Your Happiness, Health and Longevity: Good Nutrition and Wellbeing Means Avoiding GMOs

Is one of these harmful to your health?

Protect Your Health and The Health of Your Loved Ones by Avoiding GMOs!

In recent years, the nature of our food supply has come into sharper focus: human rights, organics, sustainability, and animal cruelty are all issues at the forefront. Biotechnology – specifically Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – are no exception to the hot debate. Since one of the goals of this blog is to promote health, vitality and awareness, I think it’s worthwhile to take a closer look.

What are GMOs?
GMOs are edible crop plants designed in a laboratory to add or improve traits such as herbicide/pesticide resistance, increased crop yield, or superior nutritional content (largely for the benefit of malnourished populations).

Why are some people concerned about GMOs?
Scientists have discovered a possible connection between GMOs and symptoms ranging from¬† allergies, irregular cell growth, compromised immune systems, antibiotic resistance, misshapen or damaged organs, and fertility issues. In 2001 the U.S. Center for Disease Control stated that food causes twice the number of illnesses than it did seven years earlier. The truth is that most tests cannot detect the differences between GMO and non-GMO crops at the DNA level, and few studies have been conducted to assess their impact. It’s this very uncertainty and lack of information about long-term effects of GMOs that tends to cause worry.

Why aren’t GMO foods labeled as such?
In the United States, the FDA claims that GMO foods are virtually identical to non-GM foods, and therefore should not be forced to adopt stricter labeling. European governments have a different – and more skeptical policy – surrounding GMOs. In order to institute a domestic GMO labeling policy, major legislative changes need to take place within our government. Currently we have one third-party agency that oversees GMO labeling and consumer education: the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization.

How can I avoid GMO foods?
There are eight major GMO food crops consisting of Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Hawaiian Papaya, Sugar Beets, Soybeans, and some Zucchini and Yellow Squash. I received a reputable health newsletter recently that warned, “Never eat non-organic corn, canola oil or soy products!”

When shopping for sugar, look for organic products labeled “pure cane sugar.” Otherwise they most likely will contain GM sugar beets. For dairy products, you can avoid GMOs by scanning for labels stating: No rBGH, rBST, or artificial hormones. Keep in mind that corn, for instance, is in lots of foods such as corn chips, tortillas, muffins, corn syrup, etc.

* Read the little sticker labels on fruits. You will see a series of numbers…

5 digits, starting with a 9 = Organic;  4 or 5 digits, often starting with 4 = Conventional; digits starting with an 8 = GMO: Run!

How can I learn more?
If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, food journalist and activist Jeffrey Smith has written a comprehensive and informative book titled Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating. Smith provides a useful primer, delving into the difficult question of whether GMO foods are safe, and presenting case studies that highlight some of the unexpected impacts.

What are your thoughts on GMO foods? Please comment below.Whatever your position, here’s to staying safe, healthy and – above all – informed.

With joy, Connie

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roblisameehan/4466650593/

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