This month, October, is Non-GMO Month. I find most people are really confused about what a GMO is and where GMOs are found. Some people tend to think that GMO seeds are similar to the type of hybridization that has been going on amongst gardeners for centuries. Not true! The type of genetic modification that happens to create GMO seeds involves the forceful insertion of things like E.coli genes or genes that produce glyphosphate (an herbicide) or cause Roundup resistance (allowing farmers to dump more Roundup onto the plants) into corn and soybeans and cotton.
GMOs exist for one reason only: for the chemical companies who make them to enable themselves to sell more chemicals to farmers. Do not, I repeat, do not fall for any marketing sales efforts that claim GMOs will help feed the world and save farmers from drought. It's a lie!!!!
And remember, as I write in Organic Manifesto, the only safety testing on humans or animals for GMOs is happening right now, on you, on your kids, and on farm animals around the world. Early results are showing everything from digestive failure to kidney and liver failure and accelerated aging. Terrible stuff.
Here are 10 ways to avoid GMOs:
1. Buy USDA-certified organic food. It is currently the only official way you can avoid GMOs, since GMOs are not allowed to be used according to USDA organic regulations. THANK YOU, GOVERNMENT! (For once!)
2. Avoid all nonorganic soy products like the plague. That means things like nonorganic veggie burgers, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and miso products.
3. Don't buy anything that claims to be "non-dairy" that isn't organic. Soy is used to create everything from Cool Whip to Coffee-Mate...in addition to the obvious non-dairy soy treats in your health-food store freezer. Yup, they are filled with GMOs, too.
4. Don't buy or eat anything with corn in it that isn't organic. That means corn chips, cereals with corn (or soy, for that matter), or even corn bread!
5. At all costs, eliminate high-fructose corn syrup (a.k.a. "corn sugar") from your diet. It is just an excuse for chemical companies to convince farmers they can keep growing GMO corn and poisoning you and your family.
6. Avoid biofuels and ethanol; they're a toxic GMO festival. No one seems to care if corn is poisoned if it's just going to drive our cars. Problem is, we are all being poisoned by it.
7. Don't buy any meat, fish, poultry, or eggs unless they're certified organic or from a farmer you completely trust. TIP: Ask farmers what they feed their animals when they aren't eating grass. If a farmer feeds her animals nonorganic food, it is most certainly filled with GMOs. Those GMOs are definitely harming the animals, and they are probably harming you...we won't know for sure until we all find out together, since we are all guinea pigs in this giant experiment.
8. Buy certified-organic cotton clothing, bedding, and towels. Again, it's the only way to be certain that you are not supporting GMOs. Even though you don't eat cotton (although cottonseed oil is a part of many processed foods, so technically, you may be eating it), you are still supporting a toxic, dangerous farming system.
9. Read! This GMO arena is constantly changing as the industry tries to sneak around consumers and farmers. Be vigilant, keep an eye out, and read whatever you can to try to stay informed.
10. TAKE ACTION! Ultimately, the only thing that can stop the GMO invasion is you. All of you. Write letters. Send petitions. Speak up. Demand change and demand organic!!!!
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.