Chris and I moved back to Seattle 4 weeks ago, after spending a year in Europe. Within 4 days of being home I noticed uncomfortable cystic bumps forming along my jaw line. I relayed this nuisance to my friend, Wendee, lamenting that after a year of eating baguettes and chèvre it seems odd that I’m suddenly having an allergic reaction now. She looked at me and said in a matter-of-fact tone, “Liz, your body is adjusting to the GMOs again”. I thought about it for a moment and realized that she may have a point. After all, the countries where we traveled did have stringent laws on GMO products and we did shop mostly in farmer’s markets. So, I was compelled to dig into the facts and share them with you.
What are GMOs: Genetically Modified Organisms are organisms that have been altered by techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found. Hence, they are no longer natural products!
Where are they found: Basically in all US non-organics crops (wheat, corn, soy..etc). 80% of the food we consume in the US contain GMOs, making it nearly impossible to avoid. Unless the ice cream says ‘organic’ on the label it most likely contains GMOs as the cows that produced the milk probably ate the contaminated grains.
Why do we have them: GMOs make seeds resistant to pesticides and herbicides and help the plants survive harsh weather conditions in order to produce more food to feed our ever growing population. And yes, we are eating these pesticides since they are on the plants…
Are they bad for you?: According to the FDA GMO products are regulated by them and deemed ‘safe’ after producers go through their consultation process. Monsanto has done testing on how they affect one’s health and they refuse to share any conclusive evidence. If they had good news don’t you think they would be sharing it?
What’s the problem?
Something seems suspicious about the information we are receiving from our ‘trusted sources’, as it does seem peculiar that most European countries require all products with GMOs to be labeled and, generally, discourage the use of them by farmers. Then, you sorta have to wonder when a country like devastated Haiti burns the seeds that Monsanto gave them after the earthquake; deeming them “poisonous”. Note, they received the same seeds we plant in the US. These experienced Haitian farmers knew immediately that there was something so unnatural about these seeds that they chose to starve longer than plant them. Yet, we ignore these obvious signs assuming that our government is choosing our health over being manipulated by money hungry companies like Monsanto. It was eye opening when Washington State, who I consider one of the more health-conscious states, was so uninformed on this matter that we didn’t approve the law requiring labeling of all GMO products. This tells me that the Monsantos of the world are winning this war (for now).
Below I’ve listed a few good resources if your curiosity is sparked to learn more about GMOs. I’ve been buying and eating organic for 2 weeks now and I’m happy to report my skin has returned to its smooth European state again (though my wallet is much lighter). If you don’t have time to learn more than I would encourage you to use your intuition. Happy organic eating!
Movie- Food, Inc
Movie- OMG GMO
Ted Talks- Chew on This (on Netflix)