by Francine Kanter
For many food conscious shoppers, the daily hunt for unadulterated food can be a challenge, with the need to read miniscule labels and attempt to decipher words that sound nothing like food. Today, it requires a concerted effort to not inadvertently buy genetically modified organisms (GMO). Sometimes referred to as GEO (genetically engineered organisms) or simply GE, these are altered organisms whereby a gene from one species has been forced through biotechnology techniques into the DNA of another species, creating mutations of plant, animal, etc.
One might question why this is being done. Advocates of the approach say that it allows farmers to produce more food with fewer chemicals. GMOs can withstand herbicides (designed to kill off unwanted weeds) at the rate of approximately 80 percent, and withstand pesticides or produce their own pesticide at the rate of approximately 20 percent. So, lab created foods have the built-in ability to resist being killed off by poisons designed to keep the weeds and insects away.
The GMO experiment began in the 1990s, and today over 85 percent of all corn and soy are produced in this manner. There have been concerns regarding health issues for people and animals as well as environmental concerns. So, if you’re concerned, don’t buy it, right? Not so simple, since GMO foods are not required to be labeled, even though polls steadily indicate that substantial numbers of respondents are requesting it. Fortunately, there are organizations that are working toward this goal; for a wealth of information, visit Non-GMOProject.org and SayNoTogmos.org.
Tips to Avoid GMOs
Buy organic. Certified organic producers are not permitted to use GMO seeds. Look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” label on products.
Purchase ONLY organic in these foods: soy, corn, cotton, canola (approximately 90 percent is GMO), alfalfa, sugar beets, flax, zucchini and yellow summer squash, rice and papaya.
Choose whole foods over processed or prepared.
Recognize fruit and vegetable label numbers: 4 digits=conventional; 5 digits beginning with 8=GMO; 5 digits beginning with 9=organic.
Shop locally. Most GMOs come from large industrial farms. At farmers markets, you can speak directly to the farmers and learn of their growing practices.
The information here is the tip of the iceberg, but it gives a short summary of the issues. Why did grocery shopping have to get so complicated? Food shopping shouldn’t take hours and require a magnifying glass! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could look forward to the day when GMO meant “Give Me Organic” or how about just “Give Me Options?”
Many GMO foods, but specifically corn, have been studied with frightening outcomes, from simple effects like weight gain to more serious organ disruption and massive tumors. Consequently, it has become vital to regularly cleanse and detoxify your body.
Simple Detox for GMOs
Increase fiber consumption. One of the best ways to ensure your body is eliminating those things which it has no use for (heavy metals, GMOs, toxins, food additives) is through a high-fiber diet. This is achieved by eating plenty of plant foods, but also by occasionally detoxing with something like psyllium husk. Psyllium husk creates a sort of gel that, when consumed with plenty of water, will flush out the digestive tract, essentially taking all lingering toxins along. You can find organic psyllium husk at most health food stores or online.
Consume probiotics and fermented foods. Your digestive system should be well equipped for dealing with foreign invaders like GMOs and other toxins. When you eat fermented foods and consume probiotics, you create a healthy bacterial balance, ensuring your “gut bacteria” is able to break down and eliminate harmful substances in your diet. Consuming probiotics will also help your body to detox the Bt-toxin found in GMO crops.
Organic sulfur. Jonathan Benson at NaturalNews.com suggests organic sulfur as a must-have for detoxing the liver. According to him, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is “a critical component in detoxification, energy production, cell oxygenation, and immune capacity.” Once found throughout the food supply, it has fallen by the wayside with “advances” in agriculture. Now, you can find organic, lignin-based sulfur crystals to help make up for the loss.
Avoiding genetically modified foods should be your first line of defense, but creating a healthy body to fight those that do get in is important too. Regular cleansing and detoxification will help you avoid the negative effects of these and other modern food additives.
In addition to his homeopathic teachings, the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) taught the importance of food and environment in maintaining good health. If a person is eating poorly, living in damp quarters, etc., these ‘maintaining causes,’ as he called them, severely limit the good that even excellent homeopathic treatment can achieve. Thus, even if you are under the care of a homeopath and receiving a remedy that matches you, if you are constantly subjecting yourself to maintaining causes of disease, you will likely not escape their impact. In my view, the increasingly pervasive presence of GMOs in our diets is likely a leading cause for many of our current health problems, from the obesity epidemic to the rising tide of sensitivity to gluten, and possibly much more.
Francine Kanter, CCH, RsHOM(NA), is a Board Certified Homeopath Practitioner, with a practice in Coral Springs. She can be reached at 754-484-7988, [email protected], fKanterHomeopath.com. See ad page 49.