What Exactly Are GMO's And Why You Should Do Everything To Avoid Them!

Wondering why it's such a big deal to choose products that say 'non-GMO' on the label?

GMO stands for 'genetically modified organisms.'

You may even see 'GE' for 'genetically engineered.

The FDA says GMO foods are created by using rDNA technology, which essentially means they're bioengineered foods.

The thought was that these foods would breed bigger or more nutritious versions, but it turns out that when we mess with Mother Nature, things can become dangerous.

Bigger isn't always better. In fact, it can do some significant damage to your health and the environment.

Here's why you should stick to certified organic foods that are free of GMOs for the sake of your health and the wellbeing of our planet:

- They use toxic chemicals

While GMOs were made to try to resist pests, the toxic chemicals they are grown with, and the residues from pesticides are very hazardous for your health. In lab tests, animals that were given GMOs had kidney, spleen, liver, adrenal gland, and heart damage. They also had compromised immunity.

- They use more pesticide than non-GMO crops

GMO crops may have had hopeful intentions when they first hit the scene, but the amount of chemicals required is harmful to everything around them. They were supposed to reduce pesticide usage, but they use more pesticides than the non-GMO crops combined.

- They've created superweeds

Because the weeds are adapting to glyphosate, one of the chemicals used for GMO crops, they've become stronger and more resistant. New toxins and operations are needed to get rid of them.

- They affect our environment

With GMO crops, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are used. These emit greenhouse gases that are much stronger than CO. Plus, they use a load of fossil fuels to make these synthetic fertilizers.

- They harm good insects

Butterfly populations have suffered from the toxins associated with GMOs. Plus, many of these pesticides are to blame for the decline in the population of bees.

And the worst of it all…family farms are being pushed out, and the best way to bring food back to its roots is to support your local non-GMO farmers. Choose non-GMO foods for the environment, for the economy, and for your best health too!

There are countless options available, so you will have an easy time finding Non-GMO options to feed yourself and your family. Look out for the "NonGMO" symbol on your foods, and choose organic as much as possible.

If you need to pick and choose what you purchase as organic, make sure to go by the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen list that is put out each year by the EWG (Environmental Working Group).

These lists will tell you what you should purchase organic, and what produce can stand to be bought non-organic. Print the list out and put it on your refrigerator, and be sure to seek out the new list coming out next year!

Of course the BEST way to avoid harmful food options is to grow it yourself!

Consider a garden which can come in many sizes. You can even grow a small garden in a pot on your apartment balcony. Include the produce you use most. Maybe a tomato plant, some lettuce varieties, peppers, just have fun with it!

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Health and happiness,

Alicia Williamson RN, BSN, MSNW, CHC

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