This morning I posted about starting a small group for our church. Bryce and I plan to start a group this Spring that teaches people about food- how to grow it, how to plant it, how to pick it, how to cook it and every aspect in between. We want to teach people about the importance of eating REAL whole foods, not genetically modified foods or foods covered in pesticides.
Every time I start talking about the issue with modern convenience foods, and processed, prepackaged, or ready to eat food I am immediately faced with a backlash of angry people telling me that they can’t afford to eat organic. It costs too much. One of the major reasons people cite for not eating organic is that the cost is too high…
They say that the foods with GMO’s are more affordable.
Most people don’t really understand what GMO means. Even if you know that GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism”… you still might not be clear on what that means. And that’s okay.. because for a long time I didn’t quite understand what that meant exactly either.
Today, I was sitting at the kitchen table while my kids ate lunch and I noticed that the ONE non-organic apple in the basket had still been ignored. I had ONE non-organic apple in the bin that I bought from Kroger and ten organic apples from Green Bean delivery. Over the last few days, my kids had been ignoring that one apple from Kroger even though I hadn’t mentioned that it was from the store and not organic. Today… I watched as the last two organic apples were plucked for the basket and the last one remained… one of the kids opted out of fruit entirely.
When I asked why no one was eating that apple, I was surprised to hear my 5 year old say, “Because it’s bad for you.” I was floored! I asked her how she knew. She said, “Because that one’s bigger, and shinier, and prettier, and looks fake. So I knew it had GMOs.” (Now, I don’t think there are any GMO apples yet, but she was right that it was grown using conventional farming including pesticides.) Pretty interesting response for a 5 year old. My 9 year old agreed that the apple looked fake and she knew it wasn’t organic so she didn’t want to eat it. But they both continued to ask me more questions about GMO’s. So that’s what we did for our science lesson today….
Let me share with you the information I taught my children today.
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. The two main types of GMO’s are:
herbicide resistant (BT herbicide)
insect resistant (RoundUp)
But what does that mean? What IS a GMO?
Genetically engineered crops, or what we’ve started calling GMOs, typically have genes from other organisms inserted into their DNA. The most popular ones, like Roundup-resistant soybeans and insect-resistant corn, use genes from bacteria. What this means is that the DNA was altered to contain these herbicides/insecticides within the plant as a way to prevent pests or weeds from killing them.
The question I have to ask you is: If the plant is genetically altered to contain one of the most toxic chemicals of our lifetime right inside, a genetic modification so powerful that it can kill pests or weeds without even being sprayed because the chemical is now INSIDE of every seed… Then how in the WORLD do you think the food it grows is SAFE? How could that even be POSSIBLE?
One more time…. Seeds are being MODIFIED with insecticide and herbicide so that when the seed is planted and grows into a plant, insects and weeds that touch that plant are killed. And we are EATING that plant.
Let’s look at this timeline:
In 1935, DNA was discovered.
In 1973, the first recombinant DNA was created.
In 1982, the FDA approved the first GMO product, a drug called Humulin. This is insulin produced by a strain of genetically engineered E.coli bacteria.
In 1994, the first GMO food hit supermarket shelves when the US was introduced to the Flavr Savr tomato. This tomato was engineered to ripen late so that it would stay fresh longer, even after picked off the plant.
In 2003, a Bt-toxin-resistant caterpillar was found eating a bunch of GMO BT cotton crops in the southern US. (**This means that in less than a decade the insects had already become resistant to these toxins!)
Currently, there are 169 MILLION acres of GMO crops in the US. That is HALF of all farmland in the continental US.
These insecticides and herbicides are linked to all kinds of chronic health problems including adverse neurological effects such as FOUR-FOLD increase of Parkinson’s disease, shortened attention span, memory disordered, and reduced coordination. They are also linked to reproductive problems including miscarriage; reduced infant development; birth defect; depression; and more forms of cancer than I can stomach to count.
An even more interesting note? Less than 1% of the world’s insects are considered pests. The other 99% play a pivotal role in our food chain and many are indispensable.
65 countries around the world require GMO labeling, not us. Why do you think that is? If you KNEW the food you were consuming had these toxins inside, would you still chose to buy it? Or would the GMO labeling guide you into buying different products to keep you family away from this perversion of DNA?
When Haiti experience it’s devastating Earthquake in 2010, Monsanto donated 475 TONS of seeds to help the farmers rebuild. Haiti is quite literally one of the poorest countries in the world. And do you know what these farmers thought about Monsanto’s seed? They were so aware of the dangers of a modified seed that they BURNED all 475 tons (60,000 seed sacks) so that it wouldn’t harm them. In Haiti, seeds are sacred. They are, as one Haitian woman stated, “a Gift from God.”
And I think she’s right. In Genesis, if you go to Verses 29-31, you can see that God’s design of everything was intentional, “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground- everything that has breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
God made no mistakes when he created each and every seed-bearing plant. He did not forget to add the pesticide genes or the herbicide genes. He looked at everything he created and said it was very good.
I don’t believe that we should alter DNA. I don’t believe that we should experiment with life that God created. GMO’s are organisms that aren’t produced by nature and have never been seen before. We don’t know the side effects of modifying organisms because we ARE NOT the master creator. What Monsanto has done by creating new organisms that weren’t created by God is that he has created side effects that are punishing us. Punishments like cancer in newborn babies, autoimmune disease in young adults, neurological disorders in children, shorter lifespans for everyone who lives and eats the food produced by commercial farming in the United States.
Currently, the following products are Genetically Engineered (GE) in the United States:
85% of corn
91% of soybeans
88% of cotton
75% of processed foods
So, for those who can’t afford to buy organic… Now I have a question for you…
Can you REALLY afford the cost of GMO’s?
For more information on GMO’s and GE foods, check out the following links: