Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine, folks! My fridge is bursting with summer fruit right now and I am feeling the abundance of the season.
This weekend, I attending a screening of a very important movie that I hope you all will see when it hits theatres this fall: GMO OMG.
The movie is about a father, Jeremy Seifert, and his quest to learn more about genetically modified (or genetically engineered – it means the same thing) foods in our food supply.
For many of us, GMO foods are not really on the radar. They seem too distant or too abstract to really matter to us. We may be trying to eat well or purchase more local or organic foods but we probably don’t think about the GMO content of our food when we are doing our grocery shopping. This needs to change.
5 Things YOU Need to Know About GMO Food
- GMOs are everywhere. It is estimated that 80% of processed foods in North America contain some GMO content. In 2010, 93% of American soy, 93% of American cotton, 86% of American corn and 90% of American canola were GMO crops. Canadian numbers are expected to be similar. We are talking basic foods here – corn flakes, tortilla chips, ice cream, pasta sauces.
Genetic modification/genetic engineering is NOT a natural form of plant breeding. GE/GMO involves inserting DNA from one species into another, using a very complex laboratory process (ever seen a gene gun?). This isn’t simply splicing a plum branch on an apple tree to see what happens.
Genetic engineering does not confer any nutritional benefits to the eater and may, in fact, be of detriment. GMO/GE foods are created to either confer tolerance to an herbicide (like Roundup) or to produce a pesticide itself (like BT Corn). Current research has shown altered vitamin levels and fatty acids in GMO canola and fewer protective isoflavones in soy.
The potential for health problems is very real…and yet no one is doing long-term studies in humans to be sure.
Here are just a few of the health problems linked to GMO/GE foods in the animal studies:
- impaired growth
- fertility issues
- organ toxicity (liver/kidney)
- pre-cancerous cell changes
- inflammatory immune reactions
- delayed hypersensitivity reactions and novel allergens
- damage to the gastrointestinal tract
- transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to the bacteria living in your digestive tract
- The only way to avoid GMO/GE foods is to buy single ingredient foods without GMO/GE content (like kidney beans or broccoli) or to buy meat, dairy and packaged foods that are either certified organic or NON-GMO Project Verified. ALL certified organic foods are non-GMO but some manufacturers choose to use non-organic, non-GMO ingredients.
You can learn more about the research on GMO foods by reading this report.
If you are passionate about the anti-GMO cause, one way you can help is by donating funds to the GMO OMG movie to help get it into as many theatres as possible this fall. People need to see the very real, human side of this issue to help them understand it better. You can donate at the movie’s website or, Nature’s Path is mobilizing its Facebook army to help raise $150,000 for the cause. Skip your usual mocha today and donate the $4.50 instead!
What are your thoughts about GMOs in our food supply?