From birth we try to protect our children from so very many things. Some things are easier than others. What they eat is at the top of the list for many and that food is controlled by our choices good, bad, informed or blissfully ignorant. I must admit that some of my choices in the past were blissfully ignorant.
If you want to start a controversial conversation, you just have to say the word GMO and it is amazing how many people have a passionate opinion.
The next documentary I chose to watch as my Culinary Nutrition course start date draws closer was Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of Our Lives by film maker Jeffrey M. Smith released in 2012. Let me say, that I realize that this was released 8 years ago and there have been a significant number of changes in research since that time.
Genetically modified does not just mean taking the genes from cows and putting it into pig DNA to get a tougher hide on the pigs. Today it also means changing the DNA of seeds to be pest resistant.
When scientists first started looking at GM, it was to produce hardier crops, or to get a desired effect. One idea was to make crops less susceptible to weeds and pests, so that the farmer didn’t have to spray crops with insecticide. Many farmers at that time suffered health consequences from spraying toxic chemicals.
A friend reminded me that there are some good things that have been GM, and I try to remember that documentaries offer an opinion for you to research and decide what information you choose to accept.
This film taken at face value is enough to scare the pants off you! It covers a lot of territory regarding GMOs, but I am going to focus on the insecticide Bt (bacillus thuringienis) which occurs naturally on leaves and in soil around the world. It is approved for use in Canada and has been deemed to not pose unreasonable risks to human health.
Interesting phrase, ‘to not pose unreasonable risks to human health’. What does that mean?
Today, corn and a number of other crops have been modified (GM) to produce the insecticidal proteins that occur naturally in Bt.
So how does Bt work? When the insect takes a bite of the crop, the insecticidal proteins work to rupture the insects stomach to kill them and to protect the crop.
My response to that was WHAT about when humans eat the crop????
This is where it got interesting for me. If the insecticidal proteins break holes in the guts of insects, what does it do to us? As a person who suffers with food allergies and sensitivities, this is a big question for me.
When Leaky Gut occurs, holes in our gut allow food to pass into the blood stream that has not been properly digested for the body to use. The body then can identify the undigested food as a foreign body (which it is) causing an immune/allergy/sensitivity response.
Incidents of Leaky Gut or gut issues have skyrocketed in recent years, could this be the reason? And how many other diseases and conditions are made worse by the use of Bt? Could something that naturally occurs in nature be the cause? Or is it something else.
According to the film , of the top 10 GM crops today and the derivatives of those crops, more than 70% of the processed foods on our grocery store shelves today potentially contain ingredients that are GM without us knowing it.
As of today, there is no mandatory labelling of GMO products in Canada or the US. When polled 80% of Canadians and 90% of Americans today want to have that labelling.
The top 5 GM crops today are soy, corn, cotton, canola and sugar beet. How many processed foods do you currently consume that contain those ingredients or ingredients made from them?
I would hazard a guess there are many in your cupboards.
From my previous reading and blogs, I have learned that when the big money is behind a cause, and some researchers start saying that something those companies are promoting is harmful or incorrect, the researchers are often discredited to the point of where their reputations are shredded and their research buried. Such was the case in The Big Fat Lie, regarding saturated fats, that we now have learned some years later is not as harmful as originally designated.
When I started to do a little research on my own to see what was being said about this documentary, what I found was a lot of reviews that slammed what was being said, and questioning not only Jeff Smith but also the experts that he had on camera in this film. Literally, I did not find one review of support, which brings to mind that similar situation, and considering most of these reviews were done by researchers and universities that are dependent on the money from large corporations that deal in GM seed. Makes me wonder…..
Are the risks to our health being whitewashed in favour of big money and more profit once again?
As with everything, you need to make your own personal decision about what you consume, but for me this issue is too glaring, not to sit up and take notice. While I can’t vouch for the research used in this documentary, what was being said mades too much sense to me just to discredit it without further consideration.
Did you know that any product marked Organic cannot be genetically modified?
That makes me feel better, and there is an app from the independent agency called the Non-GMO Project that certifies products Non-GMO. You can also look for their Verified Non-GMO labeling on food packaging.
Sometimes, in the World of Food you find things that are a bit unexpected. Good and Bad!
What are you feelings on this blog, and/or the GMO issue? Please post a comment on the blog and let me know.
Exploring the world of food with you.
Food Sensitivity Coach and Food Lover Exploring the World of Food.
diane Couse, Food Sensitivity Coach
I am passionate about exploring the world with a view to food allergies and sensitivities. I look forward to sharing with you what I find, from books, blogs and websites to recipes, hacks, inspirations and opinions, join me in a journey to live your best life.