GMO Free July

Balance Integrative Health is making some impressive health moves. We invite you to join us monthly as we incorporate a new health initiative into our lives. For the month of July, we are focusing on eliminating GMO’s from our diets.

What the heck is a GMO, you ask? GMO stands for genetically modified organism, It simply means that scientists have taken the genetic information (DNA) from a species of plant, animal, bacteria or another organism, modified it, and then artificially inserted it into the DNA structure of another (or the same) organism thus changing its structural make-up. This is different from the hybridization process that happens when cross breeding species of plants and animals.

GMO’s were originally created to produce food that yield a bigger crop, and have more resistance to bacteria and pesticides. As time has passed, there are more and more studies that link serious health issues to the long-term ingestion of foods containing GMO’s.

Some of the health issues caused by GMO’s are an increase in allergic reactions, severe liver damage, severe kidney damage, seizures, digestive problems (IBS, Crohn’s Disease), tumors, infertility, hormonal disruptions and more.

It’s time to take this seriously. Food is where we derive our energy for our cellular growth. It is or source for life. The good news is that our bodies are regenerative. Our bodies replace their cells regularly. That means that by beginning to eliminate GMO’s from our diet, we can change the impact it has on our body over time.

HOW TO EAT GMO FREE IN NEW ORLEANS

Now that we have identified that GMO’s can be potentially disastrous to our health, let’s figure out how we can go about doing that in July. Here is a list of the top crops that are genetically modified in the U.S. food supply (this is not all inclusive and all the foods listed may not be GM in all circumstances)

Corn -(90% of the corn in the U.S. is genetically modified)…this includes corn oil, corn starch, corn syrup, corn meal, maltodextrin and any other corn derivitaves.

Sugar Beets- (not “cane sugar”)…if it says sugar, it’s most likely made from beets and is GM.

Soy-this is contained in processed foods. It includes soy lecithin, soy protein isolate and soy sauce.

Canola- this is found in vegetable oil and many processed foods

Cotton-it is generally fed to animals (which we may then eat) and is also in cottonseed oil

Alfalfa- this is fed to livestock (which we again may eat) and is also available in the produce section or as an ingredient in processed foods

Papaya

Zucchini and Squash

When it comes to identifying GMO’s it’s really pretty simple. Many are labeled “GMO Free Project”. If it is organic, it is likely not GM. If it has any of the aforementioned ingredients in it and isn’t labeled as above, it is likely GM.

There is a huge movement called “Just Label It” that supports the labeling of GM foods in the ingredient list. This is not currently required in the US, although 64 other countries, including China, Australia, Japan and the UK require this labeling. You can find our more by visiting their website www.justlabelit.org.

When it comes to produce, there are easy ways to tell what you are buying. Conventional produce has a 4 digit code on the label. Organic produce will have a 5 digit code beginning with a 9. A GM product will have an 8 in front of the code. For example, bananas are generally labeled 4011. Organic bananas are labeled 94011. GM bananas would be labeled 84011 (not really available so don’t worry). You can also go to local farmer’s markets (check out www.Hollygrovemarket.com), join a CSA, or take a stab at growing your own veggies and herbs with organic seeds.

When it comes to processed foods, it can get a little tricky. It will probably require you to stop eating foods out of a box and fast food. That can actually be a good thing!! Going GMO-Free is probably the easiest way to become healthy and never have to worry about a diet or counting calories. If we care more about the quality of food we put in our body, the quantity will not be as much of an issue.

To show you how easy it is to go GMO-Free without fear (“it’s too complicated, it’s too expensive’), we are offering a free pantry evaluation and after that a grocery store visit to replace the food. The winner will be featured on our website with their success story. Who wants to be the luck winner/volunteer?

– Noell Eanes, M.Ac. and Wellness Consultant