Blog,  Nutrition

GMO – Are they Really that Bad??


Okay…so I know what you are thinking. Come on!! We shouldn’t eat sugar, fish…now there is arsenic in rice…and now you are telling me that I shouldn’t eat GMO? What am I supposed to eat?

Believe me, I get it. The reality is, in my humble opinion at least, we have really messed up our food chain and it is our responsibility to fix it. If not us…who?? You are probably thinking, well how am I going to fix this problem. Well, it takes a village as they say. Little by little, the choices that you make and what food you choose to spend your money on will slowly over time influence the powers that be. Just look at the grocery store and how it is changing, more organic, better choices of meat, and larger health food sections. This change has been all led by your demand.

Back to GMO’s…are they really that bad. The truth is, I really don’t think anyone knows. Or at least can’t say with confidence that there are no long term health implications because no long term health studies have been done. The problem is, the animal studies that have been done have not been positive.

Here are just a few of the GMO animal studies that have been reported,

Journal of Organic Systems in 2013 published a study stating that pigs fed GMO diets over 22.7 weeks suffered more severe stomach inflammation and had a heavier uterus than pigs fed non-GMO diets.

Click to access 8106.pdf

This study has been hugely controversial in the GMO debate. The findings of this study were actually retracted from major journals because the journals state that no definitive conclusions could be reached. The researchers felt that there data showed there was enough evidence to question the health effects of GMO and that they required further investigation. This research was done in 2012, at the University of Caen in France and determined that rats fed GMO corn for two years developed more tumours and died earlier than controls.
So the reality is, we know that there are questions on the long term safety of GMO’s. Yes we have already been eating them for 15 years, and people are not keeling over. But if we look back in history, at one point tobacco was safe and wasn’t contributing to cancer. It took 30 years after the data on BPA was questioned before its negative effects became mainstream. It took 40-50 years before things like lead and PCB were banned and their health impacts determined.
I don’t think that it is wrong to question GMO’s, and until proven otherwise try and avoid their consumption.

The top 5 GMO Foods
Sugar Beet

Most processed or packed foods are GM. We know that we should reduce our consumption of packaged goods anyways, so here is another great reason.

The other tricky place that we can get a good dose of GMO is by eating commercially raised meat as they are usually fed GM corn or soy. Another great reason to source out locally grown, grass fed, cage free meats.

My stance on any of these controversial issues is the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. The main argument for GMO is that it is going to solve the world’s hunger problem. The counter to that argument is that the GM corn seems to be susceptible to drought so in the long run there will be no global food shortage problem solved. I don’t think the debate on this issue will be solved for a long time. In the meantime, the best we can do is become educated on this issue and form your own opinion on whether or not you want your family eating GMO.

How to Avoid Them
Since Canada doesn’t have labels that state you are eating GMO foods, you have to assume you are unless it says otherwise. Choosing organic forms of foods, or foods that have the GMO free label will be your insurance that you are GMO free.
More Reading

OMG:GMO – A great documentary currently available on NetFlix

The Book GMO Deception




What I Do with My Family

We try and avoid as many GMO as possible. As I watched my kids enjoy their Halloween Candy, I was thinking…this is probably the most amount of sugar and GMO’s they have had in weeks. I try and not get too worked up about that though, after all you just have to do what you can. We eat as much organic and locally raised meat as possible and try to limit the amount of times we eat out in a week. At the end of the day, my kids do enjoy their Halloween Candy and we do eat at restaurants. Like anything in life, they key is awareness and balance and making informed decisions about your health.

One Comment

  • Adam Amodeo

    Nicely written article. I agree that the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. It also is unfortunately true that the truth comes to light years after the fact. It’s funny how we’re able to complicate living, which in reality should be simple. We worry about food shortages so we insert fish genes into strawberries. When Cuba was subject to embargoes they began growing food organically on residential rooftops. You make a reasonable case and seem to be doing a great job finding balance in a stress-free, fear-free manner in a beautiful world that is occasionally complicated by corporations.

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