On GMOs…

I noticed today that November is National Peanut Butter Lovers month. Now, my first thought in response to this was not, “Hmm, a whole month to use as an excuse to eat jars of peanut butter”. No. My first reaction was this: Uh-oh, GMO. That’s right. The thought of peanuts makes me think of genetically modified organisms. Why? Because peanuts are one of the new foods that are currently being tested in India for genetic modification. Currently, India is testing a GM peanut with the allergen-causing protein being repressed and resistance to fungi, insects, and other things (see GMO Compass: http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/plants/33.peanut.html)

Why is this bad? GMOs are food-like organisms that have been engineered genetically to mimic foods in appearance and taste, but act differently in regards to crop yield and pesticide/herbicide resistance. You will hear from most people/organizations/governing bodies that GMOs are safe, but what some other healthcare professionals and non-profit organizations (see Mark Hyman, Andrew Weil, Non-GMO Project) have found over the years is that GMOs are anything but safe. You see, in addition to acting differently with crop yield and pesticide/herbicide resistance (resistance to degradation by these chemicals), GMOs seem to also act differently once ingested, possibly being a major cause of the sharp rise in food allergies and inflammatory conditions (Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.). I’ve found in my own practice that patients who eliminate GMO foods from their diet see marked improvements in allergic reactions and inflammatory condition symptoms (joint pain, migraines, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping, etc.).

So, what are the GMO foods that seem to be causing these problems? Here’s the full list: rapeseed, cotton, honey, rice, soybean, sugar cane, tomatoes, corn, sweet corn, canola, potatoes, flax, papaya, squash, red-hearted chicory, cotton seed oil, tobacco, meat, peas, vegetable oil, sugarbeets, dairy products, and supplement vitamins (vitamin C made from GMO corn, Vitamin A from GMO soy, etc.).

I know. It’s very overwhelming. Looks like almost everything is GMO. But, there is some good news. There have been a number of food companies and some grocery stores that have dedicated themselves to growing, purchasing, and selling GMO-free foods. And, there’s even a Non-GMO Project Verification seal for foods that meet strict guidelines for the absence of genetically modified organisms. The companies who have been verified by the Non-GMO Project include Whole Food’s 365 Every Day Value, Amy’s Kitchen, Arrowhead Mills, Barbara’s foods, Barlean’s Organic Oils, Blue Diamond, Bora Bora, Earth Balance, Garden of Eatin’, and tens more. For the complete list of food manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers who have been verified as non-GMO, click here.

If you don’t have access to the list above or to the specific brands listed, a good habit to develop would be to purchase USDA certified organic foods. Anything certified organic by the USDA cannot contain any GMO ingredients. So, look for the USDA seal when shopping at your supermarket.

So, whether it’s potatoes, soy milk, corn chips, or whatever else you may enjoy, commit to purchasing the brands  who have dedicated themselves to producing and selling clean foods. And, purchase organic when you can. If you experience any food allergies or the inflammatory conditions I listed above, you may find that purchasing and consuming organic, GMO-free foods regularly will relieve some or even all of your symptoms.

And for more information on this topic and the inflammatory conditions I listed above, visit my website to contact me: www.laurenminchen.com.

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3 thoughts on “On GMOs…

  1. You say GMO’s are bad because they are engineered for crop yield and pesticide resistance. Is it also possible for them to be engineered for nutritional value etc if not motivated by the hands of corporations completely focused on profit?

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    1. Hi Roger, that’s a great question. Many plants are already naturally bred to increase nutritional and other values. Any time unrelated genes are injected into the genes of a plant (e.g genetic engineering), even if it’s to increase a specific nutritional value, the whole chemistry of the plant changes. In contrast, when different breeds of one plant are mixed, the integrity of the plants’ natural, original genes is maintained. That, in my opinion, is always preferable to completing changing the genetic foundation of a plant.

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