Munchin’ on Mutation:

I have long said: It is the pride and foolishness of man to think he can ‘improve upon’ the things of God.  Such a line of thinking can’t help but to produce great consequences!  We’ve talk a lot more these days about the presence of pesticides and herbicides in our foods and how we should be mindful to avoid putting known carcinogens and neurotoxins in our bodies (especially where though small amounts are generally considered “safe,” we have to be cautious of the potential and realities of toxic accumulations that lead to long-term health effects.

Oh me, oh my!  You hardly want to get this Momma going on this one but we’re going here because we deserve to know what we’re feeding our families.  Because our kids – your kids – are gifts, not guinea pigs!

For those unaware, GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism.”  Monsanto and others would like to have you think this process is like the hybridization that farmers have used for ages to produce stronger, better crops or that they’re doing their part to fight world hunger by making crops produce higher yields.  This is just one big ole fatty-bo-batty lie!  

Hybridization involves cross-breeding plants (generally of the same kind, such as merging a large-tomato bearing plant with one that may have smaller fruits but greater disease resistance via pollination or by grafting (a method of splicing plants together).

With genetic modification, the actual DNA of the plant is altered to produce their intended result. These companies gain support by misleading consumers to believe that their motives are good; claiming that they can help feed more by producing plants that give higher yields, and by attempting to modify the plant to cause it to produce things like more vitamin A or Iron to help malnourished children.  The problem is, this has not been found effective and those things are really not at the top of their priority list.  In fact, even the countries, like China, that they’ve been claiming to attempt to help have been rejecting GMO seeds, such as for corn and rice, and even destroying entire crops in response to scientists findings and public outcry.

What they have been successful at is in mutating these plants for is in increasing their plants’ herbicide resistance (they can spray your food with more Roundup and not kill it), pest/disease resistance (plants emit toxins that even the bugs are smart enough not to eat), pesticide resistance (again, they can spray your food with more) and infertility (so farmers can’t use last year’s seeds; they have to buy more every year). Just awesome!

Frankenweeds

plant flower pink wildflower

Oh, but wait… don’t miss out on this one! The application of Roundup, and more Roundup has resulted in mutant weeds that are also resistant to the RoundUp.  What’s this mean for us?  Back to the lab those seeds go to also be modified to be resistant to other pesticides, such as 2,4-D and Dicamba, in addition to the RoundUp resistant genes.  So, now farmers can spray your family’s food with extra RoundUp, 2,4-D, and Dicamba PLUS the pesticides and synthetic fertilizers!  …can’t forget those!

Freaky Frankenfoods!

What’s even more freakish is that we’re not even talking about cross-breeding the genetics of plants to plants.  We’re talking about things like crossing the genes of, say, a fish that lives in cold water, with a strawberry plant to make its fruit more resistant to frost damage.  Our bodies are constantly creating new genetic material, using the foods we consume.  The components of the foods we eat tell our bodies to build & repair themselves or to destroy.  In light of this, how can the concept of genetic modification of our food or anything else in creation seem like a safe or reasonable practice?

These crops are a hazard to human health and banned in many countries.  It is also a hazard to our environment and greatly threatens our food supply as the pollen and seeds make their way into nearby crops and home gardens.  They further cause the formation of “superweeds” and “superbugs” as eco-life adapts to survive amidst the strains caused by these altered plants and chemicals.  GMO’s are not safe to eat.

Don’t think they’re just playing with produce in the lab.  Genetic modification is used on a much broader range of foods, my friend!  …like the chickens that have been “gifted” with the ability to produce their own pesticides or the Salmon bred to bulk up faster than a normal growth rate for the fish.  Now that just sounds fantastic!  Doesn’t it?

Irradiation

As for irradiation (“cold pasteurization” or “irradiation pasteurization.”), this practice is used in an effort to kill off any germs, bacteria, microbes or anything else that might encourage food to spoil more quickly or that could be spread throughout the population.  Sounds promising, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not such a sweet deal as it may sound.  This has long been permitted in the United States and is commonly practiced on an array of foods and is especially used on animal products.  Still, it is also used for everything from grains to fruits to spices (which,  as may surprise you. show one of the highest radiation doses according to the FDA).

In Dr. Don Colbert’s Eat This and Live, it is said that food is zapped with radiation equivalent to 10 to 70 million chest x-rays in order to kill microorganisms.  This irradiation destroys nutrients, such as up to 95% of the Vitamin A in chicken, 86% of the vitamin B in oats and 70% of the vitamin C in fruit juices.  It also reduces essential fatty acids, amino acids, friendly bacteria and enzymes in food.  Be sure to watch and avoid food touting the Radura symbol, as shown below.

Safest bet?  Get out in the garden and grow more of your own!

Eat Clean!

Be especially mindful and buy only organic soy and corn (the produce and the products that contain them) as these are the two most commonly GMO crops in our country but don’t think you’re off scott-free by avoiding these two.  These foods are not required to be labeled in most states.  The only labeling that presently helps consumers wishing to avoid GMO’s are for the food to be certified organic or Non-GMO project certified, seals typically, presently found on packaging as seen below.

                       

While I appreciate science and exploration, I do believe there should be boundaries.  By all means, find ways to make more eco-friendly fuel-efficient cars.  Automate my house and give me a machine that will do all my laundry (yeah, it’s never been my favorite chore).  But, tinkering with something so crucial as our food supply is just not okay.  I don’t really care that they experiment in labs to test the bounds of science but can we agree that that’s where it should stop rather than circulating it into the global food supply with so little regard for consequences.

What can you do about it?

woman holding card while operating silver laptop

Realize that your dollar is your vote.  As consumers avoid these products and increase their demand of organic and truly natural foods, many farmers and manufacturers, by necessity, will start to shift their business and growing practices to meet those demands.  While there are still a number of companies using these GMO foods to produced processed goods on store shelves (which you really shouldn’t be eating anyway), you can keep casting your bid in favor on Non-GMO foods and consequently make waves in every aisle of the grocery store.

So, how about it?  What vote do you cast in favor of a safer food supply for your family and the generations to come?

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