If you have been keeping up with our blog, you may be catching on to our distaste for processed foods. Not only does processing strip away nutrients and take food further from its natural state, but now the Non-GMO Project is telling us that in the U.S., as much as 80% of these processed foods contain GMOs! Now if this doesn’t alarm you, perhaps it’s time for a lesson on what GMOs are.
What is a GMO?
GMO stands for “genetically modified organisms” which are animals and plants that have undergone biotechnology splicing to be created. Basically, scientists are taking the DNA of various species and mixing them with genes from other species, including viruses and bacteria. Through this concoction of cross-breading, scientists produce products that are meant to withstand herbicides or create their or insecticide.
This cross-breeding is meant to produce a more resistant crop. However, species that have been tampered with already are not showing to be any more drought-tolerant and are not producing higher yields. On top of that, they are not beneficial to the health of consumers.
GMOs: Not beneficial, but are they safe?
According to the Non-GMO Project website, “most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.”
You will be doing yourself and your family a life-saving favor by choosing to opt of buying and there for supporting GMO foods. The tricky part is that the U.S. has been in a debate as to whether or not products containing these these science experiments should be labeled. Fortunately, a large majority of Americans want to know what products contain GMOs. We are still waiting on the government to support this and require companies to show the truth. Until we get the support of our government, you can educate yourself and help spread the word to others.
What foods or crops have GMOs?
For starters, know that these products are currently being produced commercially as GMOs:
- Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
- Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
- Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
- ALSO high-risk: animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because of contamination in feed.
For some, it may seem obvious that this then means things like sweet corn have been tampered with. Sadly enough, last year nearly 40% of sweet corn sold was genetically modified. This could include cobs picked up at the store or farmers stand. Interestingly enough, these ingredients are often used to create several products such as aspartame, ascorbic acid, high fructose corn syrup, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, xanthan gum, and vitamins. If you grab a processed food package, you are almost guaranteed to see some, if not all, of these ingredients listed (along with many other things you likely don’t know how to pronounce).
How to cut out GMOs
If all of that information has truly soaked in, you are likely panicking some about how to kick these risky elements out of your life. Thankfully, Dr. Schulte is very educated on GMOs and can help you find ways to understand them and eliminate them. Also, as previously referred to, the Non-GMO Project, which is working hard to provide labeling on foods that have been verified to not contain GMOs.
Here is their complete list of verified non-GMO products: http://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/search-participating-products/
Our tips for making the elimination of GMOs an easy process
As suggested in our principles of Paleo post, take this process at a gradient that works for you.
Start by looking at one meal at a time.
Here are a few suggestions on making small changes to your breakfast:
- If you are still eating a standard American breakfast, it likely contains cereal or some bread product.
- Start by looking for a cereal that has been verified as Non-GMO, or start eating Non-GMO eggs and bacon for breakfast.
- Switch canola oil with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Or, choose to be cautious of corn and soy products.
By making one little change at a time, you are much more likely to be successful. Also, be sure to tell others about what you’ve learned and help them clean GMOs from their diet. Years from now, when we are continuing to see ill-health as a result of these scientific modifications, you will be happy with your educated choice to opt-out of the experiment.
You are more than welcome to contact us today with any questions and to schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Schulte. Take the step to live a healthier lifestyle!