Potato chips, cookies, pizza, all taste so good but do you really know what’s inside these tasty treats? GMOs. What is a GMO, you ask? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. A GMO basically means that scientists take a gene from one organism and put it into another. Plants have done this on their own since dinosaurs walked the earth, but GMOs are unnatural and can cause risk. Big companies like Monsanto have even created a tomato plant with fish genes (yuck! See videos below).
Some other ways GMOs have been used include, putting spider genes into goats or putting a insect repellent gene into corn. Why would anyone do this? Today, science is so advanced that companies like Monsanto use it to have more crops grow, use less insect repellent, and even make farmers’ crops bigger and stronger. This all benefits the companies to make more money, but not for us consumers eating their products. By combining genes that have never seen each other before can be risky. We don’t know what the long term effects have on us and the world we live in. Also, the use of insect repellent increases (by the way, Monsanto also make insect repellant…see the connection?). And just because these crops are bigger and stronger doesn’t mean they are better for us. These basically “mutated” fruits and veggies that we are eating can react to weather differently, can contain too much or too little nutrients, or can even cause the fruit or veggie to die quicker. Another downfall of GMOs is farmers can apply weed or insect repellent directly to the plants, which in return ends up in our grocery stores and homes.
With this in mind, it is important for us to be aware of these GMOs. But how do you know if your foods have GMOs? That’s a tricky question because many companies can hide this information on their packages. Fortunately, some packaging will have a “non-GMO” label if it doesn’t have any GMOs in it. Another way to see if your food is GMO-free is to stay organic. Processed foods are where we see the most GMO food, so try to stay away from those foods that contain maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dextrose, soy lecithin, and corn starch. Corn and soy are the foods most frequently genetically modified, so it’s best to only eat products labeled non-GMO or organic that contain these products. Take a look at the ingredients of most foods and you’ll see how often corn and soy are used…yikes!
Yes, staying GMO-free is difficult, but steering clear of GMOs will be useful to you in the future. And did we mention healthier?? Educate your family and friends too, because you want them to stay healthy too.
Here’s a short animated film about the dangers of GMOs and how big companies are making money off them:
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