What in the world is a GMO and why should I care?

There is a literal mountain of information out there, folks. Trust me on that; I’ve read a lot of it.

But if you are like me and just want someone to give you the skinny and what-you-need-to-know-now kind of thing, read on.

If you even want it simpler and have a reader’s digest version, I’ll start with that!

Now you have no reason to be misinformed any longer. In the next three minutes you will know enough that you will want to start paying attention to your food labels and make grocery purchases without blinders.

Reader’s Digest Version:

Scientists have learned how to splice the genes in seeds to inject them with pesticides and weed killer. The food you may have purchased and eaten 20 years ago probably had some chemicals sprayed during its growth, but now it has the chemicals built right into its DNA…AND has likely been chemically sprayed during growth (the chemicals injected only served to make the weeds and bugs resistant so farmers still had to spray).

Why would someone do this and why won’t someone stop it?

Well, it was a great concept idea back in the seventies and eighties when the seeds and crops from the GM seeds were in the testing and production stages. Combat world hunger by developing a seed that would withstand any bug, weed, or drought and feed the world.

Almost wants you to grab your neighbor’s hand and start swaying and singing, “We Are the World,” doesn’t it?

So like I said, it was a noble idea.

But it didn’t work.

In fact, it has been such a fiasco that cotton farmers in India, who were persuaded by GMO seed giant Monsanto to plant their GMO cotton as opposed to traditional seed, are committing suicide by the thousands. Why? Because their crops failed.

GMO crops are now banned in most of the EU, many countries in Africa (yes, even in those countries with starving populations), Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Brazil, and Paraguay.

There are many non-GMO legislative discussions all over the US right now. The problem is, Monsanto’s entire livelihood and existence depends on GMO seeds remaining in circulation so they are publishing studies that determine GMO are safe.

In the US, most of the corn, soy, canola, cotton, tomatoes and potatoes are  grown with GM seeds. Other produce to check carefully are papaya, rice, rapeseed, and peas.

Additionally, livestock who eat large amounts of corn products are riddled with these toxins and then processed in meat-packing plants delivered right to your grocer.

There is also a bit of brouhaha over linking dying bee colonies with GMO crops. Sidenote: Without cross pollination by bees there are no flowers or crops!

Once you understand this and you start reading your food labels more carefully, you’ll see how much of your diet is made up of dangerous chemicals.

The biggest offenders that you may not even realize and you probably have in your kitchen right now are cooking oils, food with soy products, and anything with corn or corn by-products…including high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

If I told you to throw out everything in your house that has (non-organic) corn, soy, or canola in it, you’d likely be left with bare cupboards.

I found a page on Vitacost’s website that highlights non-GMO food and gives a little summary about it as well. If you find something on the website you want to order, please use this link to get a $10 coupon. It will give you $10 off your first order and will give me a $10 credit for when I order my coconut oil! Thanks!

There are many more reasons why GMO’s should be avoided, but I wanted to start with the promised info so that you can be more aware of what you put in your grocery cart this week.

non-gmo3

If you want more details expounding on these basics, this article on organic consumers website is a great place to start.

Have any of you made any headway in making some swaps from overly processed food to whole foods or at least better foods?

I have already decided that I will never use standard cooking oil anymore. Olive oil is preferred, but there is a whole controversy about what companies actually sell real EVOO and not olive oil cut with canola or other cheap oils. So I haven’t figured all that out yet.

I’ve also decided that I am always going to use organic greens for my salads.

Baby steps, right?

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About Rachel

I'm a crocheting bookworm who happens to also be a coffee snob. One of many passions is to learn ways to make healthy food choices without breaking the grocery budget and sharing them with Central Virginia readers.
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