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GMOs 101 – Oh my!
I believe that GMOs are the one of the most critical elements to the decline in our health as a nation. Therefore, I’m NOT going to assume that my readers know what a GMO is and I’m going to give you a quick overview on the key points as they relate to our food supply. Books have been written about this subject so I want to keep it simple and give you the most important stuff you need to know.
GMOs and the chemicals they are sprayed with are a major contributor to autoimmune disease. They help to create the gut dysbiosis that is a major contribution to all autoimmune conditions. Understanding what and where they are is key to you being able to remove them from your day to day consumption so that your body can begin to heal.
Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) occur when you introduce the DNA of something completely different into an organic plant or seed. We’re NOT talking about crossing a plum tomato with a cherry tomato we’re talking about jamming fish genes into a potato. Breeding/engineering (crossing a yellow tomato with a cherry tomato) and genetically modifying are two entirely different things.
There are currently two types of GMOs that are prevalent in our food supply.
HERBICIDE GMO (weed killers) – To develop this type of GMO, bio-engineering scientists take a seed (corn, soy, papaya, cotton) and INJECT that seed with the DNA of a non-similar species via a specially designed laboratory “gun.” In the case of Monsanto, they own the patent to a chemical called glyphosate and it’s registered with the patent office as an antibiotic.
An antibiotic, yes, you read that correctly.
Glyphosate is the MAIN component in a familiar garden chemical called Round Up.
They take the DNA of Round Up and load it into a lab gun and inject it into seeds. They test, they grow, they improve and ultimately they end up with a “Round Up resistant” seed. The seeds are cultivated and as per usual, weeds eventually start to grow. Next step is to come along and spray Round Up on EVERYTHING. The plant lives but everything else around it dies. That’s the basic theory, anyway. It hasn’t quite played out that well in practice, but that’s another blog post for another day. What’s important for you to understand here is the process.
I hate to re-iterate here but just so you are clear, they are injecting the DNA of Round Up into a VAST majority of the foods on our supermarket shelves. They are also spraying more Round Up on top of the same food crops. If you are eating conventional foods (NON-organic) you are eating a TON of Round Up. Nowhere on the food labels does it tell you that this is an ingredient in what you are consuming.
Ok, point made.
PESTICIDE GMO (bug killers) – This is not done with a gun but involves piercing a cell and introducing a bacterium called Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) into the seed. This bacterium produces a protein that is toxic to insects. When the bugs consume the Bt, it is converted into a toxic form which then destroys the gut of the insect and it dies.
This list shows our most popular GMO crops. Corn has 70+ derivatives used in the manufacture of our modern foods (ascorbic acid, dextros, malto dextrin, corn meal, corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup, citric acid, etc). Soy has over 100 (MSG, textured vegetable protein,monodiglyceride, tocopherols, lecithin). If you are eating any processed foods that aren’t organic and GMO free, you are consuming quite a bit of GMOs.
Here’s where it gets scary and most folks don’t really want to know the details. We (the US government) have allowed these large agri-businesses that produce these chemicals and then patent the technology, to self-police themselves. Monsanto, Dow, Sygenta, BASF and Bayer are the biggest of the lot.
That means, the USDA and the FDA have turned their head the other way when it comes to understanding whether these chemicals are safe for human consumption. We’ve allowed the manufactures to TELL us they are okay, and “we” just believed what they told us. Freaking NUTS!
There are a buttload of reasons that this has not played out well. Money is a huge factor. These large companies FUND a lot of agricultural programs at universities worldwide that would typically do studies on subject matter such as this, but no one wants to bite the hand that feeds them.
In the late 1990’s GMOs were introduced wholesale into our food supply. Now, a little less than 20 years has passed since their introduction and the technology as well as the profits have gone through the roof.
You know what has also gone through the roof in the last 20 years?
The number of people who are sick with digestive abnormalities we hardly ever heard of before the introduction of GMOs into our food supply. Things like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, GERD, colitis, celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Then there are a variety of auto-immune disease cropping up in large numbers as well. These are greatly affected by the health of our gut (intestinal flora). Diseases like Hashimoto disease (which I have), Grave’s disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, scleroderma and endometriosis just to name a few.
You know what kills your gut flora? Antibiotics.
What I hoped to accomplish in this blog post, GMOs 101, is to provide you with a basic understanding of the general science behind GMOs and why eating them it is so questionable. I am not a scientist (nor do I play one on television) and I surely don’t have all the answers. BUT… I have immersed myself in education surrounding all of these issues for close to a decade now and what the “non-traditional” community is discovering is that there is a HUGE correlation between how we are manufacturing our food and our overall health. Improving your autoimmune disease requires you eliminate these gut killers from your diet.
There are also many political reasons why these foods are still in our food supply without our consent or knowledge and slowly but surely awareness is broadening. Right-to-know initiatives are growing from state to state and we ( I am one who promotes the labeling of GMOs in our food) want to know where GMOs are in our foods so that WE can make the decision as to whether or not we want to consume them. While most of us would love to see GMOs disappear, the right-to-know initiatives are not asking them to stop growing GMO foods, but to label where they are so that we can make decisions about whether or not we want to consume the foods that contain them. As it is now, they are there without us knowing.
GMOs make us part of the largest science experiment ever perpetuated on humans. Truth! Every last one of us.GMOs make us part of the largest science experiment ever perpetuated on humans. Truth! Every last one of us. Click To Tweet
Currently there is one independent company that supports our right to know called the Non-GMO Project and they accept food samples from manufacturers nationwide for testing. If your food comes up clean and clear of GMOs you are allowed to put their label on your packaging. I don’t buy any food unless their label is on it. If you go to the supermarket, you will see for yourself, that sadly there are VERY few food items with this label, but awareness is expanding.
They also have a phone app.
Here’s what the USDA says about their ORGANIC label and GMOs.
“The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.
Your best bet to avoid GMOs is to buy food with the USDA Organic label and the Non-GMO label to insure the best quality available.
Lastly, you are what you eat, eats. The same holds true with animals. That means that the animals you are consuming are likely to also be eating GMO laden grains. Don’t let the new signs cropping up in meat departments nationwide fool you. They say, “vegetarian fed“. Grrrrrrr. They make me freaking insane. Like the animals are all sitting around a table eating vegetarian foods and having a kumbaya moment with Hare Krishnas. Not! What it means is they are consuming mostly GMO laden grains as the bulk of their diet. Don’t let that label fool you. It means the animals are eating GMO grains. Nothing more.
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I HIGHLY recommend this overview article from Dr. Don Huber, Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University (35 years). He is the most credible source of information about GMOs who isn’t in the pocket of the large argri-businesses producers. You can read anything he has written with confidence.
Also Jeffrey Smith is the brain behind the film, “Genetic Roulette.” I highly recommend viewing this film, ESPECIALLY if you have medical problems that no one can seem to diagnose correctly. The trailer is only 2 1/2 minutes. Check it out.
There is also one other GREAT documentary film called, “King Corn” Fascinating and highly recommended. Corn (genetically modified corn) is EVERYWHERE. This movie tells you all about it.