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Healthy Living | GMOs + Your Right to Know

by Patience Melton on October 17, 2013

Today our food supply has been taken over by a man behind a current, without even so much as a post-it note on our doors. In the past 20 years GMOs have crept into our food supply and have now taken over 80% of conventional product!

bigstock-NEW-YORK-MAY---At-the-March--48032801 What are GMOs?

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are plants or animals that have been altered through gene manipulation or gene splicing. This process can either turns off a trait of a crop or splice in a new trait from a completely separate crop, animal or bacteria.

In some cases such as in BT corn, the crop has been spliced with bacteria and to create its own insecticide. That is something you can not wash off; you are in turn eating a pesticide producing crop.

The top crops you are going to see in packaged products and even in the produce department are:

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

bigstock-PENSACOLA-FL---MAY-Protes-45974248 While some say this has been going on forever, they are misunderstanding traditional breeding. Traditional plant breading can be done by cross pollination and selective growing. This can naturally occur, without human interference.

The reason conventional breeding is so accepted and mainstream is due to our current Super Market lifestyles. When the market turned from road side produce stands and ‘Mom & Pop Shops” to large Grocery stores, we developed a taste for uniformity. Our farmers selected the straightest carrots and replanted the roots to only those. The same can be said with a number of products you see on produce shelf.

Many claim seedless watermelons and uniform produce is the cause of genetic engendering, false. Selective breeding, good friends!

So you may be asking yourself, why are GMOs bad and why should I care?

The thing is, GMOs are not tested long-term. We are messing with the genetic makeup of our food supply without a known outcome. The term “lab rats” is thrown around quite a bit by those who oppose this “science experiment”.

This is by far my favorite video that explains GMOs. It goes over the main issues:

  • Cross Contamination into non-gmo fields
  • Pesticide usage increasing due to weeds resistance
  • Lack of long term studies and unknown overall side-effects on humans, animals and our environment
  • The Americas lack of transparency on what products contain GMOs

How am I involved, and credible?

My passion for transparency in the GMO world grew the moment I discovered what they were. It was heartbreaking to discover I have been consuming an altered crop my whole life. Today so many people are unaware of controversy at the base of their food supply. With no label disclaimer, it is by far the most under acknowledged modifications to the way we grow food.

I have no scientific background nor do I claim to be an expert on the subject. I am however fortune enough to work 40 hours a week under a job description that allows me to educate myself and others on GMOs. My credibility comes from my passion to find every side of the story and admit when I am not 100% t on an answer.

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With all of this information, what are you to do?

First and foremost, VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR. With every interview and speech I have given this is my main point. Consumers hold the power to social and market change.

Here is how to vote with your dollar to see change!

  1. Buy Organic! Any product that is certified Organic is legally not aloud to contain GMOs
  2. Look for Non-GMO Project Verified products. This will ensure your family is only eating what you want.
  3. Read the packaging, and avoid at risk ingredients
  4. Contact a company that is using at risk ingredients! When they hear customers want to see a change they listen!

The power to help change the world is in your hands! What are your thoughts on GMOs & how do you keep them out of your family’s food?

About Patience Melton

I am known on the internet and my local community as the GMO researcher. My goal is to serves to inspire the community to take a stance on its food supply. Veganism is a lifestyle I have embraced wholeheartedly the past four years. Though I consider myself an animal rights vegan, health has always been important to me. After six years at a conventionally grocery store I could no longer stand to see coworkers and customers not being concerned with what they were putting in their body. I started educating myself on health food and trends in the health food market. I applied as the GMO Researcher at a local heath food store and got the job! I want to make a difference in the world; I saw this as a great opportunity! Though not a mother nor a housewife, I am the oldest sister of seven very special rug-rats. I have had my fair share of dirty diapers and kissed oweys, and will forever make sure the Chupacabra does not come in the house. (The three year olds biggest fear) Those munchkins are the light to my world.

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