liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Avoiding Genetically Modified Food

How do you know where it is? In the US, the four foods most likely to contain genes that nature didn't intend are corn, soy, canola and cotton. Most autistic children have allergies to both corn and soy. Soy and canola have been heavily marketed as "health food" and many people are still convinced that "low carb" foods containing soy lecithin and canola oil are parts of a healthy diet. Corn has become an ingredient is almost all processed foods, in the form of high fructose corn syrup and other corn derivatives. And cotton seed oil is another cheap filler ingredient that is ubiquitous. So basically any multi-ingredient food from the grocery store is likely to contain genetically modified ingredients.

It probably won't surprise you to hear that giant corporations such as Monsanto are behind the development of GMO products. Other large corporations help promote them. And our government provides massive subsidies to agribusiness (they call themselves farmers) to grow corn, wheat, cotton and soy. We the people are subsidizing these corporations in their process of poisoning us for profit.

For a long time I wasn't too worried about these foods. But now that I better understand how big business has side-stepped any requirements for testing, and that it appears GMO products have severe negative health effects, I am beginning the process of removing them from my diet. It won't be easy. I love popcorn. But gradually, it can be done.

The GI tract is the main point of contact with GMO foods. Lab animals fed GM food tend to develop lesions in the stomach, leaky gut syndrome of the intestines, and precancerous growths throughout. GMO crops are genetically engineered to resist herbicides (round-up ready) and so are more likely to be covered in this additional toxin. GM soy drastically reduces digestive enzymes in mice. Some of the GM plants are engineered to produce their own pesticides, and it is possible that the genetic material from the plants could be assimilated by the bacteria that naturally lives in your gut, turning you into your own pesticide factory. While this last assertion is hypothetical, the first two are well known and reason enough to avoid these foods.

Another frightening impact of GMO foods is on our immune systems. Animals fed only GM foods have sluggish immune responses, making them more susceptible to infections and dependent on antibiotics, which have their own negative effects. The immune system changes include liver damage, blood changes, inflammation and sudden dangerous over-reactions of the immune system. Soy allergies in the UK increased by 50% after GM soy was introduced. GM soy and corn contain new allergens, not found in the natural plants. The combination of novel antigens and leaky gut syndrome can cause a person to become allergic to perfectly healthy foods in their diet.

Other effects of GMO consumption in animals include reduced fertility in both males and females and reduced viability of the young. Many reports from around the world involve entire herds of animals dying after consuming too much of certain GMO crops. Whatever the science will say in the end, it is obvious at least that these large businesses are far more interested in the bottom line than they are in providing us with healthy and nutritious food. I would like to see them go out of business because we all found better sources for our food.

Unfortunately, in the US and Canada GM foods are not labeled. The top ways to avoid quasi-food are to 1) eat organic foods 2) buy non-GMO labels and 3) avoid all derivatives of the four foods mentioned above. This is easier said than done, and none of us will eliminate them completely overnight. It's a process. Here's where you can download an excellent pocket guide to take grocery shopping. It will help you assess what's on the grocery shelf and make gradually smarter choices.

If you decide to eat non-GMO, please contact the manufacturers of your former "favorite" foods to let them know why you have stopped buying their food. Say that they've lost you as a customer--until they confirm that they've removed GM ingredients. This way the major manufacturers KNOW why they're loosing marketshare, and they know what to do about it.
This is a great website with tons of info.

NOTES from writeup of how to avoid GMO foods:
--by Jeffrey M Smith and Russell B Marz (our nutrition teacher)
--in the US and Canada GM foods are not labeled
--for each type of food there is usually a brand that is non-GM
--organic foods not allowed to contain GM ingredients
--organic foods CAN contain a % of non-organic ingredients but not GMO
--3 categories: crops, dairy/meat, enzymes/additives from bacteria/fungus
--GM bacteria and fungi are used in the production of enzymes, vitamins, food additives, flavorings and processing agents
--you might decide to avoid some categories more carefully than others
--landslide effect of market changes: in England, one major food manufacturer (Unilever) committed to removing GMOsand within a week all the other major producers followed suit

--GM potatoes and tomatoes have been taken off the market
--PRODUCTS ON THE HORIZON: wheat, rice, salmon

honey (Europe won't buy Canadian honey anymore because the bees were eating canola nectar), vanilla, peanut butter, veggie burgers, infant formula, hamburgers, crackers, frozen yogurt, protein powders, aspartame, tobacco, zucchini, yellow squash (not popular with farmers), Hawaiian papaya (0ver 50% engineered to resist a specific virus)

--rbGH, recombinant (GM) bovine growth hormone, is injected into 22% of US cows and present in some meat and dairy products
--cows and chickens are also fed GM feed (non-organic eggs are suspect)

--most generic and restaurant vegetable oil/margarine are made from one or more of the top 4 GM crops: they are GMO unless specifically labeled "Non-GMO" or "Organic"
--non-GMO substitute oils: olive, sunflower, safflower, butter, almond, coconut

--CORN derivatives: corn meal, corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose, citric acid, lactic acid, corn oil
--3-5% of sweet corn in US is GM, very unlikely that popcorn or canned sweet corn are engineered (YEAY!!!)(per Cornell U website: GEO-PIE)
--SOY derivatives: soy flour, soy proteins, soy lecithin, textured vegetable protein, soy oil (movie theater popcorn "butter" is soy oil these days! so is most mayonnaise)

Vit C often from corn
Vit E usu from soy
Vits A, B2, B6, B12 mb from GMOs too
folic acid is not made from anything GM, contrary to Seeds of Deception writeup
Vits D and K may have "carriers" derived fr GM corn: starch, glucose, maltodextrin
GM ingredients sometimes used to "fortify" foods
Organic foods may not be "fortified" with anything GMO

My question: who is enforcing this organic law? The FDA???

--grown in vats and used to produce enzymes for manufacture of food
--organism not added to food, but enzyme is
--enzymes usu destroyed in cooking process and rarely included on label
--common enzyme used: chymosin, used in production of hard cheeses, used to be taken from calves stomach lining (rennet), chymosin used since 1990, now more than 70% of US cheeses use it (but not organic!!)
--xanthan gum also from GM process
--Europe requires labeling to indicate additives and colorings but not processing aids such as enzymes
--list of GM enzymes and their uses at or in hard copy of book, appendix B

--Vector is name of company making GMO tobacco
--cigs sold under grand: QuestA in US
--engineered to produce little to no nicotene!!
Tags: corn, food, genetic engineering, health, lipids, marketing, monsanto, soy, tobacco


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