Today I just wanted to spend a little time discussing GMO’s. I know the term has become a popular word to throw around and something we all are hearing more and more about. I think it’s awesome that organizations and companies like Whole Foods have brought attention to this term and the serious implications associated with it. Today I just wanted to shed a little light on GMO’s and help inform the public about the health, and environmental concerns associated with them.
What Are GMO’s?
Just as the title of the blog, GMO’s are genetically modified organisms. To my understanding the term actually includes gene splicing, and certain breeding techniques that have been around for a centuries, but for the purpose of this post I want to focus primarily on the more recent concerns with genetically modifying foods, and that is infusing chemicals with organisms.
As most people know, chemicals are at the core of most environmental problems today. From industrial chemicals leaking into water systems, to toxins being released by burning chemicals, and now, chemicals being added to our foods. Adding chemicals to food is no new thing, and has been taking place in the market place ever since we discovered how to merge chemical bonds. However, the rate at which scientists and large corporations are trying to do this, is alarming.
Chemicals have mainly been added to our food system for obvious reasons, to preserve them. Food is perishable, and no business wants its potential profits to parish away. Additionally, the global economy has grown so dramatically that people also want to find ways to expand distribution, and extend shelf life, so they can reach other distant economies. However there is something inherently unnatural about having seasonal food items available at all times of the year. There is actually many who believe that our bodies function best when eating season to season, and not having this artificial experience of eating foods out of season because they were flown in from a distant environment. Albeit, money speaks, and people who want to eat strawberries year round will pay for that convenience, so companies will work diligently to provide products the people will eat. Hence the uprising of genetically modified organisms.
Monsanto, Dupont and other organizations have been working adamantly to create ways of making food more resistant and create larger yields for farmers. A big way they have been doing this is by creating crops that are resistant to pest spray like Roundup. So that farmers can spray their crops excessively to kill all the bugs that could harm their yields, without harming the crops themselves. They do this by modifying the genetics of the plant and incorporating the chemical (roundup) in its gene structure. The same principal as vaccines, where by putting something into the organism, it becomes resistant to it. Since the plants contain roundup in their gene structure, they are immune to it when they experience it in nature. Which means farmers spray the shit out of it with pest spray, and its built into the plant, so the chemical is on the exterior and the interior…Yum!
Besides the obvious danger of consuming plants that have chemicals inside and out, Monsanto and other companies are doing something even more horrendous. They are patenting the seeds they produce and not letting farmers re-use the seeds that are produced at the end of the harvest, when plants naturally seed to create future harvest. They actually make farmers re purchase seeds every year, and will sue farmers who attempt to use the seeds that are produced at the end of the season. This means that these companies are attempting to hijack mother nature and make people pay for seeds that mother nature has always produced for free. If monsanto were to expand its operations to include every plant on earth, it could end up being the gate keeper of seeds, and effectively work towards making all natural occurring seeds extinct, since mother nature is in direct competition.
There are numerous downsides to GMO’s and the business model of patenting food. None of it is natural and it has huge implications on people’s health. Consuming chemicals is one of the largest contributors and disease and something that all of us should take very seriously. Do your research and learn why you should be supporting organic food both for your body and the environment.
Thanks for reading.