Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Getting off GMOs -- stop eating poison

I've been talking to my friends and neighbors about the dangers of genetically modified food and the fact that it continues to reproduce its genetically modified genes -- bacteria, viruses -- inside your body long after you cease to eat the gm food.  That it causes DNA changes in your body and leads to chronic disease, super bugs, immune suppression, allergies and possibly even cancer.

I am concerned about their responses.  Here's the myths I am hearing.

"GMOs are in everything.  Its impossible to avoid them, so why try."

"Its too expensive to eat GM - free food and I eat the best I can for the money that I have."

" I don't have time to change my eating style."

"I'm on the side of science.  The FDA says GMOs are "safe" and doesn't even require that Monsanto test its GM crops because they are no different from normal crops"

"If its for sale in the grocery store it must be safe to eat".

"People who are concerned about 'Frankenfoods' are just conspiracy theorists so don't listen to them."


I'm on the side of objective truth, testable truth.  Here's the truth that addresses these myths:

There are foods that have not been genetically modified, so if we prepare our food from scratch and avoid all food that has been genetically modified we can be sure that we are avoiding GMOs in our diet.  What we eat is the most important factor in good health and longevity.  Avoiding soy, corn, milk (if you live in the USA and don't have your own dairy animals), beet sugar, canola and cotton seed, as well as products derived from these, will be a good start to getting GMOs out of your life. Choosing certified organic products is a good start, but GMO contamination sometimes happens even with organic products. Preparing food from scratch may cost you time but it will save you money, in most cases.

90% of the products in your local grocery store in the prepared food section, contain GMOs.  Preparing your food from scratch may take a bit longer, but is more healthy for your family and will save you time in the long run, as well as money at the grocery store.  Read the label and if you see products like corn syrup, soya oil, canola oil, lecithin, vegetable protein, vegetable oil, sugar, cotton seed oil, whey -- the product most likely contains GMOs that aren't listed on the label.  High fructose corn syrup has been implicated in chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.  It takes as long to whip up a bottle of homemade salad dressing as it does to read the label on the bottle in the grocery store, put it in your cart and take it through the checkout.  And its about 1/10th the cost of store bought.

For those who think they don't have time to change their eating style, I ask if they have time to be sick?  Now is the time to change when you still have your health.  Many foods can be prepared while you do other things -- multi tasking.  And there is such joy in creative cooking and knowing that the food you feed your family is healthy.

Real science is on the side of not releasing GMOs into the environment.  Mosanto and GMOs are on the side of profit not science -- profit at the expense of human health and animal welfare.  Animal studies have shown that genetically modified soy, corn and cotton are detrimental to health, can cause death and sterility in animals.  Many of these studies have been supressed by Mosanto and the university administrations that are dependent on funding.  Mosanto is a key funder of youth science fairs, university grants and biotech programs.  When you see a study -- its important to check who funded it before you accept it as pure science.  The biotech companies are not required to test the safety of genetically modified food before it is released into the environment.  The Food safety guru in the USA -- appointed by the Obama administration is a former Mosanto VP, Michael Taylor.

Grocery stores sell food for profit not for good health.  Its important to learn to read the labels and make choices.  Is GMO free eating just for the rich?  Those who can buy food can still chose healthy food.  Those who are dependent on food banks and soup kitchens have fewer choices.  But as people become aware of the dangers of GM food they will begin to donate food to the food bank that is GMO free.  Even the poor can learn to cook for themselves, if given the opportunity.

Those of you who home school your children will recognize this last one.  That last one about conspiracy theorists is a logical fallacy -- it doesn't address the real issue but sends up a smoke screen to discredit an opponent.  It isn't allowed in a debate. 

Yesterday I talked to a friend who is a retired bee keeper.  He kind of laughed off the concerns until he heard that GM alfalfa is due to be released this Spring for planting in the US.  Then he got very serious.  Without alfalfa and clover (related to alfalfa and could be xpollinated by it) you can't make honey.  Releasing GM alfalfa would affect not only livestock and wild animals that graze the alfalfa fields but also the honey that is produced in North America.

Once a GM crop is released into the environment it is impossible to restrain those genes.  Wild deer, big horn sheep, moose, elk all graze in farm fields planted to forage crops.  Are we prepared to see a drop in wild life, similiar to the bee colony collapse we are witnessing among bees that graze the gm crops now?  And what about the large predators -- cougar, bear, wolf that feed on these wild animals? 

Maybe you need to be a farmer to see the connection between GM crops and health.  But if you care about the earth, wild life, global warming, and human health you need to be concerned about the plague of genetically modified crops being released into the environment.  And you need to be concerned for the sake of your own health and the health of your family and the health of your neighbors and friends.  Please take the time to do the research, if you are skeptical. 

We are still trying to ensure that the protein supplements that our livestock eat are GM free.  Our goats and sheep are fed whole oats and whole wheat and do very well on their GM free diet.  But we can't find a chicken food that doesn't contain soy or corn.  If you have a recipe for chicken feed that is GM free let me know.

Come back tomorrow for a recipe for GM free crackers.  My friend Evelyn said she bought crackers in grocery store and found hydrogenated oils and GM ingredients, but her homemade crackers aren't very good.  My recipe is fail safe and worth the 20 minutes of prep time -- less time than it takes to drive to the grocery store and stand in line at the check out. 

Have a great day, friends.

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