GMOs are Everywhere-So Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Let’s be honest, we all love food. There’s an abundant amount of ingredients in this world to make a lot of great food [have you tried these banana muffins? They’re delicious!]. Food is + always will be a crucial part of our day to day lives, so it’s important to approach it with knowledge + care.
By now, almost everyone knows the majority of processed food contains GMOs, genetically modified organisms. However, not everyone knows the nitty gritty. Below is some information to keep you informed about GMOs + the ingredients you’re putting into your body —
A GMO can be defined as, “an organism or microorganism whose genetic material has been altered by means of genetic engineering.”
In several international countries such as Austria, France, + Greece, the cultivation of GM crops are banned. In Russia, both the cultivation + importing of GM products are banned. However, in the United States, GM products are cultivated + the FDA does not require foods with GM ingredients to be labeled. Therefore, you could be consuming them without knowing!
Today, a controversy exists surrounding GMOs, some believe they are safe to consume + others believe they are bad for human health ++ the environment. An article by the Genetic Literacy Project, breaks down several articles written about GMOs + concludes none of them can prove GMOs are harmful to human health. It states, “The current scientific consensus regarding GMOs remains unchanged: they are safe and do not pose a health risk to humans. However, a scientific consensus is subject to change if there is sufficient reproducible evidence that may impact it…”
From the standpoint of the U.S., GMOs do not pose a threat to human health or the environment. However, future scientific research could still prove otherwise. On the other hand, anti-GMO groups, such as the Non GMO Project, claim GMOs are harmful to both humans ++ the environment. They argue that the majority of research has been conducted by biotechnology companies + don’t believe a scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs exists. These groups bring awareness to several high risk commercialized genetically modified crops — soy, cotton, canola, + corn. The Institute for Responsible Technology claims that when a crop is genetically modified there are two main traits it reflects, herbicide tolerance ++ the ability to produce its own pesticide.
Along with being concerned about the use of herbicides, people are also paying attention to the pesticides used on crops we consume. Every year the Environmental Working Group produces the “Dirty Dozen” — a list containing the 12 produce which contain the most pesticide residue [+ therefore should be purchased organically].
2018 Dirty Dozen List
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Along with the Dirty Dozen, the Environmental Working Group also releases the Clean 15. This list contains the produce which is the least likely to have pesticide residue [+ can be bought normally without needing to be organic].
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Ultimately, we are all #inCHAARG of deciding the ingredients we put into our bodies + forming our own opinions. Today it’s getting harder to avoid non GM + “dirty” foods, but it’s not impossible. If you prefer to avoid GMOs, here are two ways to do so!
#1] Find food with the label Non GMO Project Verified! The Non GMO Project has established a process through which they verify products. The seal does not mean GMO free, but each product is required to contain less than 1% of GM ingredients!
#2] Buy certified organic food! Some people believe this is the safest method because certified organic checks for more than just the presence of GMOs. The USDA certified organic seal means that the food was grown + processed following federal guidelines which address, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest + weed control, ++ the use of additives. Check out this page to learn more about the requirements to acquire this seal.
Making sure you know what’s entering your body is important for living a healthy lifestyle! No matter which side you are on when it comes to consuming GMOs, we hope this can provide you a bit more information to make the best choices for yourself [++ your body]! As always, share your amazing food creations with us on insta using #CHAARGeats.