We’ve all heard that we are supposed to avoid GMO’s, but do you know what GMO actually stands for? Do you know why they are bad?
Recently I was at a Monsanto/GMO protest in Asheville, North Carolina and I overheard two women talking about how horrible GMO’s are and the negative impact of eating them. In the middle of her sentence, one of the ladies stopped and said “what does GMO stand for anyway?” To my surprise, her friend had no idea either! I feel this is probably not an uncommon scene. While it’s great to avoid something you know is toxic, it becomes easier to avoid it if you really understand why. It’s like quitting cigarettes- it’s a lot easier to quit knowing specifically what it does to your body and lungs as opposed to just knowing “it’s bad for you.”
So here is a crash course on GMO’s:
What does GMO stand for?
GMO stands for “genetically modified organism”
What exactly are they?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms in which the genetic material has been altered in order to achieve a desired trait. These new plant and animal hybrids would never be found in nature, they must be laboratory generated.
So, what’s the big deal?
Genetically modified food is unstable and problems and side effects are constantly being discovered. In addition to this, the long term effects of eating GMO’s are currently unknown. When the DNA structure of a plant or animal is altered, the outcome can be disastrous. GMO’s are believed to decrease nutritional value, increase toxicity, and possibly cause problems with food allergies.
Here is a great article from the Non GMO Shopping Guide website that outlines the main problems with GMO’s: http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/why-should-i-avoid-gmos.html
How can I avoid GMO’s?
1. Buy organic (100% organic foods will never contain GMO’s intentionally)
2. Familiarize yourself with the most common GMO foods:
- Sugar beets
- Cotton (used in cottonseed oil and some dairy products)
3. Purchase 100% grass fed beef
4. Buy products that are specifically labeled as GMO-free (Molly’s Suds does not use any GMO ingredients in any of our products!)
5. Start a garden if you have the time/space! You will know exactly what has gone into the foods your grow
6. Buy local! It is a lot easier to find non-GMO foods at your local farmer’s market than at the local supermarket
Check out more great information at the Non GMO Proejct’s website!
What do you do to try and stay GMO free? Do you and your family make an effort to eat organic?
By Courtney Perry