“Pretty Little Liars” – Why Perfect Produce Doesn’t Equal Health

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These days, corn just looks so perfect, doesn’t it? Every kernel round and succulent looking; every ear silky and easy to peel. Papayas too. They’re so orange and firm and can sit on your counter for weeks with nary a bruise or an insect nibble. These foods look so good they must be chock-full of health-promoting vitamins and minerals, right? Not so much. The fact that your produce looks so perfect and doesn’t go bad for weeks should be a huge red flag that what you’re eating could be slowly poisoning you to death.

Just What are Genetically Modified Foods?

You may have heard some buzz about Monsanto or genetically engineered foods but haven’t really paid it much attention. After all, your favorite news stations don’t provide much coverage about them so they can’t be that important, right? Wrong.

A genetically modified organism is an organism taken from nature and chemically-altered to resist pests and grow in a places nature never intended. For example, let’s say a certain type of vegetable cannot be grown in Antarctica. No problem! It is genetically spliced with salmon or cod-fish genes so it can withstand frigid temperatures.

Sick and tired of washing pesticides off your fruits and vegetables before you eat them? Now you don’t have to! Genetically modified foods have pesticides built right into the structure of the fruit or vegetable you’re about to put on your plate. You can’t wash it off! Each time you eat a genetically modified food, you are ingesting pesticides with serious consequences to your health.

Devastating Side Effects from Consuming Pesticides

With conventionally-raised produce, you at least have the chance of washing the pesticides off before you eat. With genetically modified food, you no longer have that option. The pesticides are built right in. Thousands of pounds of crops are lost to insects every year, which means no profit for big agricultural companies. GMO foods are so foreign, current species of bugs won’t touch them. No bugs mean higher yields and more profit for major corporations.

Unfortunately, while major food manufacturers are lining their pockets, you and your children are getting sicker and sicker by the decade.

Here are just some of the terrifying side effects caused by “perfect produce”:

  • Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases have become an epidemic and it’s only going to get worse as more and more genetically modified foods enter the food supply. When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. Your immune system becomes weak and unstable when you consume highly-processed foods.

Nearly all junk food contains corn oil, soy, high fructose corn syrup or sweeteners made from sugar beets, which are all genetically modified. When you eat these foods, you’re eating pesticides that destroy your healthy gut bacteria and cause your immune system to malfunction. This can cause your immune system to mistakenly attack its own healthy tissue leading to inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more.

  • Cancer

Studies have shown that rats fed a genetically modified diet develop hideous tumors and quickly die of cancer.

  • Food and Environmental Allergies

Fifty or so years ago, hardly anyone had “allergies”. It was unheard of that any healthy human being could have an anaphylactic reaction to a handful of peanuts or a diarrhea attack from eating a piece of bread. It was inconceivable that a child would have to stay indoors and away from grass and flowers or suffer sniffling, sneezing, itching, and watery eyes. It was just weird to have allergies!

Heck, it was even weird in the ’80s when I was growing up. I had chronic allergies and kids would always ask me why I “talked funny” and kept “making that noise in my throat”. My parents just told everyone I had a cold that never went away. Allergies were practically unheard of even 25 years ago. Now, more and more children think snuffling and coughing their way through a day is normal!

The pesticides in genetically modified foods are destroying the healthy microflora in your gut, which impacts the way your immune system responds to your environment. The more you eat, the more your immune system overreacts to everything around you and the more food and environmental allergies you develop!

  • Developmental Disorders

The rise of autism rates is staggering in this country and it’s only getting worse. From 1996 to 2013 autism rates have increased five-fold. Eating pesticides interfere with both digestive and neurological function, resulting in an incredible epidemic of developmental disorders, delays, and malfunctions.

  • Infertility

Here’s something really frightening about genetically modified foods; they cause infertility. According to a Russian study, hamsters fed a diet of genetically modified soy were completely infertile by the 3rd generation.

Another worrisome problem related to genetically modified foods is their tendency to create superbugs. See, the thing is, man can play God all he wants but nature always finds a way. It’s like antibiotics. We keep making stronger antibiotics and, in response, germs become stronger and more resistant to them. It’s the same with pesticides. Each time we use a stronger pesticide on crops, it causes nature to produce even stronger, more resilient bugs.

The Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

The most genetically modified foods include:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Aspartame
  • Cotton
  • Alfalfa
  • Papaya
  • Crookneck Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Oilseed Rape (Canola Oil)

An Almost Total Loss of Nutritional Content

As if eating foods containing deadly BT toxins isn’t bad enough, your “perfect produce” is also being exposed to ionized radiation before it gets to your plate. This means any remaining nutritional content in your food is being destroyed. This practice has been reported to be an innovative way to kill harmful bacteria such as E. coli but there are far safer and greener ways of doing this than zapping all the nutrients right out of your food.

Debunking the Argument in Favor of GMOs

Monsanto claims that the primary reason for the advent of genetically modified foods is to “feed the world”. This is just a smokescreen. Manufacturers of genetically modified foods are not interested in feeding the poor and hungry, they’re interested in profits, pure and simple.

The problem with world hunger has nothing to do with not having enough food; it has to do with the poor not having enough money to grow or buy it. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, we already produce enough food to feed over 12 million people. Monsanto’s claim that they can “feed the world” is just a dangerous distraction from much deeper political issues.

Genetically Modified Seeds are Patentable Intellectual Property

Here is one of the strangest facts about genetically modified foods; they’re patentable intellectual property. Meaning that as soon as a natural gene sequence is genetically altered, it can be patented just the same as a slogan or a song. Imagine that. We live in world where food, which is provided to us by nature, can now be owned by a single corporation. Just let that sink in for a minute.

It’s Becoming Illegal to Grow Your Own Food

If, for some reason, you go against the grain, and decide that “perfect produce” isn’t for you, you might decide to grow your own garden. Growing your own garden is a fun, relaxing way to reconnect with nature and ensure the food you’re eating is wholesome and fresh. It’s also becoming illegal. A man in Clarkston, GA was fined over $5,000 for growing too many vegetables in his own backyard. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a woman who used home-grown herbs, vegetables, and spices for both food and medicine had her entire garden destroyed by city officials.

How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods

Even though it seems impossible, you can avoid most genetically modified foods. If you’re eating junk food, slowly taper off of it and search for snack products that clearly state “non-GMO project” on the package. When choosing produce, meat, and fish, opt for organic. Also, watch your oils. Corn and canola oil are genetically modified so opt for safflower, olive oil, and coconut oil instead.

The next time you’re at the supermarket, carefully inspect the produce. Does it look good enough to be in a photo shoot? If so, you should probably avoid it. Even if you’re never heard of genetically modified foods before you read this article, you can make a change for the better right now. Leave the “pretty little liars” behind. A few spots on your apples won’t kill you but genetically modified organisms most certainly will.

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Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/poverty-matters/2012/oct/05/jean-ziegler-africa-starve

http://naturalsociety.com/gmo-fed-hamsters-become-infertile-have-stunted-growth/

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/autism

About Author: Jaime A. Heidel

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