The overwhelming presence of GMOs is an issue that we all face daily and most of the time, we don’t even know it. Some people might even be reading this wondering, WHAT THE HELL IS A GMO?!
GMO stands for genetically modified organism, first introduced in the mid 90’s, which is “an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Currently in the United States, approximately 85% of all processed foods contain GMOs.” -(GMOFILM.COM) “The most common GMOs are soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash. GMOs may be hidden in common 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.” -(NONGMOPROJECT.ORG) As of 2012, according to the USDA, 88% of corn, 94% of cotton, and 93% of soybeans produced in the US were from GM seeds.
In the US, the top three chemical companies own the top three seed companies, who own 53% of the world’s seeds. The farmers that use GM seeds spray pesticides & herbicides on their crops and the seeds survive because they are usually genetically engineered to be resistant to these chemicals. How much of these chemicals are absorbed in the seed & HOW MUCH ARE WE EATING? Most of us believe that the food sold on our grocery shelves is safe for human consumption, but that notion is questionable. How can the USDA and FDA effectively make these calls if the same people that work for them work for the corporations who are creating the seeds that feed us? MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST!!!
With endless research and papertrails, it is clear that most of the funding from the studies that have deemed GMOs as “safe,” are being funded by the corporations that make them. Studies that threaten this false sense of security are quickly shot down. For example, Dr. Eric Serallini conducted a two year study on the health risks of Roundup Ready GMO corn on rats. In males, liver and kidney values were elevated and females were prone to mammary tumors. The controversy surrounding his study by critics was that he didn’t use the “correct” type of rat and GM seed. Monsato, one of the world’s largest seed companies, conducted a three month study using the same type of rats and seeds before they claimed it was safe. (…WAIT, WHAT?) The fact of the matter is, GMOs have not been around for a long enough period of time to be sure that they are safe for us to eat. Essentially, we are the test subjects. More than 60 countries have restrictions or bans on GMOs, but one major thing is keeping the US from banning or even labeling. The corporations would lose way too much money that way.
Much of our food is processed, with no trace of the individual raw ingredients, so people often forget that most of the food we eat derives from seeds. More than half of the world’s seeds are the property of corporations that have to be returned after they are used. You probably wouldn’t want to keep them after one harvest anyway because most are non-renewable. This means that farmers have to buy seeds for every harvest. With the previously mentioned proportion of U.S. GM crops, we can assume that this affects many farmers. The farmers who decide to take a stand against corporate takeover can hardly protect their crops due to cross pollination in neighboring fields. And guess what? Then they get sued for “patent infringement.”
Supporters of GMOs put on their “world-saving” hat and claim that GM crops produce a higher yield than non-GM crops, but many organic farmers have proven otherwise. With the continued use of GM seeds and excessive use of pesticides/herbicides, we are losing seed diversity and nutrient-rich soil, which threatens life on this planet. If we are slowly losing seed diversity, then how much longer will the world exist? How will you feed the world when all of the soil can longer sustain life?
We should all be questioning why the cancer, obesity, and diabetes rates are so high in this country. The first step is to question the food we are eating.
This is your wake-up call. Stop wasting your precious time and energy on petty arguments, small stressors at work, crazy drivers, or stupid shit you watch on TV. Transform these meaningless moments of your day and make a change to start being more mindful about what you’re putting into your body. Stop throwing away your money on things you don’t need and put a little more towards something that none of us can live without. Taking change on in short steps makes the task easier to conquer.
Here’s your first change: Non- GMO Alternatives To Snack Foods