Ins and Outs of Organic and Non-GMO

0 Comments February 27, 2014Organic Eating, GMO Genetically Modified Foods

WHAT ARE GMOS?

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms; also referred to as GE (genetically engineered). GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

First introduced into the food supply in the mid-1990s, GMOs are now present in the vast majority of processed foods in the US. However, they are BANNED in 26 countries and are required to be LABELED in 64 countries around the world. In the US the FDA does not even require the labeling of GMOs in food ingredient lists.

If you read studies about GMOs, you’ll discover that most of the outcomes of the studies favored whoever was financing the research, which in most cases is the agrochemical companies.

TOP REASONS TO AVOID GMOS

Health harms

1. GMOs are grown with toxic chemicals and resulting pesticide residues are known to be harmful to human health.

2. Research has shown that laboratory mammals fed GMOs suffer adverse effects that include damage to kidneys, liver, adrenal glands, spleen, and heart.

Environmental harms

3. GMO crops require huge amounts of chemicals that are harmful to soil, water, the atmosphere, and creatures. Although they are promoted as a technology to reduce pesticide usage, GM crops in the U.S. used greater than 26 percent more pesticides per acre in 2008 than NON-GMO crops.

4. GMOs are actually increasing the need for stronger and more poisonous pesticides.

5. GMOs are causing a growing epidemic of “superweeds.” These massive weeds have evolved a resistance to glyphosate, a chemical used on GM crops. Stronger toxic chemicals and soil-eroding tillage operations are required in order to eliminate superweeds.

6. GMOs contribute to global warming: GM crops require synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, which are responsible for approximately 60 percent of total emissions of nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times more potent than CO2). GM crops use high amounts of fossil fuels through the production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

7. GMO practices contaminate our organic and local food systems. A report titled, Gone to Seed, found that 50 percent or more of NON-GMO corn, canola, and soybean seed have been contaminated with GM genes.

8. Beneficial insects can be harmed. A Cornell University study showed that monarch butterflies suffered higher mortality rates when consuming milkweed leaves dusted with the Bt toxin associated with GM crops. And recently, pesticides called neonicotinoids have been blamed for the collapsing bee populations.

 Harms to social and human rights

9. GMOs work against feeding a hungry world The most authoritative evaluation of agriculture, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.

The report was a three-year collaborative effort with 900 participants and 110 countries. In reality, GMOs reduce yield, increase farmers’ dependence on multinationals, reduce biodiversity, increase herbicide use, and take money away from more successful and appropriate methods.
(see the report here: http://www.unep.org/dewa/assessments/ecosystems/iaastd/tabid/105853/default.aspx)

In developing nations, GMOs can be catastrophic. In India, for example, Monsanto convinced hundreds of thousands of farmers to take out high interest loans to pay for expensive GM cotton seeds and associated chemicals. Inconsistent yields left desperate farmers unable to even pay back their loans. The UK Daily Mail estimates that an astounding 125,000 indebted GM cotton farmers committed suicide. (see the story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1082559/The-GM-genocide-Thousands-Indian-farmers-committing-suicide-using-genetically-modified-crops.html)

GMOs lead to corporate control over seed and food

10. Today only one company controls about 95 percent of GM seeds. This limits access to seeds, which are the center of food and life.

11. These large agri-corporations do not let farmers save seeds, a basic practice that has continued for centuries to ensure food security. In organic farming, seeds are re-used every year. Organic farmers can buy and trade their natural seeds amongst themselves as they please.

12. GMO agriculture is an extension of current industrial-farming practices that have resulted in the loss of family farms and farmer livelihoods around the globe.

HOW TO AVOID BUYING GMO FOODS

Buy 100% Organic, Certified Organic and USDA Organic
Buy products with the Verified Non GMO Label on it.

WHAT IS ORGANIC?

 Organic agriculture produces products using methods that preserve the environment and avoid most synthetic materials, such as pesticides and antibiotics.

 100% Organic must contain 100% organically produced ingredients (excluding salt & water).

Certified Organic/USDA Organic must be at least 95% organic by weight (excluding salt & water). The remaining 5% must consist of substances approved on the USDA’s
NOSB National List. GMOs are not on the list.

 Originally, all foods were “organic.” The food our great grandparents ate was organic by nature. They were grown and prepared without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones or irradiation. Foods were unrefined, whole or minimally processed. Since World War II and the advent of chemical farming and food processing, the soils and foods of much of the world have been depleted of many important minerals and nutrients.

 Our food these days, whether of vegetable or animal origin, is not only deficient in nutrients, but also full of pollutants and farming chemicals. The modern process of denaturing foods via heavy refining and chemical treatment deeply affects the life force of our food supply, making it difficult to foster equilibrium and health.

 Pesticides, which have been shown to cause cancer and liver, kidney and blood diseases, create extra work for the immune system. They lodge and accumulate in tissue, resulting in a weakened immune system, and consequently allow other carcinogens and pathogens to filter into the body and affect our health. Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

 

TOP REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC

 1. Keep chemicals off your plate. Pesticides are poisons designed to kill living organisms and thus are harmful to humans. Many approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is a way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, water and food supply.

 2. Protect future generations. Children are four times more sensitive to exposure to cancer-causing pesticides in foods than adults.

 3. Protect water quality. Pesticides pollute the public’s primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.

 4. Organic farmers work in harmony with nature. Three billion tons of topsoil erodes from croplands in the U.S. each year, and much of it is due to conventional farming practices, which often ignore the health of the soil. Organic agriculture respects the balance necessary for a healthy ecosystem; wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fencerows, wetlands and other natural areas.

 5. Save energy. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate and harvest all the crops in the U.S.

 6. Support a true economy. Organic foods might seem expensive at first. However, your tax dollars pay for hazardous waste clean-up and environmental damage caused by conventional farming.

 7. Promote biodiversity. Planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year tripled farm production between 1950 and 1970, but the lack of natural diversity of plant life has negatively affected soil quality.

 8. Nourishment. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, in turn producing nourishing plants. Well-maintained soil produces strong, healthy plants that have more nutrients than conventionally grown produce.

 9. Flavor. Organic produce simply tastes better. Conduct your own taste test!

 Our produce department at Organic Roots is 100% Organic and local whenever possible. You will find a vast array of organic and NON-GMO foods in our store.

 

TERMINOLOGY

  •  GMO: Genetically Modified Organisms.
  • GE: Genetically Engineered
  • FDA: Food & Drug Administration
  • (rDNA): Recombinant DNA
  • USDA: United States Department of Agriculture

 

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