The Truth About GMOs, and Why You Should Avoid Them
Genetically modified organisms, otherwise known as GMOs, have a spotty history. While they do allow farmers to maximize acreage, there is compelling evidence for the benefits of organic methods, which actually can produce competitive amounts. Plus, GMOs contribute substantially to environmental pollution and health problems.
Below, we’ll talk about what GMOs are, what types of problems they cause, and how you can avoid them in your diet. Doing so will help protect the environment as well as boost the health of you and your family.
What Is a GMO?
Before you can understand why genetically modified organisms are bad, it’s important to know what they are. A GMO is plant or animal (or other organism, such as a bacteria) that has been modified in a lab. Sometimes this means removing a portion of its genetic code, or adding in a piece of another organism’s code.
The idea is to give the organism attributes it doesn’t otherwise have, such as protection against diseases or pesticides. While the idea is sound, the result is difficult to control and causes significant problems.
One of the problems with GMOs is crop contamination
. If, say, two cornfields are next to one another, they will interbreed because they are the same species. This is known as “cross-pollination.” The resulting corn will have attributes of both parents, including the genetically modified parent. The problem is that farmers who try to grow their crops organically can’t prevent the contamination. This problem intensifies when the owners of GMOs claim that all contaminated crops belong to them, a claim that has been upheld by governments. This has driven many family farms to bankruptcy.
GMOs are grown very closely together, which attracts pests and encourages disease. Because of this, genetically modified organisms need high doses of pesticides. One such chemical is glyphosate (better known by its commercial name of Roundup). While GMOs are engineered to be tolerant of this chemical, other plants and animals are not. It leaches into the water supply, where it can kills wildlife and contaminate drinking water supplies.
As if water and crop contamination weren’t bad enough, there is now evidence to suggest that GMOs have been linked to cancer
as well as liver and kidney damage. While GMO lobbyists did their best to suppress this information for as long as they could, it has finally come to light.
How to Avoid GMOs
The best way to avoid GMOs is to eat whole foods labeled organic. While you can’t guarantee no contamination and organic labeling is sometimes dicey, this is hands-down the best way to protect your health and your family’s. By avoiding processed foods and getting more whole, healthy food
in your diet, you’ll be healthier and happier.