A couple posts ago I talked a bit about how we have been changing our eating habits. Part of it is necessity as Poppy has some food sensitivities, and part of it is that Big Daddy and I are absolutely disgusted by the state of the food industry in our country.
Let me back up a little. A few years ago, I was blessed to be able to work from home, and I started cooking dinner every night. Before that, I was a nervous cook, and admittedly not very good. But, since I was home there was no excuse to not get myself in gear and learn how to make some good meals.
I always tried for easy, delicious, and cost effective. I am a good grocery shopper in the sense of knowing what things should cost, and stocking up during sales, etc. Our pantry is always well-stocked and we don’t go hungry in our house.
A few weeks ago, things changed. I learned about GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs are organisms/seeds that have been modified at a molecular level to alter that organism/seed for a specific purpose. In food, many seeds are genetically modified to be able to do such things as grow faster, produce more nutrients, and resist dying when sprayed with pesticides. Sounds like a great idea, right?
Not so fast. I read an article about a farmer in Florida that lost his entire farm of livestock because the GMO grain that the animals were eating were causing the animals to be sterile. Another farmer in Germany lost 65 of his cattle that were eating GMO feed. Lab rats grow huge tumors when eating GMO corn. There are hundreds of stories like this out there.
Not to mention this:
GMO corn, soybeans, sugar beets, soy, papaya, and several others are grown in the United States. What that means for you, is that almost every major food in our country contains GMO ingredients and you’re eating it. Breakfast cereal, granola bars, coffee creamer, anything with sugar (since many foods are made with sugar beets vs. sugar in our country) and hundreds of other products contain ingredients that are GMO, thus the term “Frankenfood.”
You are probably shrugging your shoulders and thinking that you feel fine. These GMOs are not hurting you. You’ve been eating them since the mid-90′s and wouldn’t you be sick by now?
Well, chances are they ARE hurting you. Do you suffer from frequent indigestion? Joint pain? Stomach cramps, bloating, bowel troubles? Do you feel awful and have been to doctors and specialists because you never feel good, but they can’t find anything wrong with you? How about cancer?
All these things can be linked to eating a diet with a lot of GMO (processed food, fast food, non-organic food).
After finding out about this, I started researching as much as I could about food, and where our food comes from. I read about pesticides, gardening, composting, and sustainable living. I watched movies (Food, Inc., and YouTube videos). I spoke with friends that eat vegan.
My conclusion is this. I don’t want to eat anything with GMO ingredients. I want food to be healthy and nourishing, and don’t want to have to worry that the food we are eating is making our bodies sick, or my son’s Autism worse, or my husband’s kidney stones more frequent.
So what am I doing to change all this?
In the United States, there is no mandatory labeling law to say that foods contain GMO ingredients. There is legislation that has been introduced, and we’ll have to wait to see what happens with that. In the meantime:
1. I am buying foods listed on the “Non-GMO Project” list. This is company that does third party verifications all the way to the seeds of the foods that are on the list. All ingredients must be GMO free in order to be listed.
2. We are buying organic food. I look for the green circle that says “USDA Organic” as this means that no GMO ingredients are allowed, and nothing synthetic can be used in the growing process.
3. I ordered non-GMO seeds for my vegetable garden. This is where it all starts. If I buy the local box store seeds, there is a high probability that they are GMO seeds. Yes, this issue reaches that far that the very seeds you plant in your garden could be GMO – so be sure to check to see if your seeds are non-GMO!
4. Support local farms that are organic. Shop at farm stands, co-ops, and farmer’s markets but be sure that they use organic practices and non-GMO seeds and feed for their animals.
In order to not feel overwhelmed, I have been converting over to organic food as things run out in the house. So, when my cereal (for example) ran out, I bought an organic equivalent. It is amazing how fast the conversion is happening, and I am proud of the food in our pantry now.
Many people feel like it is expensive to eat organic, but I can tell you that there is a trade-off. All the money you are spending on pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter medicines, and doctor’s visits will be saved as you have a healthier lifestyle. And honestly, I find myself eating less, because the food that is going into my body is more nourishing. I was surprised to find that my appetite is more satisfied than before, and I am snacking less. Give it a try!