So, what is a GMO?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. It can also be referred to as GE- Genetic Engineering, or GM, Genetic Modification.
“Genetic modification is the process of forcing genes from one species into another entirely unrelated species. Genetic engineering forcefully breaches the naturally occurring barriers between species, causing both known and unknown / unintended consequences that have never been proven safe by the FDA or the United States Government. Because the injected genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.” (Quoted from GMO-Awareness and used with permission.) GMO-Awareness.com is my favorite site for information and educational resources. It is a wonderful place to start as you begin to educate yourself on the evils of GMOs. I know the person behind this site and I’m impressed with this individuals level of knowledge and commitment to putting out fully researched, helpful and accurate information!
Helpful resources to educate you on GMOs:
For 2 months now I’ve struggled with the best way to describe what GMOs are and how to share that information with you. I would simply end up saying pretty much what every anti-GMO website out there says. There isn’t a lot of original material on the subject. For now, until I’m able to organize and articulate the plethora of thoughts and knowledge on the subject I’ll suggest watching one or all of the videos listed below. They explain quite a bit. The links below were obtained using Google, and from HERE.
- Food Matters This video is only the first 40 minutes, but you’ll get enough information to understand why I went organic and why I decided to remove as many GMOs as possible from our diets. I must warn you that this will change how you view your food. Don’t worry that’s a good thing.
- Robyn O’Brien shares her story and how she was inspired to the path of Real Food. Mothers of children with allergies, you’ll like this video.
- Genetic Roulette is the documentary that changed everything for TSM and me. From time to time they offer the chance to view this movie for free. Otherwise it is a $2.99 donation and I must say that it is totally worth giving up one froo-froo drink at Starbucks to watch and learn.
- Here is a link to watch the official trailer for the Genetic Roulette film:
- Fed Up– features four 20-minute “films” on Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture and sustainable alternatives.
Current Genetically Modified/Genetically Engineered/Transgenic Crops in the United States are:
- Soybeans– 94% of all soy is Genetically Modified. Genes are taken from bacteria and inserted into soybeans to make them more resistant to herbicides.
- Corn– 88% of all corn is Genetically Modified. There are two main varieties of Genetically Engineered corn. One has a Gene from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis inserted into its cells to produce the Bt toxin, which poisons insects. When the insects ingest this corn, their stomachs rupture/burst open. This affects bees, butterflies, and other insect.
This corn (and the soybeans) are resistant to various herbicides. Specifically Roundup. Roundup resistant corn is now considered a pesticide, not a food and as a result is regulated by the EPA. If you are buying anything with corn syrup or High Fructose Corn Syrup in it, you are eating GMO corn/pesticides.
- Canola oil– 90% of all Canola is Genetically Modified.
- Sugar beets– 95% of all sugar beets are Genetically Modified. There is a gene added/transferred to make crop more resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Is also labeled in foods as “sugar”. Unless the label says CANE sugar/sugar cane, cane juice or certified organic, it’s sugar from sugar beets.
- Zucchini & Yellow Squash – 24,000 acres.
- Cotton– 90% of all cotton is Genetically Modified. Engineered to produce Bt toxin. The seeds are pressed into cottonseed oil, which is a common ingredient in vegetable oil and margarine.
- Dairy – Cows injected with GE hormone rBGH/rBST; possibly fed GM grains and hay.
- Aspartame – Addictive and dangerous artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gum and “diet” beverages. A building block of aspartame, the amino acid phenylalanine, is usually manufactured with the aid of genetically modified E. coli bacteria. Yummy, huh?
- Hawaiian Papayas– more than 50% are Genetically Modified
- Farm Raised Salmon…and don’t even get me started on Frankenfish.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about GMOs or you just happen to be new to the anti-GMO crew, I would like you to know that it is never ever my intention to overwhelm you or even paralyze you with resources and posts about healthy living! There is so much information out there and new information and studies are emerging practically daily. When it comes to GMOs and eating Real/Whole foods not one of us “has arrived”! I know I am constantly reading, researching, discerning, filtering, and learning. While I agree that it can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. My advice is just do the best you can with the information you have and move forward making small changes at a time. And always, always listen to your inner voice and do what you feel is right for you and your family!
~Real Food Girl: Unmodified
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