In January, I attended a workshop called "Justice & Junk Food" at the Justice Conference. Since then, I've started scouring ingredient labels and have become rather jaded towards the food industry. I am also much more aware of what I choose to put inside my body. I learned about the "Dirty Dozen" (which fruits and vegetables to buy organic because they contain the most pesticides), "chemical soup" (beware of any pre-packaged, shrink-wrapped, processed foods that contain more than 5 ingredients, and if they do, make sure you can pronounce all the ingredients), and genetically-modified foods known as GMOs.
Yesterday I watched a fantastic documentary on YouTube called "Genetic Roullete: The Gamble of our Lives."
GMOs are genetically modified organisms that have been created for animal and human consumption using molecular biology techniques. Plants have been modified so they will resist herbicides and produce more desirable attributes, such as drought-resistance and tolerance toward pests, disease, and cold weather.
There is a growing concern, however, that GMOs may be inducing many serious health concerns including food allergies, cancer, infertility, heart disease, etc. It should also be noted that countries like Japan, Brazil and parts of Europe have already established rigid regulations on the distribution and labeling of GMO foods and the United States Food and Drug Administration is not following suit. Currently, there are no regulations in the US mandating that genetically modified foods be labeled. (I can check the ingredients list and often find "genetically modified corn starch" listed - crackers, tortillas, you name it! There is no indication anywhere on the package, although some companies are choosing labeling there items as non-GMO.)
Genetically modified crops have been used in food (from cereal to fish to fruit to corn) in the United States since 1996. Ironically, this is also when the aforementioned health complications rose drastically.
There is plenty of confusion regarding GMOs. Some people are for it, others are against it. While research may still be inconclusive, I feel uncomfortable putting things in my body that are not in their original form. Am I going to stop eating ice cream and drinking sweet coffee? Well, no. But in the tension I'm currently facing, I will advocate for better food labeling and strive to avoid genetically engineered products where I can. I can do my part by reading labels and making good choices most of the time.
Please watch this documentary. It's an hour and 20 minutes long and worth every minute. Patients have been cured of food allergies and other ailments and diseases by eating a prescribed non-gmo diet. Even pets can tell the difference in taste between gmo & non-gmo foods.
Perhaps eating clean really does make a difference.
- Non GMO Project (there is even an iphone app to help you purchase food wisely)
- Harvest of Fear (PBS Special)
- Genetically Engineered Food
- Just Label It: We have a right to know (sign a petition to tell the FDA we have a right to know what's in our food)