.
What is a GMO?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, ‘living modified organism’ defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”).-From Wikepedia
Gmo’s were introduced by biotech companies as a way improve crop yields and “feed the world” because they will supposedly repel insect and plant diseases but what actually happens is more pesticides are needed for crops to have the same yield as before they were modified. Bugs and bacteria outsmart the GMO’s which increases the need for chemicals. That means that GMO crops become even more laden in pesticide residue that their conventional counterparts. There have been many reports of lower yields with GMO’s and farm workers experiencing dangerous side effects from using additional pesticides on the dangerous crops. (Source)
GMO’s are illegal in 26 countries including the EU and Australia which makes me think they know something we don’t seem to realize here in the USA.
5 Easy Ways to Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms
1. Buy Organic
I know this can seem daunting and expensive but if you choose organic whenever possible you will almost all GMO crops. Shopping can be made cheaper by buying in bulk, going to co-ops, getting a cow-share and frequenting farmer’s markets. Also it is important to re-prioritize and spend more money on food and maybe spend less at the Mall or on Starbucks. I have an great article about saving money on real food here.
2. Avoid Corn, Soy, and Canola
This step is really easy to avoid genetically modified organisms. About 90-95% of corn, soy and canola products are genetically modified and have major health impacts. These industrial crops especially affect digestion which is where many people notice a health breakdown first. So the main place to start to avoid these foods is bottled salad dressings, cooking oils and boxed or packaged foods. I have a post about which fat to choose here. It is possible to get organic corn, soy and canola but I have read that there is too much cross pollination with the genetically modified versions. I choose to these avoid corn, soy, and canola altogether.
A note about wheat: Wheat is not technically GMO but it has been heavily hybridized over the past 20-30 years to increase yields. This change has dramatically increased the gluten content which causes many people to have a reaction. Also wheat is heavily sprayed with roundup which has many long term health consequences becasue it does not readily leave our bodies or the ground. Read my article about the dangers of wheat
Check out this great video about how GMO’s were put into our food supply without us knowing.
3. Learn Which Types of Produce are GMO
It can get a bit complicated and new fangled fruits and vegetables are being introduced everyday. Beets, zucchini, papaya and tomatoes at the main ones to stay away from, and of course corn ( but I count corn as a grain). It is important to buy organic grass fed ruminants to avoid GMO alfalfa which is a common grass they eat. Don’t forget corn and soy are mostly genetically modified and are commonly fed to livestock.
4. Shop the Perimeter of the Store
Most packaged foods are in the middle of the store are heavily processed with added sugar beets, corn, soy and canola by-products such as cookies, cereal and salad dressings. Yes, there is milk and meat on the outside aisles of the grocery and the animals that eat GMO’s are there but then you have the choice to choose organic. It is important to pay attention to how the animal you eat eat’s becasue an unhealthy animal will not produce the most nourishing food.
5. Pay Attention to What you Eat Eats
A cow that eats corn and soy will most likely be very sick and need a lot of antibiotics. This cow will be lower in vitamins and minerals than a grass fed cow. Its fat will also store many contaminants that can affect your health. Also a cow that has been fed GMO’s and antibiotics is much more likely to have a bacterial imbalance that sets the stage for food borne illnesses in humans. It is a similar story with pigs, chickens and lamb so make sure to choose organic and pasture raised animals whenever possible. Read my article about how to source grass fed beef here
I hope you have enjoyed reading: 5 easy ways to avoid genetically modified organism at the grocery store
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Find another great film from the father of GMO revolt: Jeffery Smith here
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