Hokay before you read this post you MUST watch this YouTube video- http://youtu.be/exBEFCiWyW0
Isn’t she adorable? Hand in hand with what she said, I heard an excellent analogy today: “I don’t care how ‘moderately’ you put kerosene in your gas tank… eventually your car will break down.” Amazing. I am so sick of the phrase “everything is fine in moderation.” Is cutting yourself fine in moderation? Heroine? You may think I’m being dramatic here but each time you put crappy food in your body you’re inflicting harm upon yourself. The difference with food versus other drugs of abuse and abusive behaviors is that with food we don’t immediately see the results of our inflicted harm. Stop punching yourself in the face with bad food.
We don’t like to flat out tell you guys “don’t eat that.” That’s annoying. We like to tell you things to ADD to your diet so that it eventually crowds out all the bad stuff. The thing is, GMOs and the processed foods they are in aren’t real food, they are chemicals and frankenfood.
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. Remember Gregor Mendel and the pea plants he cross bred to make certain traits show up? It’s sort of like that, but on crack. The basic principle is the same that scientists are trying to take a plant and breed out a perceived negative characteristic or insert in a perceived positive. This includes (to name a few) making a food: taste less bitter, more resistant to certain bugs, stay ripe longer, have an improved nutrient profile, and a bigger crop yield. The concept behind it seems well intentioned but, like most things these days, it has been taken too far.
At this point scientists have the ability to insert certain genes from one species into another. I’m not just talking plant to plant here. I’m talking fish genes in tomatoes and strawberries. What. The Heck. This is the difference between good ole Mendel and his pea plants. Mendel was keeping it all in the family with pea plants, he wasn’t looking elsewhere. Now we’ve got fish preying on tomatoes, what’s next, elephants on ladybugs? I just can’t take this madness.
Beyond the fact that its creepy, it can have some very unintended consequences. You ever wonder why everyone and their brother has allergies these days? Allergic reactions are caused when your body sees a protein you have introduced as a foreign invader. In order to prevent this protein from causing harm your body mounts a reaction and pounces like a spider monkey. When you introduce new genes into a food you are introducing genes which code for specific proteins. Our bodies can then view these proteins as harmful because they don’t recognize them. A food could look exactly like a non-GMO counterpart but our bodies are smart, they can tell there is a difference. Big food manufacturing companies may be able to fool your eye but your immune system ain’t no fool. And just because you can’t feel it going on doesn’t mean your insides aren’t slowly being damaged.
You’re not convinced yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got more. You know how you aren’t supposed to bring firewood into a campground because the bugs on the wood may invade an area they weren’t in or aren’t supposed to be? That is because when you introduce something foreign it can squash out what is already there. Take tumors, for example. They’re cells on crack multiplying like crazy and sucking the blood supply away from your organs where it belongs and next thing you know your organs are in an uproar over it. GMOs have the potential to be the tumor of our food supply. They may come in, take over, and kill other species of plants. The fact of the matter is we don’t know what these new crops could do, and it’s terrifying to think that the could decimate populations of natural foods which have sustained human life for centuries.
GMOs are labeled, restricted, or banned entirely in 64 countries including the UK, Norway, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Australia, Poland, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, guys! Of course they’re banned entirely in New Zealand, is it any wonder why I loved that place so much?!
Now that I’ve said New Zealand I’ve got you, is that it? Okay. So here it is, the percentage of crops grown within the US that are genetically modified: Cotton (94%), corn (88%), soybeans (93%), sugar beets (90%), canola (88%), and Hawaiian papaya (>50%) and alfalfa and Kentucky bluegrass. While this doesn’t seem like a big list think of all the products that contain corn or corn syrup or sugar of any form or canola oil. I added the alfalfa and Kentucky bluegrass because those are two extremely common feed components of conventionally raised animals. Yet another reason why organically pasture raised animals are important. And while you don’t see wheat on this list devil company Monsanto is currently readying their own GMO version. Personally at this point I feel like it’s not even necessary considering how manipulated wheat already is from it’s original form. And people wonder why celiac disease and gluten intolerances are is rampant.
Growing your own garden? You bring a tear to my eye. Buy heirloom seeds, they haven’t been manipulated. Buying foods in the store? Buy organic. Better yet, buy local where you can ask your farmer about their practices. Join a CSA. Go to the farmer’s market. Check out www.eatwild.com.
If you have any interest in learning more about GMOs you can check out the PBS documentary Harvest of Fear. It is kind of old at this point so some information may be outdated but it is pretty cool. It actually presents a very unbiased view of GMOs discussing benefits like how the addition of certain nutrients or vaccines that may be helpful in developing countries. Even I have a hard time arguing with GMOs when it may save lives. That being said, if you’re reading this you aren’t starving so do what you can to avoid FrAnKeNfOoDs. Deuces.