We see this term thrown around a lot…but what are GMO’s?
The truth is that you’re probably consuming them and you don’t even know it.
GMO stands for ‘Genetically Modified Organisms.’
That means—genetic material that has been altered in a way that doesn’t occur naturally.
There are two main types of GMO’s.
Pesticide Producers—A gene is taken from bacteria and is then inserted into a crop. This produces a toxin that kills insects, thus protecting the plant.
Herbicide Resistors—Commonly known as ‘round-up ready.’ These plants are immune to weed killer.
Around 85% of all the corn grown in the US is genetically modified. YIKES. The numbers are even higher for soy, cotton, canola, and sugar beets.
You may be thinking…what’s the big fuss about GMO’s?
Well… there’s a lot of reasons to be concerned. Companies like Monsanto like to talk about how “safe” their chemicals are by referencing their very short 3-month study on GMO’s.
First of all, there is so much bought and paid for science out there. A company can easily run their own studies and essentially buy their desired results. If the results don’t match what they want, they don’t have to publish them or the raw data.
Secondly, 3 months is not nearly long enough to determine the long-term effects of GMO’s. A 2-year study in France (using the same type of rats as Monsanto’s study) on the effects of GMO’s showed many symptoms presenting at the 4-month mark, especially in female rats.
There were disruptions in the endocrine system, reproductive system, immune system, and the development of large tumors on the rats. The list goes on. This study showed unequivocal proof that GMO’s DO have a detrimental effect on the body.
So why do we use GMO’s in the first place if they’re bad for the body?
The biggest argument for the use of GMO’s is that they produce more yield than organic farming. Meaning more mouths fed and less world hunger.
This argument has been largely disproven. The Rodale Institute has over 30 years of data showing that organic farming can and DOES produce just as much yield as GMO farming.
I think we’ve just gotten so used to using chemicals that it’s what’s considered “normal” at this point. And it can be cheaper than organic farming. Often times, it just comes down to $$$, not your health.
That’s why it’s up to the consumer to do their own research and advocating.
How did we get to the point where using chemicals on our food became ‘normal’?
The use of chemicals in agriculture exploded after WWII. Lead and arsenic were commonly used prior to keep away insects.
Nerve agent chemicals and explosives were repurposed and used as fertilizers and pesticides.
In 1945, 200 million pounds of pesticides were used.
By 2000, 5.1 BILLION pounds.
What happens with continued use of pesticides? Species become resistant to it. So then you have to develop new types of pesticides and the cycle continues.
There are more than 500 pesticide-resistant species since the introduction of GMO’s in the 1990’s.
The FDA labeled GMO’s as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) in 1992. But y’all already know my feelings about the FDA and their lax regulations and oversight.
One of my biggest issues with GMO’s is that they aren’t healthy and they’re not a sustainable way to farm. We have (at most) 50 years of top soil left. Meaning we better figure something out quick! Regenerative farming is starting to become more prevalent in the US and this IS a better and more sustainable way to farm.
I encourage you to find and support brands/farms that use regenerative farming. Where you spend your dollars matters! (I’ll start putting together a list of brands that I love for y’all).
I recently watched a documentary called “GMO OMG” and there’s a TON of valuable information in it for my more curious readers.
The more you know, the better you can do.