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No Mo’ GMOs!

March 27, 2011

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are organisms made by genetic engineering – a scientific process that essentially mixes the DNA of different species, resulting in “combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature” (source: Non GMO Project).

Why are GMOs used? Basically, it’s all about money! The food industry can produce copious amounts of food more quickly, and easily; and that saves them money. GMOs are found in the food we eat, and the plants and animals that provide our food and other products (e.g. corn, cotton, soy, and canola).

***The Non GMO project estimates that GMOs are now present in more than 80% of packaged products in the average grocery store!***

Are GMOs safe? Well, let’s see…food containing GMOs are not what we think they are. The producers may list the ingredients on the box, or maybe you’re buying a single ingredient item (such as an ear of corn), but there are unnatural, chemical additives to those ingredients. Some of us are allergic to these additives, yet we have no idea that they are present in our food. GMOs have only been around since the mid-90s, and they were approved by our FDA after basically no testing. The conversation with the FDA went something like this:

GMO Developer:  We have a new GE production technology. Will you allow us to use it to feed the American population?

FDA: Is it safe?

GMO Developer: Sure it’s safe. Take our word for it.

FDA: Approved. You’re free to bombard the American food market with GMOs. Oh, and we won’t even make you tell folks what you’ve done to their food!

How does the rest of the world view GMOs? Pretty much every other developed country has banned, or restricted the production of GMOs because they have not been proven to be safe. I have to say that as an American, I am truly envious of the countries whose governments actually value product safety and healthy citizens. We are truly lacking in that department, and it’s because big business owns our government (but that’s a rant for another day).

Maya eats her corn.

What I find most alarming is that we are moving farther and farther away from the simple life. We are detached from our food, and from each other. Growing food & animals is supposed to be a natural process, and we have made it an industry. I don’t want my family eating factory food, and I’m willing to fight for a healthier food system!

To learn more about GMOs visit: Non GMO Project

To learn more about how to avoid GMO food: See here

To learn more about the current food system (i.e. what the food goes through before you buy it) please watch Food, Inc. It’s a documentary that will change your life. I promise!

I also recommend these films:

Food Fight – This amazing film is about the history of our food system

King Corn

Food Matters – This one is on my request list at the library, but I haven’t actually seen it yet.

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