Should You Steer Clear of Genetically Modified Food?
Also Called GM Food, GMOs, or Franken-Food, its Probably Something to Avoid for the Sake of your Health. Smart Science; Bad Nutrition.
Monsanto is the company that takes most of the heat from the grass-roots anti-GMO movement. With good reason; they are protective of their patented modified seeds to the point of paranoia. As a huge company they make their point with lawsuits.
In fact, as Vanity Fair reports, regarding their investigators, They fan out into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate community meetings; and gather information from informants about farming activities. Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors.
How to Identify Genetically Modified Produce
Luckily for consumers, in many cases there are ways to determine exactly what you are buying in the produce section of your local supermarket. Its all in the PLU code. Thats the little sticker on produce.
Conventional food that has had chemical treatments while being grown has a four digit number. If it has five digits with the first one being a 9, its organic (the right choice). But if there are five digits with a leading 8, beware; its franken-food!
What are Some of the Mutant Foods?
As handy as identifying fruit and vegetables via the PLU code is, there is still evil lurking in the background. This is because you never see some foods in their raw state; they have already been combined into another product
Take soybeans for example. A huge amount of all the soybeans harvested annually are made into vegetable oil and soybean meal. These, in turn, are ingredients in many other foods. How has the soybean been modified?
A gene extracted and taken from bacteria Agrobacterium strain CP4 has been blended into soybeans. The point is to make them more resistant to herbicides, specifically Roundup. No small wonder that Roundup is also made by Monsanto.
Corn is another interesting example. This time the additive is the lepidoptera pathogen microorganism Bacillus thuringiensis. This in turn produces the Bt toxin which poisons insect pests. A lot of this poison corn goes into the food industry as high fructose corn syrup.
Start to read ingredient labels and be prepared to be surprised (or shocked) at how many products list this as a main ingredient.
So if youre going for a diet soda in order to avoid the corn syrup in that ice-cold Coca Cola, you might want to reconsider. When manufacturing the artificial sweetener aspartame, an amino acid ingredient called phenylalanine is manufactured with the aid of genetically modified E. coli bacteria.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Its not easy to completely get away from franken-food, especially if you ever eat out or buy canned goods. But there are a few ways to at least minimize the dangers. First, consider planting a garden and get on organic program. Over-plant and learn how to can the excess.
Try to buy produce at the local farmers market from farmers you know to be organic. Put in some fruit trees. You'll actually save money in the long run. And finally, read the labels.
- NJ Department of Environmental Protection — Understanding Organic
Articles Others are Reading
- Organic Apple Sauce Recipe
- The Organic Method of Planting a Tree
- Build a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden
- Organic Foliar Feeding with Garrett Juice