Tag Archives: what is a gmo

Trying to pack healthy lunches- may want to leave this out of the lunchbox

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Unless that apple may eventually lead to more doctor visits.  Since apples already make the “Dirty Dozen” list for pesticide use, buying organic apples is important. But, now healthier eating just got a little trickier.

http://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/apples-pears/why-arctic-apples-were-approved-by-usda/Arctic Granny Apples conjure a pure and delicious image.  And while these apples may be tasty, they might also be dangerous.

We all know that a sliced apple will eventually turn brown when exposed to air.  Apparently, adding a little lemon juice, sealing them in an air-tight container for lunch boxes, or just eating them the way nature intended seems like too much work. So, scientists have found a way to end this browning nuisance…voila…the Artic Granny Apple.

A Genetically Modified (GMO) apple.

There is currently huge controversy regarding GMO foods.  Much of the debate focuses on mandating labeling. As of now, companies are not required (in the United States) to disclose GMO ingredients on their packaging.

http://blog.mass.gov/publichealth/ask-mass-wic/goodbye-berries-hello-apples/So, while you think you’re making a healthy choice for yourself and your family, there really is no certainty. Until the effects manifest in a decade or so.

If you’re trying to avoid GMO foods, you’re going to have to trust your instinct when it comes to apples. If it’s marketed as “non-browning,” odds are good that it’s “non-natural” too.

arctic apple photo credit
child biting apple photo credit

What the GMO: what are they and should you even care

Everywhere we turn there’s new information about GMO’s.  Some say avoid them like the plague, others say they’re perfectly safe.  Who are we supposed to believe?  And what’s a GMO anyway?

A GMO is a genetically modified organism. Essentially, scientists are able to extract specific genes from one organism to alter the genes of another organism. This is not the same as hybrid or cross-pollinating.  Basically, they are engineering a new organism (crop/plant) that could never naturally appear in nature.

Corn, soy, and sugar beets (used in many “natural” beverages & products) are the most commonly genetically modified crops.

Why? Trying to create a pest-resistant crop is high on the list of reasons.  Monsanto (also brought us Agent Orange, Dioxin, Saccharin, and Glyphosate) is largely behind research, funding, and creating our GMO’s. “Nutrient enrichment” is another theory behind genetically modifying organisms.

gmo bananaEven Real Simple Magazine seems excited to announce that soon we may be able to enjoy “bananas that have been genetically modified to be rich in beta-carotene.”

More beta-carotene, helping malnourished kids, what could be wrong with that?

Well, there’s two sides.  Many scientists (and Monsanto) claim that GMO’s are safe and helping to enrich the health and lives of millions around the world.

The other side, however, believe that GMO’s are directly related to food allergies, antibiotic resistance, disease, toxic to bees & butterflies (imperative for natural pollination), as well as lasting environmental harm.

The only thing we know for sure is we don’t know.

What if GMO’s help eradicate world hunger?
What if GMO’s are the cause of autism, nut allergies, and cancer?

Since the inception of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the US has largely run with a safe until proven hazardous ideology.  That seems to be the guiding principle behind GMO’s as well.

We can’t prove that they’re causing disease & ecological nightmares twenty-five years from now, so they must be safe.  Right? Twenty-six other countries disagree and have banned GMO usage.

A big part of the debate today focuses on labeling.  Should companies be required to specify which ingredients have been genetically modified?

How do you know if you’re eating something with genetically modified ingredients? Considering 80-90% of all American processed foods contain GMOs, odds are good that you’re ingesting them.

superbroccoli2Here’s my question.  If GMO’s are not only safe, but beneficial to our health…why would companies spend millions to avoid required labeling?

If you believe your genetically engineered pest-resistant, freeze-resistant, immunity- boosting, ultra-antioxidant, super food is truly superior wouldn’t you want “Yes, I’m GMO” proudly labeled?  Why hide it?

If you are interested in limiting your consumption of GMO’s, you do have some help.

The Non-GMO Project is the leading the pack in labeling.  They are currently the only third-party verification (non-profit) organization in North America.

Lhttps://twopeasandawad.wordpress.com/what-are-gmos/ook for their seal on one of their verified 27,000 products. You can also follow their ever-growing list of verified restaurants, products, and retailers.

Likewise, a product with a USDA Organic seal (non-gmo seal does not certify organic ingredients) also indicated non-genetically modified.

Or, visit your local farmer’s market.  Ask the farmers if they use GMO seeds, which pesticides they use, and their thoughts on growing the healthiest crops.

 

non-gmo/organic seal photo credit