I recently listened to this podcast about the dangers of GMO foods. This podcast is an off-shoot of a great PBS series called “Growing a Greener World.” The host is Joe Lamp’l. He had a DIY series called “Fresh From the Garden” several years back. I still have a few episodes of that saved on my DVR. I believe it is the best gardening show ever made and I am a big fan of his. I was thrilled to discover he has a new series. All episodes and podcasts are accessible from the website.
If this is a topic that interests you or have wondered why GMOs are so often slammed, this is a great listen. It was a great reminder of how scary GMOs are. For me, it comes down to the false assumption that we are smarter than nature and expect that we can tinker with it with no consequences. For us to think we can swap some genes in soy, corn, canola, etc and make them able to be drenched in chemical poisons (like Roundup) without dying and that there would be no negative consequences is lunacy. Thing is, the weeds become immune to the Roundup, and more is needed. It is a chemical arms race and the planet and everything on it are the victims. Lab rats and livestock fed GMO feed have higher stillborn rates and reproductive mutations. The only ever study of the repercussions on people has shown that the inserted genes transfer to our gut bacterium. Our guts have become resistant to Roundup. Roundup ready crops are just the beginning.
If this topic really interests you, I also recommend reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book of essays called Small Wonder. It is this work that inspired the name of our farm. In it, she has a chapter that beautifully relates the act of a hummingbird building its perfect tiny nest and the knowledge that we are not anywhere near knowledgeable enough to one up nature. Any farmer that revels in the glory of the land, knows nature is far, far greater than anything we can dream.
Most people say they prefer not to eat GMO products, but not many know they already are. Processed foods containing corn, soy, canola, sugar beets are the norm and are GMO. 80% of the food in a typical grocery has GMO ingredients. If that number shocks you, make yourself aware that food science has developed to the point that ALMOST ANYTHING can be made with soy and corn. Michael Pollan exposed the fact that Chicken McNuggets have 37 ingredients and 30 come form corn.
My 6 year old daughter, who in all other respects, has been a very healthy girl since birth, has some major digestive issues. Among the foods her body cannot tolerate are: Soy, Peanuts (all legumes), Dairy, and Gluten (think Wheat and more), Cashews. The list is growing, not shrinking. According to the Mayo Clinic, 90% of food allergies are to the following 9 foods and the prevalence of food allergies is exploding:
We are becoming allergic to these foods as a group because they are literally all we eat. I know firsthand how hard it is to avoid Soy, Gluten, and Dairy. Soy, in particular, is in everything.
When GMO soy was released in the UK, soy allergies there doubled. The allergen causing proteins in soy were increased, and new allergen causing proteins were created. Our bodies are bombarded with the same foods and ones that are genetically modified. No wonder some bodies, like my daughter’s, are fighting back. As a mother, it makes me very mad. I know from my own elimination diet trials and blood testing that I react to sugar and gluten. I think reactions to foods are almost universal, we just don’t pay attention to what out body is telling us. My own daughter can’t tolerate 5 of the top 9 allergen foods.
What can we do? Vote with your wallet and with your fork. Bovine Growth Hormone was pushed out of the marketplace because consumers didn’t buy it. it is all about demand. Rebel! Here is a nice shopping guide.