Tag Archives: Nutrition

GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating

There is a conspiracy of selling out happening in America. Politics and personal interest it would seem determine government policies over and above health and safety issues. When President Obama appointed Michael Taylor in 2009 as senior adviser for the FDA, a fierce protest ensued from consumer groups and environmentalists. Why? Taylor used to be vice president for Monsanto, a multinational interested in marketing genetically modified (GM) food. It was during his term that GMO’s were approved in the US without undergoing tests to determine if they were safe for human consumption.

The danger of GMO’s

The question of whether or not genetically modified foods (GMO’s) are safe for human consumption is an ongoing debate that does not seem to see any resolution except in the arena of public opinion. Due to lack of labeling, Americans are still left at a loss as to whether or not what is on the table is genetically modified. This lack of information makes the avoiding and tracking of GM foods an exercise in futility. Below are just some of the food products popularly identified to be genetically modified:

1. Corn – Corn has been modified to create its own insecticide. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that tons of genetically modified corn has been introduced for human consumption. Monsanto has revealed that half of the US’s sweet corn farms are planted with genetically modified seed. Mice fed with GM corn were discovered to have smaller offspring and fertility problems.

2. Soy – Soy has also been genetically modified to resist herbicides. Soy products include soy flour, tofu, soy beverages, soybean oil and other products that may include pastries, baked products and edible oil. Hamsters fed with GM soy were unable to have offspring and suffered a high mortality rate.

3. Cotton – Like corn and soy, cotton has been designed to resist pesticides. It is considered food because its oil can be consumed. Its introduction in Chinese agriculture has produced a chemical that kills cotton bollworm, reducing the incidences of pests not only in cotton crops but also in neighboring fields of soybeans and corn. Incidentally, thousands of Indian farmers suffered severe rashes upon exposure to BT cotton.

4. Papaya – The virus-resistant variety of papaya was commercially introduced in Hawaii in 1999. Transgenic papayas comprised three-fourths of the total Hawaiian papaya crop. Monsanto bestowed upon Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore technology for developing papaya resistant to the ringspot virus in India.

5. Rice – This staple food from South East Asia has now been genetically modified to contain a high amount of vitamin A. Allegedly, there are reports of rice varieties containing human genes to be grown in the US. The rice will create human proteins useful for dealing with infant diarrhea in the 3rd world. China Daily, an online journal, reported potential serious public health and environment problems with genetically modified rice considering its tendency to cause allergic reactions with the concurrent possibility of gene transfers.

6. Tomatoes – Tomatoes have now been genetically engineered for longer shelf life, preventing them from easily rotting and degrading. In a test conducted to determine the safety of GM tomatoes, some animal subjects died within a few weeks after consuming GM tomatoes.

7. Rapeseed – In Canada, this crop was renamed canola to differentiate it from non-edible rapeseed. Food stuff produced from rapeseed includes rapeseed oi (canola oil) l used to process cooking oil and margarine. Honey can also be produced from GM rapeseed. German food surveillance authorities discovered as much as a third of the total pollen present in Canadian honey may be from GM pollen. In fact, some honey products from Canada were also discovered to have pollen from GM rapeseed.

8. Dairy products – It has been discovered that 22 percent of cows in the U.S. were injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH). This Monsanto created hormone artificially forces cows to increase their milk production by 15 percent. Milk from cows treated with this milk inducing hormone contains increased levels of IGF-1 (insulin growth factors-1). Humans also have IGF-1 in their system. Scientists have expressed concerns that increased levels of IGF-1 in humans have been associated with colon and breast cancer.

9. Potatoes – Mice fed with potatoes engineered with Bacillus thuringiensis var. Kurstaki Cry 1 were found to have toxins in their system. Despite claims to the contrary, this shows that Cry1 toxin was stable in the mouse gut. When the health risks were revealed, it sparked a debate.

10. Peas – Peas that have been genetically modified have been found to cause immune responses in mice and possibly even in humans. A gene from kidney beans was inserted into the peas creating a protein that functions as a pesticide.

The GMO link to strange disease

As early as 2008, NaturalNews.com reported about a condition called Morgellon’s disease. The article went on to report the symptoms of the disease as follows: crawling, stinging, biting and crawling sensations; threads or black speck-like materials on or beneath the skin; granules, lesions. Some patients report fatigue, short term memory loss, mental confusion, joint pain and changes in vision. Furthermore, there have been reports of substantial morbidity and social dysfunction leading to a dip in work productivity, job loss, total disability, divorce, loss of child custody and home abandonment.

Prior to its reporting, the condition was dismissed as a hoax, but upon further investigation, the evidence pointed out that the disease was real and may be related to genetically modified food.

Despite this link being established, the CDC declared Morgellon’s disease of unknown origin. Worse, the medical community could not offer any information to the public regarding a cause for the symptoms.

When a research study was conducted on fiber samples taken from Morgellons patients, it was discovered that the fiber samples of all the patients looked remarkable similar. And yet, it did not seem to match any common environmental fiber. When the fiber was broken down, and it’s DNA extracted, it was discovered to belong to a fungus. Even more surprising was the finding that the fibers contained Agrobacterium, a genus gram-negative bacteria with the capacity of transforming plant, animal and even human cells.

Morgellon’s disease is not the only condition associated with genetically modified foods. A growing body of evidence has shown that it may cause allergies, immune reactions, liver problems, sterility and even death. Moreover, based on the only human feeding experiment conducted on genetically modified food, it was established that genetic material in genetically modified food product can transfer into the DNA of intestinal bacteria and still continue to thrive.

Heeding the warning

Time and again, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has warned that GMOs pose a serious threat to health, and it is no accident that there can be a correlation between it and adverse health effects. In fact, the AAEM has advised doctors to tell their patients to avoid GMOs as the introduction of GMOs into the current food supply has correlated with an alarming rise in chronic diseases and food allergies.

This should come as no surprise. More than 30 years ago a food supplement called L-trytophan killed 100 people and affected 5,000 to 10,000 more. The cause was narrowed down to the genetic engineering process used in its production. If the symptoms had not had three simultaneous characteristics – namely, they were unique, acute and fast-acting – the disease could never have been identified.

If science could assure us with certainty that serious consequences do not wait for us at the end of the line, it might be to our best interest to let this opportunity pass. Progressive thinking in terms of profit is certainly not wrong. But to brush off precaution on the convenient argument that there is not enough evidence to prove that GM food is indeed harmful is sheer irresponsibility. It certainly is a lame excuse to offer in the event that GM foods are indeed proven to contain health hazards.

Sources for this article:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm
http://www.naturalnews.com/027226_food_GMO_foods.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/023004.html
http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/rbgh/
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-02/04/content_9430645.htm
http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/pusztai.html
http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/database/food/238.honey.html

From the NaturalNews.com

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The Gerson Institute – Alternative Cancer Treatment. Juicing

The Gerson Therapy is a natural treatment that activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements.

With its whole-body approach to healing, the Gerson Therapy naturally reactivates your body’s magnificent ability to heal itself – with no damaging side-effects. The Gerson Therapy is a powerful, natural treatment that boosts your body’s own immune system to heal cancer, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, and many other degenerative diseases. One aspect of the Gerson Therapy that sets it apart from most other treatment methods is its all-encompassing nature. An abundance of nutrients from thirteen fresh, organic juices are consumed every day, providing your body with a superdose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. These substances then break down diseased tissue in the body, while enemas aid in eliminating the lifelong buildup of toxins from the liver.

Throughout our lives our bodies are being filled with a variety of disease and cancer-causing pollutants. These toxins reach us through the air we breathe, the food we eat, the medicines we take and the water we drink. As more of these poisons are used every day and cancer rates continue to climb, being able to turn to a proven, natural, detoxifying treatment like the Gerson Therapy is not only reassuring, but necessary.

Read more from the source: the Gerson Institute

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GMOs and why you should never use Canola oil.

Olive oil comes from olives. Sesame seed oil comes from sesame seeds.
But what is a canola? Canola is actually a made-up word for a genetically modified product.
Canola stands for “Canadian oil low acid.” It’s (sadly) a Canadian invention and subsidized by the government. The subsidies make it very cheap to use, so almost all processed or packaged foods contain canola oil. Be sure to read the ingredients. Here’s why you should:

THE SCOOP ON CANOLA

Canola oil is developed from the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. These oils have long been used for industrial purposes (in candles, lipsticks, soaps, inks, lubricants, and biofuels). It’s an industrial oil, not a food.
Rapeseed oil is the source behind mustard gas, and on its own it causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness. But through the beauty of genetic modification, we now sell it as an edible oil.
The claim is that canola is safe to use because through modification it is no longer rapeseed but “canola.” Except… canola is just genetically modified rapeseed. It has been marketed as a wonder oil that is low in saturated fats with a beneficial omega-3 fatty acid profile. It is recognized by the American Dietetic Association and the American Heart Association based on the belief that the absence of saturated fats alone makes it healthy.
It is now believed that rapeseed has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. One possible effect of long-term use is the destruction of the protective coating surrounding nerves called the myelin sheath. This is like having raw, open wires in the body. Some symptoms include:
  • tremors and shaking
  • uncoordination when walking or writing
  • slurred speech
  • deterioration of memory and thinking processes
  • fuzzy or low audio levels
  • difficulty urinating/incontinence
  • breathing problems/short of breath
  • nervous breakdown
  • numbness and tingling in extremities
  • heart problems/arrhythmia
From a nutritional perspective, canola oil has been found to deplete Vitamin E. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and normal enzyme function. It also depresses the immune system.

THE SCOOP ON GMOS

Today, 72% of all products from the United States are genetically modified. The top 3 genetically modified foods are:
  1. canola
  2. corn
  3. soy
Not too far behind them are potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, peanuts, and sunflower.
Companies that commonly use genetic modification are:
  • Kellogg’s
  • Kraft
  • Miss Vickie’s
  • Hershey’s
  • Coke
  • Gatorade
  • General Mills
  • Labatt beer
  • McCain
  • No Name
  • President’s Choice
  • Quaker Oats
  • Ragu
When an attempt was made for new legislation to force the labeling of genetically modified products in grocery stores, the three companies of Kellogg’s, Monsanto, and DuPont spent $55 millions to fight it and eventually won. It is not mandatory for companies to let the consumers know when they have used genetic modification. Which is why today I refuse to use a Kellogg’s product (very corn-based). Produce that is genetically modified is sometimes identified by a 5-digit number on its sticker that starts with an 8. But not always.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF GMOS ON HUMANS

1. Toxicity
Apparently they have GMO Christmas trees that glow in the dark. Slightly cool, but kind of disturbing. They can also make pigs glow in the dark by injecting them with jellyfish.
2. Allergic reactions
Our bodies were not built to recognize and consume GMOs. They are foreign substances in our digestive system and in our bloodstream.
3. Antibiotic resistance
Many plants are engineered to become resistant. We consume those same toxins and may in turn develop resistances.
4. Cancer
GMOs are an offense to our cells. They depress our immune system and may allow for the onset of cancer.
5. Immuno-suppresion
Our immune system doesn’t recognize GMOs. It works to expel them from our bodies as soon as possible, and has less time to work towards our general well being.
Besides the above, GMOs have a negative effect on nature. It upsets the balance of the earth, harms wild plants, and disturbs the life cycle of wild animals.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Since learning the above, I’ve made some changes. They’re small, but I feel good about them.
  1. I don’t buy or use anything that contains canola.
  2. I don’t buy or use any Kellogg’s products.
  3. I look at the produce stickers on my fruits and vegetables. Just in case.
  4. I stay away from processed foods, as they are most likely GMO.
GMOs are a big scary topic. But even without labeling, most of us can incorporate small changes to eat more naturally.
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Editor’s Note:
Hey all! Thanks for the comments! So – I posted this shortly after starting the blog over a year ago.. it’s straight out of the notes of my Ecology class at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
I’ve since moved to San Diego and my notes are in Canada, so unfortunately don’t have access to the sources the instructor used.  I didn’t think to put references at the time since I had approximately two readers, and one of them was my mom :) .. However, there are now tons of links in the comments below if you feel like scanning them.
THAT said, obviously this is not a scientific source (it’s a blog…) and you should ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do your own research when it comes to what you eat/don’t eat (duh). Do what you think is healthy for your own body and try not to be cruel to others. Thanks for reading!
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Here is information on the heat thresholds for various oils.

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