After reading a recent FB post about GMOs I was instantly reminded of the infamous Dorothy Parker quote, “What fresh hell is this?” I have long known about genetically modified organisms in food and have probably even commented about them, but they have stayed in the background of my thoughts. Now, with renewed interest in their long-term effects on our health, I can’t stop thinking about what might be in my next bite of food!
My greatest concern as a pescetarian is soy. Most of the U.S. soybean crop has been genetically modified! I eat more soy than most people because I eat “fake” meat at least twice a week, AND soy is used in ice cream. Now I read that nearly 90% of the U.S. canola, cottonseed, and corn crops are genetically modified. I use olive oil for my own cooking, but those other oils are used in thousands of products. It would be difficult to completely avoid them. Cows are injected with growth hormones. Sugar beets have been altered. And don’t get me started on Aspartame- that wonderful sweetener that gives me headaches and is used in over 5,000 products.
Here are ten potential problems if we continue this trend of chemically changing the makeup of anything and everything to make growing and harvesting food easier and more convenient:
- Neighboring weeds and other plants may become altered as well and become resistant to pests and pesticides.
- Plants now contain higher levels of estrogen and this may increase even more.
- Genetic alterations may result in previously unknown toxins and allergens.
- Genetically modified foods may interact with medications in unpredictable ways.
- Most GMOs have not been around long enough for extensive research to have been done and unforeseen problems may arise.
- Labeling is not required for genetically modified food so you have no way of knowing how much is going into your body.
- It will be generations from now before we will have enough experience and information to determine if genetically modified food has an effect on our genetics!
- Some GM foods fed to cows resulted in their production of milk with higher fat content. Perhaps GM foods will lead to our higher fat content!
- Some alterations made to decrease the need for pesticides may in fact over time produce insects that are resistant to pesticides. (Just as our overuse of antibiotics has back-fired.)
- There is very little accurate, up-to-date information available to the public so that we can make informed decisions.
Okay, not trying to start off a lovely weekend with depressing news, but I give up! It seems that anything I buy at the grocery store has the potential for ruining my health. I’m going to go plant some spinach right now!