Tomato sauce, bread, cookies, veggie burgers, protein powders, chips, Cheerios, and salad dressings. Were you aware that many of these are the products of GMO or genetically modified organisms? When choosing between two options, do you typically go for the item that gives you more for your money, but is full of preservatives and GMO’s? The emphasis of a “more” culture is kind of killing us, and saving a few coins here and there will not save your longterm health. You could very well be making a disastrous decision for your health and environment by continuing to purchase and support GMO treated food items.
Sadly, many are not aware of what GMO means, or the harmful consequences of buying genetically modified items. In short, GMO’s are plants or animals that have had been created through gene splicing or the merging of DNA from different species to develop a new one. Sounds nasty, but in the US, many strains of canola, papaya, soy, sugar beets (a source of white sugar), and corn (an item in more products than you think) are genetically modified.
One of the things I love about Copenhagen is the number of organic products and restaurants available. The ability and availability to choose healthier makes a big difference, but so does being informed about the products you are buying. Unfortunately, the expensive cost of organic or natural food is a deterrent for many when making a buying choice. Time is money, so save on your health longterm by spending a little more now.
Here is a look at three major negative impacts of GMO use:
1. Hormone Imbalance
Girls starting their menstruation at a very young age or boys growing facial hair early on are all signs of hormones that are out of whack. As we get older, mood swings, weight gain (despite being active), abnormal sex drive, and menopause are all signs of a hormone’s improper hormone function. For women, the products used to treat GMO crops may have a strong negative effect on your ability to reproduce or have a healthy baby.
2. Food Allergies
As a child, I loved peanut butter and as I became more interested in vegetarian food, my love of tofu, soy sauce, and soy milk rose. Basically, I became a huge fan of soy products and my consumption of them has increased. However, soybeans which are genetically engineered are not healthy. Did you also know that peanuts are actually really bad? Incidentally, food allergies like lactose, nut and gluten intolerances have increased since GMO crops have come onto the scene. This is affecting the future of our children!
No matter what, always buy organic soy and peanut products! Despite whatever statements exist in defense of the innocence of GMO use, health problems and allergies HAVE increased since their introduction in the mid-90’s.
3. The birds and the bees and our disappearing ecosystem
GMO crops require huge amounts of chemicals which are harmful to soil, water, the atmosphere and the creatures around. If you haven’t heard, bees have been disappearing and scientists have come together in an attempt to identify and find a solution to this serious problem. We need bees to pollinate and without them, crops and fruits like peaches, apples, and nuts would disappear. Love honey? You can kiss that goodbye with the continued use of GMO’s because the chemicals used to treat genetically modified crops are killing bees and other creatures as well.
Further, since weeds have become resistant to chemicals used on GMO crops, GMO products are requiring stronger and more poisonous pesticides. GMO agriculture has further resulted in producing less, contrary to the argument that GMO crops produce more. Additionally, small family farms and farmers are being pushed out if they are not a proponent for GMO products. Therein, GMO products are not in support of the environment or people.
Unsure what to do to? You have the power!!
Sign petitions. Become aware of what is happening locally. Before you start to feel helpless, learn about the positive things that are happening. In Scandinavia, Sweden has made great efforts to keep GMO out of their country. Regulation of GMO crops are highly monitored in Sweden and the practices used here for farming are something that the US and other countries could undoubtedly learn from.
All in all, choosing GMO items have an alarmingly negative effect on our health, ecosystem and future. Choose healthier, organic or natural products. Take an extra few seconds to read the labels of your food. Anything with genetically modified ingredients should not be bought. You are not only making a choice to live a better life for yourself, but also for the existing life around you.