Home Opinion How can we avoid GMOs?

How can we avoid GMOs?


GMOsMIXBy Rita Rector

Guest Columnist

Whatever testing GMOs have undergone to prove they are safe to eat, and conversely, to prove they are not safe to eat, the fact remains: GMOs are genetically modified to withstand pesticides and herbicides. These products are toxic to your health. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “safe” level for glyphosate in American water supplies is 0.7 ppm. In Europe, the maximum allowable level in water is 0.2 ppm. Organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm… At 13 ppm, GMO corn contains more than 18 times the “safe” level of glyphosate set by the EPA. Mercola.com dated April, 2013.

Every container of Roundup Ready (glyphosate) states, in part: “Do Not Consume Product Orally.” The product label also states that Roundup is poisonous if swallowed, although it does not specify what harm might result. The New York Times reports that “effects of consuming glyphosate can include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, headache, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, general weakness and possible coma. If consumption occurs, do not induce vomiting, but seek immediate medical attention.” Garden Guides.com
We are constantly reminded to wash our fruits and vegetables where herbicides or pesticides still cling. The reminder is on practically every fresh vegetable and fruit in the grocery store. And yet with GMO foods, these toxins cannot be washed off. They have become part of the plant itself. And, under pressure from Monsanto, the EPA is constantly raising the “allowable” safety levels of these chemicals.
Since GMOs are created to withstand these higher levels of chemicals, that means we are consuming higher & higher levels as well. If this bothers you and you want to avoid GMOs as much as possible, there are steps you can take to eliminate them from your shopping cart.
Perhaps the most important step is to grow your own garden. If you don’t know the first thing about gardening, there is a plethora of information – ranging from easy to complex. Just keep it simple and only grow what you like to eat. Some planting systems to consider are: 1) Traditional, 2) Permaculture, 3) No-Dig, 4) Raised Beds, 5) Square Foot Gardening, and 6) a combination of any of the above. A computer can provide everything you ever wanted to know about gardening but were afraid to ask. The library is a great source of information as well. Other seasoned growers can help immensely by teaching you what they know, plus provide hands-on applications and knowledge from first-hand experiences. Keep in mind that our local Cooperative Extension Service Office can be a great source of information, and if they don’t have what you are looking for, they can point you in the right direction. The Farmers’ Market has now initiated a program that is dedicated to helping you.
Buy, plant, and save seeds from heirloom varieties. Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and Clear Creek Heirloom Seeds all specialize in heirlooms, and are not owned by Monsanto or Seminis. Seed Savers Exchange will gladly tell you how to collect and store seeds. You might also consider saving your seeds from your most healthy, best looking/best tasting plantings. Continue this practice for a couple of years and you will have seeds that are perfectly adapted to your own growing conditions, soil, climate, etc.
If growing a garden isn’t in your future, buy local and organic as much as possible. Fortunately for us, Nashville has a Farmers’ Market. Some of the growers grow organic, some do not, but the food is locally grown from seeds and plants that are non-GMO.
Stay away from the top 8: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya and some zucchini and yellow squash. Check the stickers on fresh produce. A 4 digit number identifies the product. If there are 5 digits, take note of the 1st number. If it is a 7, the product is organic; if it is an 8, the product is GMO. New GMO products are coming out all the time such as the “botox” apple, and the modified salmon, which have already been approved and will be in our stores within the next year.
Besides the obvious corn and soy products, virtually every type of processed food contains a GMO product to either cook it or help preserve it’s shelf life. Corn is used as the fillers and additives. Most products that have any form of soy are also GMO. Most table sugar is a GMO product because it is made with a blend of sugar beets and sugar cane. The majority of sugar beet crops in the United States are GMO. High fructose corn syrup is GMO and in places that you would not expect to find it such as tomato sauces. Over 90 percent of the processed food in the grocery stores is genetically modified now.
Cook your own meals, but never cook your meals in margarine, soy, or canola oils. Use fresh food as much as you can, and if you would like to have some pre-prepared dishes around the house, only stick to the brands that state they are Organically Grown. Products that have this seal may not in any way use GMO foods.  Other labels to watch for are “Non GMO Project Verified,” and “GMO Free.”
Would you like to do more? Support Organizations that are working to protect people and the environment from Unsafe GMO practices – including: The Center for Food Safety, Natural Solutions Foundation, The Organic Consumers Association, and Greenpeace Institute for Responsible Technology.
Visit JustLabellt.org to sign a petition that’s being sent to the FDA demanding labeling for genetically modified foods on the national level. Take a stand against Monsanto and for organic farmers by signing up with Food Democracy Now! They stay abreast of new tactics and provide ways for us to take action by telling our representatives what we stand for and believe. If you want to help monetarily, get on the email list of “Center for Food Safety.” Even if you don’t donate, you can stay up to date on new policies being put into law. MomsAcrossAmerica.com also keeps us informed of the latest breaking news. Natural News reports on many high interest topics, including GMOs. And lastly, join the “Millions Against Monsanto” Campaign.
Millions of people have joined hands around the globe to fight against a company that is taking our health and freedom of choice away from us. Are you throwing up your hands in frustration? Mike Reese quotes a little ditty that goes something like this: “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch; Mile by mile, it’s a trial.”

Previous articleScrapperettes headed to state tourney as four seed
Next articleTwo arrested after fist fight