Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) have now become a hidden staple most of us unknowingly ingest daily in our diet. It is infiltrating our most common food groups and stealthily residing in our most loved snacks, cereals, margarines, and soft drinks.
Yet what do we really know about the long term effects of regularly ingesting GMO products?
Could it have health consequences?
Is it changing the DNA permanently of all plant and animal seed offspring that undergo genetic modification?
Could it be changing our own DNA?
Or is it our friend?
Is it keeping an overpopulated globe of hungry people fed?
Is it helping us fight disease?
Is it the only option we have for a future where food and valuable resources could start to dwindle and become extinct?
What is GMO Exactly?
GMO or Genetically Modified Organisms are life forms whose genetic information has been altered using scientific techniques to do so.
The process of GMO is carried out via cutting or splicing gene sequences from one organism, such as an animal, virus or bacteria, and inserting the foreign genetic material into the gene sequence of another, such as a grain, vegetable or fruit.
For example, the donor genetic material, called transgene, is inserted into a plant cell nucleolus at its infancy, where it intertwines with the plants’ own DNA. If successful, the plant will begin to grow with the donor genetics as part of it forever, passing this information onto its seed offspring too.
In the United States (2015), the most common GMO crops are rice, tobacco, alfalfa, cotton, corn, canola, soybean, sugar beet, papaya and summer squash.
Where 95% of all soybeans are GMO, and 90% of all corn is GMO.
In Australia the crops we currently genetically produce ourselves are canola and cotton, and we import most other GMO foods from overseas.
Cotton is used in makeup wipes, tampons, pads, threads, cloth, cottonseed oil for cooking, and the left over meal is fed to cattle and other animals we commonly eat.
Canola is made into oil for cooking and in margarines, dairy blends, in snack foods and tinned foods. The meal is also used as stock feed on the animal meat we regularly ingest.
Types of GMO:
The two most common reasons for genetic engineering are:
-To make an organism insect resistant,
-To make an organism herbicide tolerant. Meaning, you can spray the plant with pesticides to kill the pests, but the plant will not die and can withstand the poison.
The other type of genetic engineering, which is concerning many doctors and health professionals is the Antibiotic resistance Marker Genes (ARG or ARM) range of GMO, which has inbuilt bacterial resistance.
Why I like Organic, non-GMO Whole Foods:
- Organic food always tastes better and has more flavour! Banana’s taste like banana, not just vaguely sweet.
- Science has proven the Nutrients, particularly the disease fighting antioxidants, are higher in organic foods.
- You are often buying from and supporting your local growers and farmers, not overseas ones.
- You lessen your exposure, and that of your children, to chemicals, anti-biotics, synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, GMO, GE and irradiated foods.
- It’s more sustainable.
Better for the environment and wildlife. Where CCD or colony collapse disorder, which is the massive loss of whole populations of bees, is being attributed to the chemical fertilizers used on our food.
Bees are essential to around 85% of all fresh food production globally, through cross-fertilizing plants.
- You may age less with less free radical exposure.
For more, find Honor on Instgram, Facebook or purchase a copy of her book: A Diet in Paradise http://www.honortremain.com.au