Would You Sprinkle Roundup on Your Child’s Morning Cereal?
Would you sprinkle Roundup on your child’s food? Does this sound like a ridiculous question to you? Sprinkling a dangerous synthetic herbicide on your child’s meal? Who would do that? The answer is almost everyone. Chances are the food your family is consuming is laced with synthetic herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. It is not just in your morning cereal. It is in your bread, your meat, your drinks, even in your toddler’s beloved cracker snacks. It is in virtually every processed food you have ever consumed. They are everywhere unless you learn how to avoid them.
Have you heard of GMOs? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. When referring to foods that have been genetically engineered, we are referring to crops that have been modified in a way that could not occur naturally. The genetic material of these crops can be mutated and genes can be deleted or inserted in order to have the crop exhibit a particular trait. There are two types of GMOs. The first is a Pesticide Producer, which is a crop that has been injected with a gene that will allow it to produce a toxin which is lethal to insects. In other words, the plant is designed to actually become the poison, rather than having to be sprayed with a poison. The second type of GMO is an Herbicide Resister. These crops are designed to be immune to weed killers; therefore, no matter how much herbicide you pour on these crops they don’t die. The farmer is able to douse his crops numerous times with herbicides such as Roundup, to rid his farm of every unwanted plant and weed without damaging his main crop. The chemicals that are sprayed over the crops cannot simply be washed off. Not only do they layer the exterior of the plant, they also enter into the plant through it roots system. There is not enough research out there to definitively determine the extent of the negative effects of GMOs on human health; however, the research that has been published so far is alarming. Another obvious concern when assessing the effects of GMOs is the amount of pesticides and herbicides that these mutant plants are being treated with.
Let’s take a closer look at this process. If crops are created not to be damaged by harmful chemicals, the farmer can use far more of these chemicals to ensure he yields a large crop. If crops are heavy-laden with toxic chemicals, what does that mean for us and our kids? Pesticides are designed to be toxic to living things, so how can we balance the risk of how much poison can be used on the pests that jeopardizes our food supply, without accidentally poisoning ourselves? Chemicals such as glyphosate found in Roundup, have been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease, as well as, cancer and endocrine disruption. The studies which have examined the effect of GMOs on health have shown a link between genetically engineered foods and kidney and liver damage, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, autism, gastrointestinal disorders, as well as, immune activation and allergic responses. The list of adverse health effect will most likely grow as the results from additional studies are published. As we take into account our family’s exposure to these obviously harmful chemicals, we also need to consider the fact that, as we use stronger and stronger chemicals, nature adapts and creates herbicide resistant weeds and superbugs. These resilient organisms force farmers to use more potent poisons. More potent pesticides and herbicides will certainly mean greater adverse health effects for our kids.
Where do we find GMOs? Most of the corn, cotton, soybeans, sugar beets, canola, safflower, papaya, and squash crops are genetically engineered. It is estimated that 85% of processed foods sold in the U.S. contain GMOs. Why? Because they contain GMOs from foods like vegetable oils, corn starch, glucose and soy lecithin, which are a few ingredients often found in processed foods. Additionally, most of the conventional livestock is fed GMO crops through corn, soy or alfalfa. This may sound overwhelming but GMOs can be avoided. At this time, it is not mandatory to label GMO foods; however, if you shop for foods that are labeled certified organic or labeled as “Non-GMO” you can dodge consuming genetically engineered foods.
So the next time you are stocking your kitchen with foods for the week, be mindful. If you want your kids to be vibrant and healthy, you may have to drastically change your buying habits. Read the labels of the foods you buy, while always keeping in mind the list of common GMO crops. Buy less processed foods and get informed, so that you can keep your family happy and healthy.
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Are you familiar with the risks of consuming genetically modified foods? What are your methods for avoiding the dangerous chemicals that these crops are treated with? Please comment below.