Are you familiar with the controversy surrounding GMO and Non-GMO products? With the rise in obesity, health problems, environmental damage, violation of farmers, and consumer rights, how we are growing our foods is a major concern–especially when more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia & Japan consider GMOs NOT to be safe.
Let’s first identify what GMOs are.
GMO is an acronym that stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. This refers to any food product that has been altered at the gene level. GMO foods are also frequently described as “genetically engineered”, “genetically altered” or “genetically manipulated.” GMO is defined as an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast insects, plants, fish, and mammals.
Truth is, this process is affecting our entire food supply. Since 1996, when the first large-scale commercial harvest of genetically engineered crops occurred in the United States, the percentage of genetically engineered crops grown in the United States has increased to 25%, including 35% of all corn, 55% of all soybeans, and nearly half of all the cotton.
The debate is whether GMOs are truly safe. According to the Non-GMO Project, unless you buy exclusively organic, you are more likely to buy & consume foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, especially if you purchase foods that contain soybeans, corn, or their derivatives soy oil, soy flour, soy protein isolates, corn oil, corn starch, corn flour, and high fructose corn syrup.
Health risks have not been clearly identified however, scientists have speculated that is it likely that these GMO foods will trigger allergic reactions in some people, create new toxins that produce disease, and lead to antibiotic resistance & resurgence of infectious disease. In addition, the impact on the environment & farmers may be even more devastating. Many believe it will be impossible to prevent genetically engineered crops from polluting organic farms as the wind and bees will naturally carry pollen from the genetically engineered crops to nearby organic farms. In addition, farmers and environmentalists fear that foods that are genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides, such as Roundup Ready soybeans, will result in heavier herbicide use, further polluting the groundwater, lakes and rivers.
If you are like us, just the thought of something being “genetically altered” is quite concerning. The fact that we do not know if it is harmful or not, is more reason to be your own advocate when it comes to what you are choosing to consume.
Here’s the fact. Everything has a process. When you interfere with that “normal” process, something suffers. The question to ask yourself is “Why, in over 60 other countries, do they have significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs?” “Why is the US Government relying on the research & studies of GMO products from the same corporations that created them & are profiting from their sale?”
At the end of the day, you must make the BetterChoice for you & your family. If you have doubt, we say rely on the side of caution & OPT-OUT of consuming GMO altered products. Take it a step further & begin growing your own foods. Do your homework & educate yourself. Through education, knowledge, & understanding, you will be empowered to make the BEST choice for your family.
How To Avoid GMO Products?
GMOs can be found in cereals, snack bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunch meats, and crackers. They are also hidden in commonly processed food ingredients such as Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
The simplest way to avoid these GMO products are to look for foods specifically labeled “NON-GMO” & “Certified Organic.” Shopping organic is also a great step towards ensuring you are consuming the healthiest foods possible.
QUICK TIP: Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
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Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.