- sugar beets
- Hawaiian papaya
- zucchini and yellow squash
Seems like a short list, but one of these ingredients is in over 75% of foods on the shelves in the US! Also keep in mind that many animals are being feed on GMO corn or soy feed, and then those animals are fed to us. There are more GMO foods awaiting approval, or already available elsewhere such as potato, tomato, rice, wheat and salmon.
Part 2: How Do GMO Foods Effect Health?
The effect of GMO foods on health is still not fully understood. There is not a large body of research on the subject, and it's effect over time / generations is not fully grasped.
However, the information is coming to our understanding.
There are four areas where we can see an effect:
1. Hormones / Fertility
Animal studies showed that GMO foods caused an increase of testosterone in women and an increase of estrogen in men. It's also linked to sterility, abnormal and lower sperm counts, miscarriages, placental cell death, birth defects, and cancer.
2. Gut Health and Digestion
This is the big one. Let's review that there are two categories of current GMOs in the US. The first is 'Round Up Ready' crops.
Round Up's chief ingredient is glyphosate. Glyphosate works by decreasing healthy organisms in the soil and increasing soil pathogens. Simultaneously it is weakening a plant's immunity.
This same action is basically taking place in our bodies when we ingest Round Up Ready foods. Our good bacteria are being attacked, while pathogenic bacteria can abound. When we lose our good bacteria, we have a decreased level of butyrate, a fatty acid that lowers inflammation and build cells in the gut. Butyrate also increases insulin sensitivity.
Round-up also binds to vitamins and minerals in crops, especially to trace minerals. It does the same in your body. Even as you may swallow down a whole food supplement, if you are eating it with a GMO soy-based power bar or a GMO corn chip, the glyphosate will bind with the nutrients.
Translation: Eating GMO foods will result in gut bacteria imbalance, which can in turn cause inflammation and weakness in the gut, which can result in high blood sugar, overeating and colon cancer. Plus it's stealing your nutrition.
The second category of GMO foods is those injected with Bt toxin. Bt toxin is used to 'poke holes' in insects; it's in insecticide. Although Monsanto pushed the safety of these Bt toxin crops to the FDA, they are now known to actually poke holes in human cells as well. This can cause leaky cells / leaky gut. And it's suspected these toxins can even be absorbed into our own cells and released again.
Lastly GMO foods are connected with a sharp increase in trypsin inhibitor. Trypsin is a enzyme that helps us break down protein. When it's inhibited, our protein digestion is slower / incomplete, resulting in a feeling of indigestion, possible malnutrition, and possible autoimmunity as these under-digested proteins enter the bloodstream through what is now a leaky gut, thanks to consumption of GMO foods.
If over 70% of immune activity happens in the gut, you can imagine that an imbalanced gut will effect immunity.
Farm workers exposed to Bt toxin frequently report skin rashes. Villagers exposed to glypohosate report illness, sometimes even death.
It makes you wonder what happens as we eat it bit by bit, day by day.
The increase in food allergies worldwide is suspected to be related to the introduction of GMO foods into our diets in the last 10-20 years.
4. Brain health
If inflammation is running wild in the gut, it will 'travel' to other parts of the body, including the brain. Plus the lack of nutrients being bound with GMO foods or being mal-absorbed in an inflamed gut could effect the brain.
The rise is ADHD and autism in children has a suspected link to GMO foods.
Part 3: How to Avoid GMO Foods and Heal Your Body
In part 1 you read the list of GMO foods in the US. However they are often in foods you don't quite suspect:
- A can of soup you buy has a little canola oil in it (90% chance of being GMO.)
- You eat a delicious meal of beans and tortillas at your neighborhood Mexican food cart. (Those corn tortillas have an 88% chance of being GMO.)
- You buy some granola bars for your kid's lunch and don't notice the soy flour in the ingredients. (The soy has a 94% chance of being GMO.)
- A food may not be GMO, but it's sprayed with Round Up before harvesting.
So what can you do?