Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Say No To GMO's...Part One

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, it has been a busy week already and it is only Tuesday! I really want to talk about GMO’s, genetically modified organisms, because it is a term that is discussed every single day and some may have heard about GMO’s but maybe you’re unsure what the term really means or what you should watch out for.

To start, genetically modified organisms are organisms (or micro-organisms) such as bacteria, yeast, insects, plants, fish and mammals whose genetic makeup has been altered using engineering techniques. The techniques used include inserting, deleting, or mutating the genes of the organism in order to alter or change the species entirely.  For example, DNA from one organism can be extracted and merged with the DNA of a different organism to create an entirely new species. This is widely performed in medical research and experimentation, production of pharmaceutical drugs, and agricultural production.  

Agricultural products are categorized into two groups: (A) those that are high-risk of being GMO because they are in commercial production and (B) organisms that have a supervised risk because they may have come in contact or contaminated with genetically modified relatives. High-risk crops include: corn, papaya, soy, sugar beets, zucchini, summer squash, canola, and alfalfa. Supervised or monitored-risk crops include: flax, wheat, rice, chard, acorn squash, turnip, bok choy, and table beets. There are several ingredients that are derived from GMO risk crops including but not limited to: Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum. So what does this mean?

GMO’s are engineered to be herbicide tolerant, designed to survive applications of weed killer such as roundup. For instance “between the years of 1996 to 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMO crops” (responsible technology.org). A larger amount applied not only harms the environment but the crops also have a higher residue of herbicides, in which some have been linked to hormone issues, infertility, birth defects and even cancer. Some human studies have shown that GMO’s actually leave a residue in the body, possibly causing health problems. Gross right? Well some animal studies have shown that there is organ damage, immune system disorders and accelerated aging related to GMO food consumption. So what do you do?

Avoid GMO foods! There are several ways to keep your diet GMO free including: buying organic foods because the USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMO’s and plus organic foods have little to no pesticides and herbicides. Look for the non-GMO seal, which is tough to find because there is no requirement to label GMO foods. Most companies actually will not tell people what is really in their foods! Say no to “at-risk” ingredients and additives such as soybeans, canola, cottonseed, corn and sugar from sugar beets, which are the highest risk GMO’s.

When I first started researching GMO’s, I got really overwhelmed! But … Do not fear I am here to help you. There is a lot of information out there and I will continue adding to this post to keep you informed and provide you with ways to avoid GMOs.

My parents just spent some time in Hawaii and they brought back a ton of macadamia nuts! They are sooo sooo good but definitely need to keep them in check when eating them! Lol So this recipe is GMO free and Hawaii inspired J

Take care of you!


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