I want to share with you eleven ways to easily consume fewer GMOs that are found in most packaged foods and make up a large portion of our food supply.
Consumers once easily trusted local farmers and nurseries to sell the best plants and seeds, but the world is a different place since I began gardening as a child. We never questioned if what we bought were GMOs that could harm our families. Now, more than ever, I see the importance of staying informed. Reading labels and articles related to the subject and above all saying NO to GMOs.
The unforeseen health issues related to GMOs became a runaway train in 1980. The United States Supreme court passed a law allowing Bio-Tech companies to hold “SEED” patents and, as a result, genetically engineering seeds became fair game and chemically altering seeds in laboratories commonplace. Corporations gained control and now monopolize the production and progeny of Genetically Modified seeds. As we’ve since discovered, whoever controls seeds and water, controls life.
I don’t think that scientists fully know the long term effects of these chemicals or GM food on the environment or us. Or perhaps they do know but are not sharing. More importantly WE consumers don’t know.
GMOs impact Wildlife and Humanity
The biotech corporations – Bayer/Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, and DuPont, monopolize the production of seeds. These corporations currently supply 70% if not more of the world with its GMO seeds. This all under the auspices that the future of feeding the world depends on “Producing more, Conserving more, Improving farmers lives.”
We see this time and again in underdeveloped countries and, yes, even here in the United States. Bayer/Monsanto has planted seeds on over 252 million acres worldwide. This behemoth company has muscled control over 95% of the cotton production in India. They exploit farmers that must solely buy and sow their seeds as well as use chemicals directly from Monsanto, all at an alarming cost.
This expensive practice excludes small farmers from staying competitive in the market and causes massive debt. High rates of suicide in India are linked to this crushing debt. Take a few minutes to read The Seeds Of Suicide: How Monsanto Destroys Farming – Dr. Vandana Shiva.
GMOs in America
The American heartland, no longer an American dream for the small family farmer, is now a lab for international biotech companies. Most of these companies are subsidized with taxpayers money to supply the “food of the future.”
Bayer/Monsanto GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds are used to grow an abundance of GM crops. Crops like soybeans, corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, and wheat. GMOs are found in most packaged foods and make up a large portion of our food supply.
How GMO seeds work together with Roundup
It’s important to comprehend how seed treatments work if we are to more fully understand how it impacts our health. Bayer/Monsanto manufactures glyphosate, a pesticide applied directly to seeds before planting. This pesticide becomes “expressed” in the foliage by being absorbed by the plant’s vascular system. The chemical process of “protecting” the plant from predators, such as insects, impacts us when we eat these plants.
Glyphosate treated seeds eventually become resistant to the “Roundup” herbicide. Farmers use Roundup to eliminate weeds in fields because Roundup reduces the tilling time and the back-breaking work associated with weeding. Think about the fact that farm fields, gardens, parks, schools, and playgrounds are all likely contaminated with Roundup.
The problem of using these dangerous chemicals include:
- Declining populations of pollinator wildlife such as insects, butterflies, and birds.
- Rivers and streams become contaminated with chemical runoff.
- Soil erosion occurs.
- Consumers who use these herbicides become increasingly ill and diagnosed with illnesses such as cancer.
Now, I’m no fool, and I believe farmers aren’t either. If a big government subsidy backed company reaches out to help farmers make a profit from growing a high demand crop with less effort and a more significant benefit, I might take a bite too.
11 Ways to consume fewer GMOs
– Shop your local farmer’s market.
Make it a priority each week to shop your local farmers market and support local farmers who DO NOT use GMO seeds.
– Buy organic or Non-GMO Project labeled produce.
When shopping each week, take the extra time to read the labels and buy only organic or non-GMO. Bookmark this helpful shopping resource; Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide.
– Learn what the labels mean.
“In order to qualify for the Certified Organic or USDA Organic labels, no more than 5% of a product’s makeup is permitted to be non-organic.” – Non-GMO vs. Organic. What’s the Difference?
– Avoid GMO crops.
Eliminate genetically modified crops like alfalfa, corn, soy, canola, sugarbeet, and cottonseed from your diet.
– Cook at home and support your local farm to table restaurants.
Cook more meals at home and support local restaurants and bakeries who serve non-GMO products when you do eat out.
– Read the labels!
“While baking ingredients such as wheat flour, rice, and oats are not genetically modified, many packaged bread and bakery items contain other GMO ingredients such as corn syrup, soy flour, and sugar from sugar beets.” – Breads & Baked Goods – NON-GMO SHOPPING GUIDE. Unless a package states that it contains “NO GMO,” GMO ingredients may be present. FACT: GMOs are in roughly 80 percent of the packaged foods sold in the USA and Canada.
– Eliminate Sugar.
“About half of all sugar in the U.S. comes from sugar beets” – As Big Candy Ditches GMOs, Sugar Beet Farmers Hit A Sour Patch – NPR. Learn about The sweet danger of sugar and read my post Why Do We Crave Sugar?
– Avoid farm raised fish.
– Eat grass-finished beef.
“You see, the term grass-fed doesn’t necessarily mean the cow was fed a grass diet their entire lives. It means they were started on a grass-fed diet and may have been fed grains for the remainder of their lives, which is actually grass-fed grain-finished beef.” – How Grass-Fed Beef, Grain-Fed Beef, and Grass-Finished Beef are Different (And Why It Matters) – Kettle and Fire
– Ask your grocer to carry more locally sourced seasonal organic foods.
We all can make a difference when it comes to healthier food selections at our local grocer. For instance, when we kindly request locally sourced, seasonal, and organic foods. If you have a local farmer in mind, offer their contact information to your grocer and follow up with them both.
– Plant non-GMO seeds in your home garden.
As you plan your home garden, make a commitment to plant and grow your produce from non-GMO seeds. Seed Savers Exchange is a great resource.
Thanks for reading!