Hi busy moms, dads & caregivers,
For those are new to my blog, I published my award-winning parenting book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet: Raising Healthy Happy Kids” to share with all busy caregivers the tools I learned (many times the hard way!) to raising happy, healthy kids. It warmed my heart to hear such positive reviews and feedback on how this book simplifies a lot of valuable actionable information in a very accessible and easy-to-understand way. It made those countless late nights writing worth-while!
“This book is a treasure trove of practical information and warm-hearted anecdotes, featuring information and innovative tools you can use immediately…empowering for caregivers and kids alike…just what we needed to make meaningful positive changes in your life and life of your kids.”
Even though most of my reviews have been 4 or 5 stars, I must say I was equally excited when I received my first one-star review! Let me explain…
I would have been devastated if I hadn’t been following food activist, Vani Hari (Food Babe) and hearing about how big food proponents use tactics such as these to sabotage our positive efforts to spread the truth.
The fact that my book got into their hands in the first place proved that my message was getting out there in a big enough way to get their attention. It also was an AHA moment for me to share my knowledge on GMO’s with all my followers, not only the ones who purchased my book.
So here it goes, extracted from my book with some extra bonus tidbits as well…
Stay away from genetically modified organisms, a.k.a “GMOs.”
GMOs are organisms whose genetic makeup (DNA) have been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. This is done by inserting a piece of DNA into different species creating a new life form. Mainly this process is designed to be inserted into crops, such as corn, soybeans, and others, modifying these crops to survive herbicide treatment, produce their own pesticides, and resist certain diseases. There are several problems with altering the DNA of our food to become more resistant to pesticides. We are altering the DNA of food that is supposed to feed our cells. But nobody really knows how these Franken-foods react in our system on a cellular level.
Another problem is that it has been estimated that the United States uses 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides per year on crops, but only a mere .01% actually does what it is supposed to and reaches the bugs. Meanwhile, there are a number of health risks from pesticides ranging from skin irritation, hormone disruption, birth defects, blood and nerve disorders, reproduction defects and cancer. Washing the crop isn’t the solution either as at least one pesticide remains on 63% of commonly purchased produce even after it has been washed, according to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group.
Proponents of GMOs will say that they are no different than non-GMO crops and that GMOs are feeding the world and ending world starvation. The sad truth is that quite the opposite is happening. Studies show, time and time again, that farmland used in connection with GMO-related crops shows a constant depletion of nutrients, and that using GMO crops literally “kills” the earth. Statistics also show that GMO crops are yielding fewer crops per acreage than non-GMO crops.
In short, we are the living guinea pigs of its effects, as these crops were not properly tested long-term prior to being released into our food supply. Some of those ill effects include increased use of pesticides, reproductive issues, allergies, diseases, and have been linked to tumors in rats. Despite the controversy on whether or not GMOs are safe, one point can no longer be contested and that is that the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the most popular herbicide used on GMO crops, Glyphosate, as “probably” a human carcinogen. Comforting, right?
The main eight GMO crops are soy, corn, alfalfa, cotton, zucchini, papaya, sugar, and canola. In North America, at least 70% of our packaged foods contain GMO ingredients. But since the FDA, due to enormous pressure from lobbyists, doesn’t require labeling of GMO foods, most consumers have no idea what is in their food. Just to compare the USA to the rest of the world, 64 other countries label GMOs and at least 25 countries either restrict or ban them altogether. How does that make you feel?
So how can you avoid eating GMOs? The foolproof way to do this is to eat organic. Organic food cannot contain synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, or growth hormones. Animals labeled as organic have not been fed the GMO seed.
Each produce food label has a numbered code. This is very important since it will help you in identifying GMO products. Pay attention to the codes on the stickers of the fruits and veggies:
- Five-digit codes that start with 8 is a GMO crop.
- Four-digit codes that start with 3 or 4 are conventional crops.
- Five-digit codes that start with 9 are the best option identifying the crops as organic.
In the absence of requiring the labeling of GMOs, health-conscious companies can go through a process where once they are verified as GMO-free, they can add a non-GMO Project Verified Seal to their product. I look for that seal in processed foods I purchase. The Institute for Responsible Technology is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate policy makers and consumers on GMOs. They created a “non-GMO shopping guide” to help consumers make educated decisions about products during the shopping process.
Below is a list of ingredients that can be hidden sources of GMOs unless organic or specified otherwise. For a more exhaustive list, please refer to nongmoshoppingguide.com.
|Baking Powder||Soy Sauce|
|Colalmin (B12), B2 and Biotin||Tempeh|
|Beta Carotene||Textured vegetable protein|
|Cellulose||Tocopherols (vitamin E)|
|Sugar (unless specified as Cane)||Xanthan Gum|
|Ingredient containing Soy
E.g., soy lecithin, soy sauce
|Ingredient containing Corn
E.g., corn starch, corn meal
Note: In November 2015, the FDA approved genetically modified salmon despite concerns about its safety for human consumption or the environment. Another reason to only eat wild fish as it is not required to label GMO salmon as such. Also, in February 2015, the FDA approved GMO applies (Artic) and GMO potatoes (Innate) to resist bruising and browning.
For more lessons like these, check out my award-winning book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet: Raising Happy Healthy Kids”, available on Amazon today.