How Safe is Our Food?  Part 1

Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically modified foods (GMOs) have never been proven to be safe for men, women, children, animals or plants. Major corporations have literally dumped GMOs on us because they lobbied governments in Canada and the United States using the argument that GMO crops were the same as crops that had been grown for years. Why, then, use the word “modified”, if these GMO crops are the same as conventional crops? How is it that they can get patents on these “modified foods” if they are the same? Surely something must be different in order to get a patent? As a result of this dubious “SAMENESS” argument, GMO foods have been introduced without independent research verifying that these foods are, indeed, safe. This makes us all lab rats and the reason why 2,000,000 people from 50 countries marched on May 25, 2013 to protest GMO technology.

The truth is slowly emerging.  In fact, GMOs and their twin sister RoundUp Ready (a Monsanto product, the number one selling pesticide on the Planet) are probably not good for any living thing. Consumers, in both Canada and the United States, have been demanding that GMO foods be labelled. However, the governments of both nations have sided with the industry mega corporations and not the people and have refused to label our GMO food. So you really have no choice because you just don’t know nor can you find out easily if the products you are consuming contain GMOs. This is extremely frustrating for knowledgeable consumers who are rigorous label readers.  (GMO foods are labelled in Europe and in many other countries.)

Certified Organic Foods

Happily, there is at least a short term solution for North Americans and that is to buy 100% certified organic foods. While GMO foods themselves are not labelled in Canada and United States, organically certified foods guarantee your food to be GMO free. (So there is labeling of sorts.) Please note that in Ontario, anybody can call anything “organic” because there is no legal definition of the word here. If you want to truly avoid GMOs, you must buy only certified organic products.

So you can solve your GMO problem just by buying certified organic. Problem is some people think organic food is too expensive and think they can only afford regular food. Some people in the middle are looking for the GMO free label as a solution. This group blindly ignores the fact that the product could be laced with all kinds of pesticides and herbicides, but still be GMO free. Scientific evidence is showing that health hazards to humans lie not just in the GMO part of the formula, but also the Round Up Ready (pesticide/herbicide) ingredients.

The organic movement did not start as a way to avoid GMOs but as a way to avoid herbicides, pesticides/chemical additives/ artificial colours and dyes, artificial flavours, food substitutes like aspartame, growth hormones and antibiotic use in farm animals. Sure you can say that organic food is more expensive, but can you say it is good for you with certainty? YES!  In my early days of selling organic and natural breads for Bread Roots, I would often state the bread was more expensive because of what was not in it. The bread had only a few ingredients that were simple to understand with words which you could pronounce and spell.


Grocery Stores

Consumers line up at grocery store cash registers every single day to buy food that contain ingredients you cannot spell, cannot pronounce and cannot understand. (Nor can you find them in a regular dictionary!)   What do these strange sounding ingredients actually do for our food? (Hint: Supermarkets value long shelf life rather than, it seems, human life?) It doesn’t seem to matter: people are lined up every day shopping for the specials, shopping for their kids’ meals, shopping for a loved one and shopping for themselves. Do these shoppers sort of know what their food purchases contain, but choose to ignore it simply because they are too busy, have too little money or are too tired to care anymore?

Can you blame them for thinking that the medical establishment, the scientific community, the government and ALL the political parties should be focusing on this “little” detail of safe food so we don’t have to? Is there anything more basic to human health and wellness than food?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series “How Safe is Our Food?”.