The Big Green Parenting Experiment

raising a healthy family in a toxic world

what’s with gmo’s?

on September 4, 2012

We’ve been hearing a lot about GMO’s in the news and making its rounds in social media more and more over the past year or two. I, personally, know many people who just either a) don’t care, b) don’t care to educate themselves on the topic or c) don’t think that it’s a big deal. Ok, ok… maybe in the grand scheme of everything else that is going on in their lives, it isn’t a big deal. But, it’s a big deal to me. And to my family. And to the future of healthy, natural, unmodified foods being available to my daughter and to future generations. So if you don’t have the time to get it, that’s fine. But maybe, just maybe, this post will help you to understand why you should.

Genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s (aka genetically engineered organisms) are organisms whose genetic material has been altered by way of genetic engineering. These organisms make up the genetically modified foods that are finding away onto the supermarket shelves at breakneck speed. These organisms are literally not natural. This process interferes with the natural breeding of organisms, either rendering them unable to breed properly (as nature intended), or enabling two otherwise incompatible organisms to breed (completely unnatural). I understand how fascinating this must be to scientists, to be able to alter the genetic make up of various organisms, to increase herbicide tolerance and improve pest resistance. And really, the concept is quite amazing. But do I want to eat it? No. Just no.

At this time, GMO’s have been rendered ‘safe’ to consume, however there is no evidence supporting that there are no long-term effects from consuming them. While the health risks are unclear, recent studies show that genetically engineering food can create new, unintended toxic substances and increase allergies, cancer risks, and other health problems, especially for children. Yikes. That’s not really a chance that I am willing to take. And this is what we have to fight to have appropriately labeled? Do we not feel that we, as consumers have a right to know what we are eating? What we are feeding our children? And what about what we are doing to the environment? Seriously???

So, eating weird, experimental, genetic mutant food aside, there are potentially harmful effects on the environment. Of course all agriculture practices have some sort of environmental impact, but it is believed that GMO’s may actually accelerate this impact. Now that these plants have been altered there is a risk that unnatural cross-breeding may occur with native plants, ultimately putting them at risk. This has the potential to cause a significant chain reaction. The chances may be deemed ‘slim’, but there’s a chance, none-the-less. This is crazy and terrifying to me. Why would we risk damaging natural, native species? This improved pest resistance will only last so long. And then what? Modify some more? What are we going to be left with in a few decades? This makes me feel the way that our grandparents must feel about technology. To watch the drastic changes, from the first television to the sleek LCD’s that we hang on the wall. Watching computers change and become smaller and smaller and now a staple in everyday life. Telephones that we can carry around, to use and be reached at any time and to connect to the internet and look up anything, anywhere at anytime. I’m starting to feel like this is what is going to happen with food. I feel like over the course of my lifetime I am going to witness the beautiful, natural, nourishing fruits of the earth become an out of control science project. And I have to admit that it scares me that this doesn’t scare everyone… at least just a little bit.

Here is a very interesting and informative link to GMO research called Genetically Modified Crops – Just the Science. It’s worth a read if you still aren’t sure what to make of all of this. And that concludes today’s anti-GMO rant! Now, off to the garden to pick some plump, unmodified tomatoes!


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