What is the difference between foods that are genetically engineered and foods that are genetically modified?
If you are still confused here’s a quick lesson on what you need to know.
The major agricultural corporations of the world (Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, Sygenta) work diligently to be sure that consumers stay confused.
Because if the average shopper in supermarkets nationwide really knew what they were buying and consuming, they’d have no customers.
As we become more educated about this subject (thanks to the internet) their bottom line is getting hit hard. Monsanto claims that their profits were down 25% in the second quarter of 2016 and NOTHING could make me happier. Well that’s not completely true, 50% losses would make me happier, LOL.
Genetic engineering has been happening for millennia. Farmers and gardeners have been cross pollinating and grafting varieties of the SAME species with each other forever hoping to get the perfect, tomato, cucumber or even flowers like roses, or hibiscus. Genetic engineering happens when you cross- breed plants from the same family. For example taking a plum tomato and combining it with a cherry tomato to develop an entirely different type of tomato. That is basic engineering.
Genetic modification is a whole different beast. It is when you take the DNA from an entirely different species and inject it into the DNA of a plant. For example, taking the DNA from a fish and injecting it into a tomato would be considered a modification of the plants basic DNA.
Here is an example of both types of science that are widely used in our day to day life.
Genetically Engineered – WHEAT
Wheat has been engineered from its original specimen of a 4 foot tall plant to a 2 foot tall high yielding dwarf plant that produces 10 times the amount of seed that the original plant produced. This was achieved by messing with its own DNA and introducing growing techniques and practices to achieve maximum yield.
All of this science well intended in the 60’s and 70’s when it was developed. The man behind this new high yielding plant, Norman Borlaug, actually won the Nobel Prize in 1970 for increasing the yield of plants and saving “millions from starvation.”
But here’s the rub. Testing on humans never took place. It has taken several decades for this new plant to become the “norm” in agricultural circles worldwide. As it becomes more pervasive so have the issues associated with wheat intolerances.
When people tell me they don’t understand why all of a sudden people are having an issue with gluten and wheat it’s because they clearly don’t understand that we aren’t eating the same wheat that our grandparents ate. We are eating something entirely different.
Modern day wheat is example number one of the human food experiment we have all participated in where we are the guinea pigs for corporations who are trying to extend their profits.
Genetically Modified Organism – CORN
The DNA of Round-Up (the weed killer you can purchase at your favorite garden store) is injected via a specially designed laboratory “gun” into corn seeds. The seeds are then planted in the ground so that when the farmer comes back to spray his farm with Round Up for weed control, the corn will not die. In laymen’s terms, it works a bit like the flu shot does in humans. Give the plant a dose of what it can expect later on so that it deals with it appropriately (read: lives through the onslaught of chemicals it receives).
If you have followed me for any length of time, you already know I am anti-GMO. I could carry on for HOURS about the subject of GMOs but my biggest complaint about them is that our government has allowed them to be released wholesale into our food supply in the late 1990’s without proper testing and research being done on how they affect humans. “We” have allowed the companies that produce them to police themselves and to tell us that they have done all the testing necessary and “hey man, it’s all good.”
In the ensuing decades since the have been pushed and peddled onto farmers worldwide, we have an epidemic of chronic diseases, gut-based disease and an explosion of auto-immune based diseases and everyone is scratching their heads and wondering why?
Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Round Up has been named by the World Health Organization as a “possible carcinogen” in the last year.
It has also been patented as an antibiotic. When you eat GMOs and the animals that you eat have been consuming plants that have GMOs in them, you are getting a chemical in your body that acts as an anti-biotic, thus killing off much of beneficial bacteria we need to keep our system in balance.
When people ask me if eating organic matters, I say YES! Keeping these chemicals out of our system greatly reduces our risk of cancer and other illnesses related to the die off of beneficial gut bacteria. In my opinion, GMOs are the plague of our generation. We have barely touched the tip of the iceberg as we discover the long-term and far reaching affects these have on our bodies.
I highly recommend this article/video with Dr. Don Huber, one of the few SCIENTISTS worldwide brave enough to stand up to Monsanto and all it stands for.
How can you avoid GMOs?
Buy USDA organic only.
If you buy USDA certified organic it also means that it is GMO free. This also means that if you buy organic meat, the animals have not been fed GMO seed. Remember, you are what you eat…eats.
Talk to your farmers at your local farmers’ market. They might be using organic practices but cannot “label their foods” as organic because they aren’t certified. ASK. The USDA certification process is cost prohibitive for many small farmers. Many small local farmers use organic practices but cannot call their products organic because sometimes government rules just suck.
Buy non-GMO verified only.
I find this label particularly helpful when buying processed foods. I don’t buy many but when I do they have to have BOTH of these labels on it. However, this label is getting some wide coverage because people think that it means it’s safe.
If prepared or processed foods don’t have BOTH of these labels, I don’t consume them.
Here is a great example of confusing the consumer. Potatoes are not typically genetically modified, but they are heavily sprayed with pesticides. So…this company get’s their shitty non-organic potatoes and shitty oil that they are fried in certified to be NOT genetically modified and the “average” consumers sees this label and thinks they are ok. WRONG. They are still NOT ORGANIC. Pay attention to your labels.
Knowledge is power. Use yours to your advantage.