GMOs part II – Choices

Everyday we make choices about what we consume. The choices include known health risks such as sugar, alcohol, and tobacco. By reducing consumption of these products we reduce health risks. Glyphosate is not recognized as a health risk on a level with these risks. It hasn’t been around nearly as long. But it is known to kill bacteria, and we depend on bacteria in our gut to digest food. Seeds of herbicide tolerant GMO crops store glyphosate. When these seeds are used in food, glyphosate can get into our gut.

No human consumes close to the amount herbicide tolerant soybeans as chickens do. The chickens that consume it maintain a high level of egg production throughout their short life. The effect of regular long term exposure to glyphosate that comes with it is unknown.

If we choose to reduce exposure to glyphosate, we can. The easiest way is to choose organic foods. GMOs are prohibited from organic certification. Avoiding glyphosate on a limited budget is not easy. The most affordable cooking oils (soy, canola, and corn) are mostly made from herbicide tolerant GMO seeds. A company website shows what crops are available as glyphosate tolerant seed. They offer soybean, corn, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, and cotton. Not offered are wheat and rice.

Interesting to note that the major producer of herbicide tolerant GMOs experimented with GMO wheat but stopped their GMO wheat program and never released GMO wheat for sale. GMO seeds mostly end up as livestock food. Corn is the main GMO crop that is a human staple. But it is a main part of human diets in only parts of Africa and Central America.

My choice is to limit rather than eliminate consumption of GMOs. When I go to a Mexican restaurant, I eat chips and salsa. But I avoid GMO oils for cooking and wouldn’t use soy milk or soy flour unless its organic. I hope my regular intake of probiotic foods promotes a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in my gut. And growing my own foods reduces exposure to toxic chemicals. So its time to start setting up my indoor grow table.

“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” – P B Shelley

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