Now that we have made it through the macronutrients and some specifics about them; Hannah and I have we will now be exploring some interesting nutrition topics that we are curious about. For myself I try very hard to eat “real” food. I try to stay away processed food, but they are everywhere. A recent movement that has caught my attention is the Non-GMO Project. GMOs are genetically modified organisms. So in other words, it is the modification of living organisms, which in this case is mostly our food. Many countries including: Japan, Australia and those in European Union consider that these foods are not safe. United States as of now has very limited regulations and allows GMOs due to advantages in food production and agriculture. I do not want to go into the politics that revolve around GMOs and the labeling rules, but instead I want to give the facts and truths about the food and how it affects us.
According the Non-GMO Project website, not all the GMO food is labeled even though 80% of processed food contains GMOs. A recent list of high-risk foods contains alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, soy, and sugar beets. Without knowing it, we eat genetically modified food every day and this is how it has been for hundreds of years. Genetically modified food does not mean that we injecting chemicals in the food we eat, but rather taking seedlings, for example, and trying to enhance its growing year or resistance by another plant organism. Genetically changed by other plant antibacterial makes our mass crops more stable against disease and higher in production. Safety concerns arise because the changes to the plants will have effects on us as humans. The health risk to humans though is not fully known. According to the CDC, antibiotic in our meat are impacting us as humans and the risks are increasing with a higher amount of consumption over time. This is meat specifically not all foods. Organizations who feel that GMOs are safe disagree with the GMO Project. Reasons for their argument include: altered crops are more resistant to stress, have additional nutrients, land is being used efficiently therefore more production and longer shelf life of our foods. The GMO Project website emphasizes how “bad” GMOs are but I also wanted to share other points of view so you yourself can decide and further look to make your own decisions.
Avoiding the modified food is the most difficult part because they are also place alongside organic labeled food. Requirements for organic food are: not be grown with certain pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge or genetically modified seeds. Organic food is a great option to avoid to pesticide, fertilizers, and GMOs, but it comes at a cost. Some organics food are double “regular” prices, you would think with less fertilizer and pesticide spent for agriculture it would bring prices down?! On the contrary, the price is raised due to the decrease in overall amount of food that can be grown. Crops may not be as bountiful compared to those who used commercial fertilizers and pesticides simply. Organic and non-GMO options are intriguing to most people, but yes it does come with a price. If this is something that you are interested in more, the Non-GMO Project website has many links that lay out their cause, current policies along with list of foods and brands. Some brands they have listed are:
- Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop
- The Gluten Free Bar (GFB)
- True Goodness by Meijer
Being GMO free may not make you look “healthier” and more “fit”, but our food and what we put into our body has to be our decisions and if we want to eat cleaner for ourselves and our environment a GMO free or organic diet may be an option for you.
(2013, May 2). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db121.htm
GMO Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/