24 Oct How safe is our food?

October 2012 by Mary Anne Lema

Recently I was in a conversation with a gentleman regarding farming practices of today. He was of the strong opinion that the world would not be able to feed itself without the use of artificial fertilizers, and that the development of GMO seeds has greatly helped the farmers. I wondered where such thinking came from. We have all this wonderful looking produce, but without the microorganisms in the soil, the plants cannot provide the full complement of nutrients required by the body. Obesity has become a national health issue. Could it be linked to the body craving the vitamins and minerals missing from the plants, as well as the highly processed foods so readily available and convenient? It is now believed that our children will have a shorter life span than their parents. In regard to the safety of GMO foods, the verdict is still out.
We now hear of insects developing resistance to these GM plants. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reported that several animal studies indicate serious health risks with these foods, including infertility, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.
What I find of great concern is the lack of information available about which foods we purchase have genetically modified ingredients. Your ability to make some informed choices is thus limited. Unless the packaging label says ‘organic’ there is no guarantee that what we are eating is not genetically modified.
On another note, in regard to our foods sprayed with toxic chemicals, I did find small comfort recently. On a package of grapes, in small print, it informed the consumer that the produce had been treated with sulphates for fungicide use and recommended that the grapes be washed thoroughly.
Dr. Oz did a segment on GMO foods. He shared that over 90% of the seeds sold to grow the following foods is genetically modified: canola, cotton seed oil, soy, papaya, sugar beets (for production of white sugar), and corn. How do we protect ourselves? Be educated and where possible, choose foods that are better choices in supporting your health. Read labels carefully. I have been following this list of foods recommended to be organic, due to the chemicals used to bring them to market: grapes, strawberries, apples, peanuts, spinach, celery, and red and green peppers.
Bottom line is, you can have all the money in the world, however it means nothing if you do not have your health. Our food is what can keep us strong and healthy, or it can make us ill. I encourage you to read labels carefully and where possible make the best choices for yourself and your family.