Earlier in the year, we covered how harm is often associated with GMO's – and with good reason. This month, we had the honor of hosting Scott Laird, a naturopathic doctor and past contributor to Hallelujah Acres, to present our latest webinar "GMOs: What You Don't Know Might Kill You!" His passion for breaking down the complexity of health solutions into logical, easy to understand terms is what made us reach out to him for the presentation. In the webinar, Laird discussed how seriously the manipulation of foods can impact our health.
The Basics: What are GMOs?
Genetically modified foods have DNA that has been unnaturally altered to enhance their nutritional content and other desirable traits. At first glance, this initial reasoning behind modifying foods may seem harmless, but that doesn't mean it is.
Laird explains the modifying process as the "microscopic shooting from the hip" when GMOs are produced in a petri dish. The process of plant DNA modification is not a precise science. No, genes are shot into plant cells literally with a gene gun, hoping that the desired genes will somehow get inserted into the stable DNA of the plant, without damaging any other genes in the process.This abrupt, randomized distribution causes massive damage up and down the DNA strand, which could harm the plant and keep it from doing what it was ultimately designed to do. What's wrong with this? The confusion and volatility shows up in our health after eating the plant – or, after consuming the animal that ate the plant. This is where the phrase "you are what you eat" can certainly hold true.
Understanding the Boomerang Effect
One of the important points Laird discussed in the presentation was the boomerang effect. This is the idea of interfering with nature, only for it to swing back and interfere with our bodies.
"What we do to the earth comes back to bite us," said Laird. "If we let GMOs pollinate wherever they please, they'll cross-pollinate with everything and anything in the plant world. What's to stop them? If that happens, the natural, plant-based remedies we might use to heal from the effects of GMOs may not even work because the medicines themselves would have become unnatural."
Herbicide-resistant weeds are a real problem caused by the cross-pollination of GMO crops with native weeds. How will farmers get rid of weeds on a large scale that are resistant to all of their chemicals?
The unpredictable damage of genetically modifying DNA can ultimately impact the plant's natural purpose. This, in turn, can affect your health, causing side effects like new allergic reactions you never had before.
Glyphosate originally was patented as a chelator, a molecule that grabs onto minerals. While spraying plants that are glyphosate-resistant won't kill them, it does make the plant weaker by binding up some of the minerals in the soil. And crops sprayed with glyphosate over and over inherently have higher levels of herbicide residue in them at harvest time. The result is crops that have fewer nutrients in them and much higher amounts of chemicals.
How Can I Avoid GMOs?
During the presentation, Laird brought a surprising statistic to the stage. Nearly 80 percent of packaged foods contain GMOs. The easiest way to avoid these foods? Start buying products with anti-GMO and organic labels – or don't buy packaged products at all. By fueling yourself with the naturally healthy foods God gave us, you have the ability to thrive the same – naturally healthy.
Consider this: Every month, your skin replaces itself. Every five months, your liver does the same. Your bones strengthen and rebuild over the course of six years. These changes occur because the foods you're eating help create new cells.
"If we're fueling our bodies every day with food, it's really important to get the right fuel!" Laird exclaimed. "You literally become what you eat!"
If you eat naturally healthy foods, your body will benefit. If you eat GMO foods, you'll notice negative effects.
"Eating weak and sick food makes you weak and sick," he said. "That's why we have to be so careful of what we eat."
To learn more about how genetically modified crops, or the illusion of healthy foods can deteriorate your health, we suggest reading Laird's book "Growing Concern: What We Reap When We Sow GMOs."