Part 1 was about Hidden Dangers in our food in the way of Pesticides, Plastics and High Fructose Corn Syrup, whilst this article continues on about Genetically Modified Foods and what you can do to protect your health.
Genetically Modified Foods
GMO foods are the new kids on the dangerous foods list. Fortunately in Australia there are currently only 3 crops which are approved for commercial release. These are cotton, canola and blue carnations. However, there are other GM food products that have been imported from overseas and approved for consumption in Australia. These include soybeans, canola, corn, sugar and potatoes. These GM foods are typically only found in processed foods and cannot be purchased as fresh food.
GM ingredients are estimated to be in 70% of processed items on supermarket shelves. This is where knowing and trusting who makes your food is important. For example, a handful of soy flour or soy lecithin is thrown into almost every processed item on the supermarket shelves. GM corn can be in your food under many names – maize starch/syrup, corn starch/syrup, glucose syrup (corn). Many producers in Australia have declared themselves GM-free – the True Food Guide has a detailed list of them. You can access the list at www.truefood.org. If in doubt call the information numbers listed on food packaging.
GM crops are also used as animal feed in Australia. There is no way to recognise animal products fed on GM – milk, meat, eggs, fish, honey - labelling at all ends is grossly inadequate - ask your butcher or local producer. Until things improve, buying grass-fed meat and organic dairy and poultry is the only way to be sure.
Unfortunately preliminary studies into GMO foods have been linked to a variety of health conditions including infertility, cancer and altered digestive function. Most notably Monsanto’s GM-derived rBGH (which is a genetically-altered growth hormone given to dairy cows to make them more milk) was shown to increase the production of IGF-1 from 70 percent to 1000%. IGF-1 is a very powerful hormone that has been linked to a two to four fold increase risk of human colon, breast and prostate cancer.
What Can We Do to Protect Our Health
Unfortunately unless we have the luxury of producing our own food we are at the mercy of food producers and distribution channels such as supermarkets and markets. Some ways to protect your health against the negative impacts of foods are:
Eat fresh, organic unprocessed foods where possible;
Shop at markets or smaller independent stores rather than large supermarket chains;
Take herbal and nutritional supplements and eat super foods such as turmeric, green tea, ginger, goji berries, blueberries, cacao, maca powder, acai berries, etc to support your liver and kidneys and protect your cells from free radical damage;
Drink adequate filtered or spring water to assist the kidneys to flush out chemicals and toxins we are exposed to;
Get adequate exercise to assist your lymphatic system to remove toxins
There are many applications available to keep track of chemicals in
our food. I like “Chemical Maze”.