"Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I've found. I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay..." -- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Despite the fact that over 90 percent of people want genetically modified organisms (GMOs) labeled, we still don't have that right in the U.S. -- yet. But we are not powerless. Awareness about GMOs is growing steadily. And I believe it is the "small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk" that can make a big difference. If our elected officials will not do our bidding, then we can take our power back right now by not buying or eating any genetically modified foods. Need some motivation to cut them out of your diet? Here are some sobering facts.
1. We eat on average 193 pounds of genetically modified foods in a year, at minimum. Yes you read that right -- 193 pounds!
2. There are no long-term safety studies in humans. Thus, the long-term health effects are unknown.
3. Genetically modified crops use more pesticides. Their use has increased by 404 million pounds from 1996 to 2011. And stronger herbicides are needed to counter weed resistance, including 2,4-D, which is one of the chemicals found in Agent Orange! This is bad for the environment and can't be good for us.
4. Chemical companies that create GMO seeds -- such as Monsanto -- patent them so farmers have to buy new seeds each year. I just don't think it's right to patent seeds, GMO or otherwise. And think about it, do you really want chemical companies to control our food supply?
It is for these reasons that I avoid genetically modified foods. I hope you consider removing them from your diet as well. Let's use the power we do have -- our dollars -- and avoid GMOs now.
The current crops that are genetically modified are soy, corn, canola, sugar beets, cotton, Hawaiian papaya some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash and alfalfa (which is fed to cattle and not us). Here are some tips to cut GMOs out of your diet.
- Buy USDA Organic, especially when purchasing the current GMO crops. Organic foods are grown from seeds that are not genetically modified.
Do you eat out a lot?
- Ask the manager at restaurants you frequent if their menu items contain GMO ingredients. This will help increase awareness and perhaps move them in the direction of removing GMOs from their menu.
What else can you do?
Tell restaurants, fast food chains, and grocery stores, you want products without GMOs. They will respond to customer demand, as they have done in the past. Remember what happened when we found out there was "pink slime" in our hamburgers?