Frightening Foods ~ Frankenfoods - aka GMOs

Remember the good ole days when all you had to be frightened about when making food choices was to ensure you consumed enough veggies and fruits to stay healthy? Those days are long gone and have now been exchanged for some seriously scary scenarios. Why would anyone need to modify natural, healthy foods? What is this process that is being used to transform our food choices. More importantly, how can it affect our health? Information is power, so let’s take a closer look at what has become mainstream in our SPOOKY supermarket foods and favorite restaurant chains. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are plants or animals that have had their DNA modified. In the U.S., the majority of the corn, soybean, cotton, and canola crops are now genetically modified, and one or more of these can be found in nearly every processed food! GMOs have not been proven safe and some studies show GMOs may decrease immunity to diseases in plants as well as humans. They may also cause resistance to antibiotics and could have a negative impact on genetic function. Plants that are genetically modified to be resistant to disease, pesticides, and insecticides could diminish the need to use these strong chemicals. Conversely, they may build up a resistance and therefore require even larger amounts of chemicals than before.

There are two main types of genetically engineered crops - those engineered with a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt toxin) bacterium to express an insecticidal protein and those engineered to resist herbicides. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacteria that produces proteins which are toxic to insects. What does this mean?! Some GMOs produce their own pesticides from within, some are engineered to survive when sprayed with ridiculous amounts of pesticides. Either way, you’re ingesting chemicals that have been linked with disrupting the nervous system, infertility, cancers, and a myriad of serious health concerns.

Bt is an aggressive toxin that damages cell membranes and kills insects by, literally, making their stomach burst. Now that is downright SPOOKY!!! It’s in the same family of bacteria as B. anthracis, which causes anthrax, and B. cereus, which causes food poisoning. Bt's aggressive mechanism harms the digestive system by effectively attacking normal gut cells thereby burning holes in the intestines. This can cause problems such as leaky gut syndrome, which is linked to allergies and intolerances. Even worse, Bt doesn’t just leave your body with the food it arrived on.

(Research has shown that the Bt toxin persists in the gastrointestinal tract of human- flora-associated rats weeks after exposure and that Bt has a toxic effect on the lungs and other organs. In rare cases, Bt can even wreak havoc on the eyes, causing severe irritation and even blindness. Interacting with Bt is a major problem for agricultural workers who handle chemicals that contain it. It is the most widely used pesticide in the agricultural industry, and it’s found in many of the foods we eat. If you eat any standard or restaurant food, it’s near impossible that you’re not consuming it daily. YIKES! Research has repeatedly confirmed that Bt insecticide residue can remain on fresh fruits and vegetables, but Bt toxin exposure is not limited to raw ones and you can’t wash it off. In 2006, researchers found the Bt toxin in pasteurized milk, ice cream, juice, and green-tea, suggesting that the toxic bio-pesticide residue lingers through multiple stages of food production and processing. GMO foods are also digested more slowly and when they contain Bt and repeated exposure puts the digestive system at risk for additional damage. If all that were not enough, it also helps breed pesticide resistant organisms... SUPERBUGS... that are not helpful for our environment.

This appears to be a scene out of a scary movie but is our current food system!! Yet another reason to grab your family and friends and enjoy organic, home-cooked meals. Look for foods in their most natural state. Use this list to avoid the following commonly contaminated foods. Otherwise, I recommend to only buy ORGANIC.