February 10, 2014

Death in a pretty package.

We all know that good advertising and branding are important parts of selling products. But did you ever wonder what that really fancy logo and packaging are hiding? I’m talking about the major brands we trust to feed ourselves and our children. They say they use all-natural ingredients: whole grains, organic vegetables — you know, the good-for-you stuff. But what most of us don’t know is that the main ingredients used in most foods are grown from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are now known to cause a slew of health problems and illnesses, including cancerand that’s just the beginning.

The three major crops derived from genetically modified seeds are corn, soy and canola. Wow, most of the food we eat contain those crops. These seeds are engineered by Monsanto, the same death-dealers that produce Roundup and other pesticides. The company started altering seeds so they would stand up to the chemicals used to kill weeds. The plants remain as the weeds die. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, this billion-dollar company — that claims Roundup is as safe as aspirin — put a patent on the seeds. That means any plant containing GMO seeds now belongs to Monsanto. A company that sells seeds to grow crops that resist the chemicals it makes sounds a little fishy to me. I would bet a pretty penny that the family members of the big guys at Monsanto don’t eat food containing GMOs.

Now, not all farmers were buying these seeds; some of the farmers worked very hard to remain organic. However, cross-pollination is a natural process. The wind blows a seed, it lands, a plant grows. Which means if a GMO seed ends up on an organic farmer’s land, the crops are no longer organic, the farmer will lose his or her organic certification, and Monsanto now owns that crop. If the farmer doesn’t comply with the company, Monsanto sues him or her for copyright infringement — we’re talking millions of dollars. Big bullies. As that would put these farmers out of business, most of them comply. Others have fought and some have won. But it’s a long, expensive battle.

Major brands such as Mars, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Kraft, PepsiCo and Coca Cola are all known GMO users and produce most of the foods we eat.

Major brands such as Mars, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Kraft, PepsiCo and Coca Cola are all known GMO users and produce most of the foods we eat.

Today, about 70% of our crops are genetically modified. Which also means the livestock and the chickens we raise eat grain grown from genetically modified seeds. Everything we put into our bodies has a pretty high chance of containing GMOs. I was looking at the ingredients in my kids’ cereal the other day. The first four items listed — sugar (which is generally beet sugar), high-fructose corn syrup, corn meal and corn starch — all use GMOs. Major brands such as Mars, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Kraft, PepsiCo and Coca Cola are all known GMO users and produce most of the foods we eat. They advertise “all natural.” How is a genetically modified anything “all natural”? How can that be good for us? For our kids? With the cancer rate at an all-time high, little babies being born with cancer, every other person we know dying of cancer, we must ask ourselves, could it be the things we are putting into our bodies?

Some people are doing something about it. General Mills has agreed to take the GMOs out of its regular Cheerios, since this is often the first whole food a baby eats. Kraft has also agreed to take the food dyes out of the foods they market to children. At least it’s a step in the right direction. In time, hopefully many other companies will do the same.

GMOs are known carcinogens. The best way to avoid these silent killers is to go all-organic or grow your own food. It’s a huge adjustment and, I know, organic and whole foods cost more. I get it. Eating healthy is expensive. But so is cancer.

So the next time you buy a product because of the cool logo or the awesome packaging, take a closer look. Companies that only care about the bottom line will take the cheapest and most cost-efficient way to get their product on the shelf — even if it means risking your health. There are however, companies that do truly care about your health. They sell organic products that do not contain GMOs.

Read more about the myths and truths behind GMOs.

GMO versus Organic

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