I have been raised on an “organic everything” diet containing mostly fruits and vegetables as well as other nutritious foods. As I am getting older I am starting to notice the actual importance of eating nutritious and healthy food. There are so many benefits to consuming good, unaltered foods. Now that I am older, I can experiment with my diet and I have noticed that my mood, health, and lifestyle changes drastically when I am eating food that isn’t natural.
The topic of GMOs is often discussed in my house because we all do our best to eat good food that has the least amount of processing as possible, but it is difficult to determine which foods have been altered. A GMO, a genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism, or other organisms whose genetic makeup has been modified in a lab using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This process creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial, and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
GMO foods are produced at lower consumer prices or for greater benefits such as greater durability or nutritional value. GMOs are not required to be labeled in the US and Canada, however, surveys show that 93% of Americans believe GMOs should be labeled. Products that are genetically modified can supply environmental risks, human risks and safety issues. Although there are cons to this process, there are also pros; future GMOs will have improved resistance against plant disease or drought, increased nutrient levels, increased food production, fish species will have enhanced growth characteristics, and plants and animals will be producing pharmaceutically important proteins such as new vaccines. At this point, nearly all foods have been genetically modified or altered in some way.
Even though there are some benefits to GMOs, I cannot see past the disadvantages and their effects. It scares me to know that a huge (but undetermined) amount of our produce is genetically modified and that up to 95% of certain crops are modified. I don’t exactly know what is being injected into my food, how it is being treated, or what its long-term effects on us are. Knowing that most products have been genetically modified five times their original 1997 amount is terrifying. The fact that the toxicity in the chemical pesticides and herbicides used commonly with GMOs affect bees and butterflies. GMOs also critically endanger biodiversity which leads to all sorts of environmental problems.
The best way to stay away from GMOs as best as possible in today’s day and age is to buy organic foods, which is GMO-free, and buy foods that have a “NON-GMO Project” icon on it. So I guess I will still be on that “organic everything” diet to distance myself from genetically modified products.