Organic and GMO Foods: Organic farming practices have come under fire because they are not scalable for the masses of the world. (Although that might be changing.) These studies are trying to prove that genetically modified foods are the wave of the future and that starving populations would soon have no food if it wasn’t for GMO corn, wheat and soy. (In fact, you’d be hard pressed to even find non-GMO corn or soy anywhere over the past five years or so, but that’s also changing.)
These studies cite things like frequent applications of less-toxic and natural pesticides, high carbon footprint because of the high amount of methane (awesome soil with animal poop) and low land-yield per square foot. If you’ve got a ton of people to feed, you need to get more food out of every inch, not plant what’s in season for your local climate.
When it comes to the food itself, they point out studies that show organic foods are no better than traditionally grown foods. Their studies say that in the long term, there is no direct evidence to show that consuming organic leads to improved health or lower risk of disease. (That’s straight from findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Stanford University.
These studies are based on whether the conventionally grown foods exceeded the allowable amounts of pesticide residue by federal regulations. The majority did not. They also looked to see if the foods had the same nutritional values. And while there was some variation, they pointed out that there will always be variations between all types of vegetables grown in different soils in different areas between different varieties and depending on when they were picked. They believe it has very little to do with whether it is organic or not.
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants (or animals) created through gene splicing techniques. It’s completely experimental. Biotechnologist engineers are merging DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that simply cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
GMO giant Monsanto has done a very clever thing. They created a fungal infection in the soil because they genetically modified soy seeds, then they created a “solution seed” to that problem named Roundup 2 Yield soy seed with a proprietary fungicide and insecticide coating to combat the problem. See? You need the second one to combat the first one and they sell both. The industry calls this a “treadmill” which is profitable for the seed and chemical companies. Pretty much everyone else loses out, especially a chronically ill person.
Monsanto also developed a seed that can’t be killed by their original weed killer, Round-up. This allows the farmers to use the two together and save time on weeding. The downside? Emergence of a deadly pathogen that’s causing widespread spontaneous abortions among cattle. This pathogen is appearing in high concentrations among GMOs and non-GMO crops alike, meaning you’re probably consuming it if you’re consuming those foods made with those crops.
If you see a ballot measure in your area regarding labeling foods in the USA as containing GMO if they in fact do so, please consider supporting it. We need to know what’s in the foods we consume. In the meantime, cutting out processed foods along with corn, soy, and wheat that don’t explicitly show the Non-GMO seal is your best bet to avoid unlabeled GMO products.
Organic vs Traditional – When foods go into our chronically ill bodies, the goal is no inflammation. We need gentle, easy to digest foods so we get the maximum nutrients, and with the fewest pesticides and other things that our bodies might see as poisons so they can get busy dealing with the task at hand – healing.
To that end, for right now, I strongly suggest organic foods. Local if you can. While I understand the concerns and efforts of those trying to feed the world, that is not the priority of a chronically ill person. Be appreciative you have access to food-medicine and take advantage of it.
Every bite you put into your machine that is free of harsh chemicals is just that much easier for it to utilize. Your doctors may tell you that it doesn’t matter what you eat. Some of mine did. But, it does matter to your body that is trying very hard to heal. It matters a lot.
Whether the amount of pesticides on traditional foods are deemed “acceptable” by the FDA or not, your body will get busy trying to figure out what to do with them and getting the nutrients out of the food will be that much harder.
If you must get conventionally grown foods, there are ways to protect yourself as much as possible. The Environmental Working Group puts out a list every year of the most contaminated foods which they call The Dirty Dozen. These foods have the most pesticide residue, even after washing and/or peeling. Try to avoid these foods if possible. They have a full list of 48 foods on their website. They’ve also got a list of the Clean Fifteen – the best choices of conventionally grown food this year.
Wash your fruits and veggies in a sink full of warm water and a few drops of lemon essential oil. It will remove most of whatever is on the skin. Rinse well. Alternately, peel the skin of whatever you can.
If you buy from local markets instead of grocery chains, you’ll find vendors and farmers that have “natural” produce. They might not be certified organic because it can be expensive to go through the process and they may be too small to be able to afford it, but they might be growing their produce with a limited amount of chemicals. Get to know your local farmers and find out for yourself how they’re growing their foods.