The Truth About GMOs

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 1.37.47 PMThe acronym GMO has been flying around for years. Many people don’t fully understand what it even means; all they seem sure of is how bad they are for us to consume. Well, I am going to fill you in a bit on the term “genetically modified organisms,” and let you determine if they are something you’d like to consume or not.

A GMO is an organism whose genetic material has been altered by genetic engineering techniques, involving the deletion, insertion or mutation of the beneficial traits of one organism and transferred to another. Many — and I mean mean —  items that we use, buy and consume every day are genetically modified, such as: animals, bacteria, yeast, seafood, insects or plants.

The reason farmers use GMO seeds is because their crops grow faster and stronger, allowing farmers to quickly produce food for us — yet in a “fake” way.

GMO seeds used to grow crops are hugely popular among American farmers. In fact, over 80 percent of our cropland uses GMO seeds, including the “big 5”: corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets (all the ‘sugar’ terms listed on our food labels) and canola. Basically, GMOs are in everything — from our cotton-made clothing and the towels and sheets we use to our gasoline, made with ethanol (originated from corn). GMO crops become oil, sugar, starch, syrup, fiber and protein ingredients as well as vitamins and dietary supplements. Yes, GMOs are everywhere.

Since corn and soybeans feed most of our livestock, most meats, poultry, eggs, dairy and farmed seafood is considered GMOed. However, the important fact is that the world-wide scientific consensus is that GMO products are as safe as non-GMO items. Still, many people despise their use and refuse to purchase GMO produced goods, therefore going organic has become huge. Certified organic foods cannot be grown from GMO seeds nor can they have any other GMO ingredients.

So, next time you see that ginormous chicken breast when you’re walking by the meat department at the grocery store, think about its originations and why it’s so big…hello GMOs.
By: Sarah Richheimer