The Problem With GMO Foods And 5 Ways To Avoid Them

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A Genetically Modified Food or Organism is one that has been genetically re-engineered in a chemical laboratory. 

Large scale agribusinesses in certain countries use genetic modification in the cultivation of certain crops, to re-engineer seeds for mass production.

The purpose of genetically modifying a crop is to:

  • Boost yield
  • Make the crop insect and herbicide tolerant
  • Increase shelf life
  • Lengthen growing seasons
  • Improve transportation and storage efficiency

All of this ultimately adds up to greater profits for big farming conglomerates.

The problem with genetically modified crops (GMO's) is that they contain a variety of chemicals such as, glyphosate, which is harmful to the body, is very allergenic and greatly compromises the nutrition of the food when compared to their more naturally grown counterparts. 

A further growing problem, is that mass raised livestock are increasingly being fed genetically modified grains, which impacts their health and the health of the foods that they produce for human consumption.

In addition, GMO's disrupt the eco system, causing harm to the soil and damaging vulnerable wild plants and animals.

Top Genetically Modified Crops To Avoid

Three of the most over-commoditised, genetically modified crops on earth are:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Canola

A 2009 study showed that 93% of corn grown in the USA was genetically modified. Corn is one specific natural food that has not been treated right.  And its mal-treatment is affecting the health of humanity.

In Australia, the import and use of genetically modified foods is regulated through a nationally consistent legal scheme, including the Commonwealth Gene Technology Act 2000, the Gene Technology Regulations 2001 and corresponding state laws.

The three main genetically modified crops grown in Australia are, Canola, Cotton and Safflower.  These are found in many margarines, vegetable frying oils, frozen foods, shortening, cakes and packaged biscuits, crackers and cereals. 

Main Health Problems Caused By GMO's

A 2009 study linked consumption of Monsanto's GMO corn to a variety of organ damage, including adverse reactions within the body's vital detoxification organs - the kidney and liver.

Additionally, it is known that GMO foods cause different levels of damage to the heart, adrenal glands, pancreas and reproductive organs.

Genetically modified foods can also cause disruption to the gut microbiome, which is the centre of the immune system, making the body less resistance to sickness and disease.

One of the other major health risks is the consumption of industrial raised meat, dairy and eggs, whereby the animals are fed imported GM feedstock. 

Four Tips For Reducing Your Exposure To GMO Foods

  1. Shop Locally For Produce - One of the easiest ways to avoid genetically modified foods is to choose locally grown, organic produce and avoid big chain supermarkets as much as possible for fresh food. Your local farmer's markets are a great place to start.
  2. Avoid Vegetable Oils - It's important to avoid vegetables oils as much as you can, particularly, corn, soybean, canola and safflower oils.  Instead, consume cold pressed oils like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Avocado and Macadamia Oil on salads and raw Coconut Oil for baking and frying due to its exceptionally high heat point.
  3. Avoid packaged grain products - Keep your eye out for packaged products that contain corn, soy or safflower as an ingredient, typically most big brand breakfast cereals, crackers and biscuits.  If you're going to eat or drink soy products, be sure to choose organic as often as possible as many soy products are imported and contain genetically modified crops.
  4. Avoid Industrial Animal Products - Finally, when it comes to animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, if you're going to include them in your diet, it's very important to choose grass fed, free-range organic to avoid exposure to genetically modified residues contained in the diets of animals raised on large industrial farms.

The Main Takeaway

With the advent of big agribusiness this century, there has been a continued movement towards mass farming practices that create economies of scale for these industries that are detrimental to human health and the environment.

One such growing practice is the movement towards genetically modified growing practices to boost yield, shelf-life and to create year round "non-seasonal" harvests.

Avoiding your exposure to genetically modified produce is simple if you have a conscious approach to the way you shop for foods, particularly for products that that contain Soy, Corn, Canola and Safflower oils - which are among Australia's and the world's most genetically modified crops. 

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