Sunday, November 4, 2012

To GMO or Not To GMO, Good Question!

     I've been avoiding writing this post for a while now. There's so much controversy surrounding this subject. Whether it's true, or not true, whether we know what a GMO is or not, whether or not we are all science experiments. Regretfully, I think I may have even lost a friend over this subject.  How about them apples? What's the big deal anyway? Isn't ALL FOOD ORGANIC? Some people believe it is so. In my very humble opinion, and experience, I do not believe, nor will I be convinced, that all foods in a supermarket today, are created equally.
     There was a time, not too long ago, that I believed I could eat anything I darn well pleased.  And so I did! Candy, chips, pre-made packaged meals, or processed foods, I would go out to eat once or twice per week if I wanted, you name it, if it sounded like it would be yummy, I ate it! Then, I noticed I was packing on pounds, even though I was exercising, which is not like me. Then, I started feeling sick, not flu, or cold, or sniffles, sick; things inside my body just sort of stopped working properly, I developed unexplained areas of inflammation (with no apparent cause), that swell up worse to this day when I eat certain things.
     I had heard about GMOs (Genetically Engineered Organisms) a while back in my life, but thought nothing of it. How did they effect me? What were they anyway? If scientists want to experiment, let them, it's a free country, how else are we gonna learn? Hybridization has been done for centuries!  Little did I know that Genetic Engineering and Hybridization were not really the same thing. 


     I thought I'd run my own experiment, upon myself, because it couldn't hurt. I decided to see if eating more organic foods, cutting out the pre-made packaged & canned crap, and definitely avoiding anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup in it, held any merit. It was about this time I learned of something (which I thought was a fad) called "Green Drinks" or "Green Smoothies." Those really sounded disgusting, drinking SPINACH??? Ew. It took me about a year, year and a half, doing this experiment to correlate what I ate with my health.
     In April, my weight was way up, and it depressed me so very much, because I was exercising, and drinking my smoothies, I didn't get it.  I was still sort of eating some things that were not as good for me as they could have been. (Cough chough, tater tots!!)  I was also such a carnivore, another correlation revelation to be made down the road... 
     I do love meat. I never realized how much meat the average American consumes during the course of one day. Think about it: bacon or sausage with breakfast, lunch meat, or a salad with ham or the like on it, meatloaf or whatever else with meat for dinner. Never bothered me before. But, the more research I did in my Foot Zone Therapy class, and talking with my sister who is studying to be a botanist, I discovered that eating that much meat on a daily basis, just isn't good for the waistline. I won't even go into what it does to the environment, or farmers... 
     Having found out last year that I could no longer eat wheat (I've had stomach problems for a great deal of my adult life, tried all sorts of things to "cure" it, nothing worked until I quit eating wheat), which turned out to be the best thing for my health in many ways, I knew it was time to up my game this year in my quest for better health. 
     This year has been the real test.  This was the year I found Foot Zone Therapy, and have made it an everyday promise to drink either a green smoothie, or a wheatgrass shot. Let's see, no wheat, more vegetables and fruit, less meat (down to one meal per day, and non on Meatless Mondays), how in the world was I to survive? Very well, thank you.
     I also had the opportunity to get foot zones done on me for free. In six or more months of weekly foot zones, and eating better than I ever have been before, I saw that I had a lot more energy than I've ever had, well, since my late teens, early twenties anyway! Also, when everyone else in the house would fall ill, I stayed healthy. Huh.
     The real proof came recently, when I discovered that I had dropped 10 pounds from April, but it wasn't the weight loss that was amazing, it was the redistribution of the weight I had left (no more muffin top and chubby knees!). It may not have come off quickly, and it really didn't want to come off, I think. But it did, and I know I'm better for it. My knees don't hurt, my feet are not swollen, even the one that was swollen all the time for no apparent reason. My results may have had something to do with the weekly foot zones, but mark my words, my Nazi actions toward label reading have something to do with it as well. 
     The combination of eating better, and weekly foot zoning have seen me so much more healthy than I was, even from a year ago. I may get called a fanatic, but the results from eating healthier just seemed to happen too quickly for me to deny the existence of GMOs any longer. So, I came up with some rules of thumb while shopping: If there are more than 5 or 6 ingredients on the label of food (or shampoo, soap, or toothpaste, they get put in and on your body too!) you are about to purchase, should you eat it? If you do not know how to pronounce half or more of the ingredients, should you ingest it? Lastly, if you do NOT know what the heck it is that is typed on that label, even if you CAN pronounce it, do you really want it in your body?


     We only have one body, and it is supposed to last us until we are really old, hopefully, anyway. I personally would rather have QUALITY years over QUANTITY. I'm not old yet, and when things started pooping out on me within my vessel, I wanted to know what I could do to remedy that issue.  I also really dislike medical doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceuticals. If I can heal myself without having to use any of those, I would rather. I know that I'm going to a doctor if my arm breaks, but I would like to prevent cancer or a heart attack, or kidney stones (oops, too late), or liver failure if I can.
     I am not one to sit idly by and accept that it is my age that brings on an influx of weight.  There are thin 70 year olds out there in existence! I am also not the kind of person who likes prescription drug side-effects. If there is even a remote chance that I can stay un-depressed without the pills, I am willing to try it.  Since I have been on at least 3 different prescriptions for my "depression" that have done nothing for me other than cause some other weird, abnormal occurrence in my body, I'll stay far away.
     Prove to yourselves, once and for all, that Genetic Modifications are a factor in our health, or should I say LACK THEREOF. Try it out for the minimum of six months to a year, for some it will happen faster. Note your health changes by kicking out the processed foods.  Eat organic more than not, cut back on your meat intake, it IS possible!  I guarantee you will see a change in your health.


     You could just accept that sickness is an everyday part of your life, and you can stay a couch potato, and keep eating whatever you want. It is your choice. You can choose to ignore this post, and go on eating, drinking, and being merry, that's up to you. But if you are like me, and you'd rather have quality in your years on this planet, and you wonder why illnesses that used to be fewer and farther between, are now epidemics, it certainly is a thought worth entertaining.  
     The sad fact is: "Genetically engineered foods are generally regarded as safe. There has been no adequate testing, however, to ensure complete safety. There are no reports of illness or injury due to genetically engineered foods. However, each new genetically engineered food will need to be judged individually." I for one, do not wish to be a human lab rat!
     Please know that while I do get upon my little soapbox often, I try not to tell people how they ought to run their lives.  I just know what has happened in my life, and why I made the choices I have made, and why I chose to stick with it, and I feel the need to share. you can use your own judgement, and figure it out for yourself, in fact, I would challenge you to!



Namaste!

Articles of interest on GMOs:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-gm-foods
http://www.nextgenerationfood.com/article/genetically-engineered-food
http://www.nextgenerationfood.com/news/should-packaging-be-labelled-for-gm-ingredients/


What I carry when I shop:
http://truefoodnow.org/shoppers-guide/

Websites:
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/
http://truefoodnow.org/
http://www.organicconsumers.org/
http://www.forksoverknives.com/

Movies:
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 
Forks over Knives
Food Inc.
Genetic Roulette