Keep the GMOs Away From Our Little Ones’ Food!!


By Laurel Sterling, RD,
Natur-Tyme Wellness Educator

My hope is that most of the population knows and understands what GMOs really are. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. Genetic modification of food involves splicing genes into the DNA of food, crops, or animals. GMOs can be engineered with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans. According to the USDA, in 2009, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, 86% of corn grown in the U.S. was genetically-modified. It is estimated that over 90% of canola grown is genetically-modified. I am sure it is much more now! Sugar beets, which are used as the sugar source in so many products, are GMOs as well. Also within the last one to two years, alfalfa, which is used as a food source for animals, is now genetically-modified. In 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs because they are not proven safe.

If any of you have ever watched the documentary Genetic Roulette, you KNOW how bad GMOs are for human AND animal consumption. Approximately 75 percent of our food contains GMOs, and these GMOs are exposed to 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides! So knowing this…would you want any of this in your diet….or your newborn baby’s formula??? I certainly wouldn’t!!!

I recently learned the horrifying news that according to GMWatch, Purity brands infant formula and cereal contained extremely high levels of GMOs. Nestlé has gone on record stating: “. . . it took consumer preferences into consideration and therefore all its infant cereals in South Africa used non-GM maize.” Great! They did that for them, but why are they not doing that for us in the US?

Just a little FYI, Nestlé is in the company of Abbott Laboratories (makers of Similac), and Mead Johnson Nutrition (makers of Enfamil). Their formulas contain corn, sugar, or soy—all ingredients which are highly likely to be GMO!

GMO crops were created to be able to withstand pesticides. The weeds have built up resistance now to these pesticides; therefore, new pesticides are being formulated that may be even more dangerous to your health. Recently, new soybean and corn seeds have been reengineered to survive the strongest pesticides out there. The latest to emerge are glyphosate and the 2, 4-D. During the Vietnam War, 2, 4-D was used (and then banned).  Do we really want these in our food supply? I don’t!

Exposure to the chemical 2, 4-D is linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, thyroid & reproductive problems, Parkinson’s disease, and neurological damage. So say NO to GMO!! Natur-Tyme has several GMO-FREE choices on sale throughout October 2014, which is Non-GMO month.

The High Fructose Corn Syrup Insulin Trap

Carol B. Blair, BS, DiHom, CNC, Wellness Educator

CerealWe’ve all heard the ads about high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with the catch phrase “Sugar is sugar.” Not true! Because high-fructose corn syrup is derived from corn (genetically modified, at that), the corn industry tried to call it “corn sugar,” but the FDA denied their claim. As you know, I am not a fan of the FDA, but it appears they finally got something right!

High-fructose corn syrup is highly processed and that processing comes with a price.

First and foremost, according to research published in Environmental Health, most of it is contaminated with mercury, which is used in the processing. Mercury is a poison linked to brain disorders including tremors, Parkinson’s, memory loss, and even Alzheimer’s. Remember the “mad hatters?” That term was coined because mercury was used in the hat-making process, and the makers went “mad.”

Due to the fact that high-fructose corn syrup metabolizes to fat very quickly in the body, and because of its rapid absorption into the blood stream, it causes insulin spikes. Weight gain is the result because insulin is a fat-storing hormone. Also, Dr. Mark Hyman states that HFCS “goes right to the liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol); this is why it is the major cause of liver damage in this country and causes a condition called ‘fatty liver,’ which affects 70 million people.” Other metabolic disturbances such as increased appetite, accelerated aging, and diabetes also occur.

So what are some of the major products that contain high-fructose corn syrup? Unless you are a label reader (I am!), you’ll probably be surprised. Here are some of the common ones: cereal, salad dressing, pudding mixes, many yogurts (you just think you’re eating something healthy with many brands), candy, chocolate bars, ketchup, juices, bread, and pizza sauce. However, soft drinks are the biggest culprit of all. Many people have a very bad habit of drinking soft drinks instead of water. Don’t make the mistake of drinking low calorie, artificially sweetened, soft drinks as a replacement. See my other blog on artificial sweeteners. I haven’t decided yet which one is worse–the high-fructose corn syrup or the artificial sweeteners!

I don’t mind Zevia though. This is a carbonated beverage sweetened with natural, low calorie, herbal Stevia! We carry several varieties here at Natur-Tyme.

We all know sugar isn’t good for us but the catch phrase, “Sugar is sugar,” is not true. High-fructose corn syrup is used because it is cheap–plain and simple. Don’t sacrifice your health for it.

Book Review: Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics by Marion Nestle

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC ShannonHeadshot

Marion Nestle is widely known for revealing the politics of food through books such as: What to Eat, Food Politics, and Pet Food Politics. While interesting, these books can be tough reads and they’re long…I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to find the time to read books that are close to 500 pages! Nestle herself admits that explaining how food lobbies exert influence over federal dietary advice can put people to sleep.

Eat Drink Vote offers you the opportunity to learn about food politics through cartoons! Consider it an educational comic book. Nestle teamed up with The Cartoonist Group to publish this book. She introduces the book by discussing how lobbyists were able to convince Congress to count a smidgen of tomato paste on school lunch pizza as a vegetable serving. This concept is illustrated with a cartoon of a slice of pizza and a headline that says “New Congressional School Lunch Food Pyramid.”

EatDrinkVoteBookNestle uses dozens of cartoons to illustrate a wide range of food politics on topics such as: the obesity epidemic, the food pyramid, GMOs, power of lobbyists, fast food, food labels, cost of food, world hunger/food aid, sedentary culture, food marketing, the organic food movement, the locavore food movement, and more.

To discuss food politics and see some of the cartoons highlighted in this picture book for adults, come to Natur-Tyme’s Healthy Living Book Club discussion on Friday July 18th from 5:30-7:00 PM. Healthy snacks will be served. I hope to see you there! If you’d like to join us, please send an email to events@natur-tyme.com so that we have a head-count. If you’d like to be added to our book club email list, send an email to bookclub@natur-tyme.com.

Understanding GMOs – Part 2

By Nancy Gardiner, Supplement Educator124580433

October is Non-GMO Month. Natur-Tyme wants to educate you about why you should be concerned with GMOs. Yesterday, supplement educator Pamela Walker discussed Non-GMOs and I will expand upon it in my blog.

Why should you not eat genetically modified organisms (GMO)? According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) (2009), “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GMO food.” The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GMO foods (www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html). Jeffery M. Smith of The Institute for Responsible Technology adds, “The biggest areas of risks being infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, changes in major organs, and the gastrointestinal system.”

I have been a health supplement educator for 17 years, involved in conventional farming for 14 years, and organic farming for the last 13 years. In that time period, I have noticed some of the changes mentioned in the above quote by Jeffery M. Smith, author, politician, and advocate against GMO foods.

Labeling of GMO foods is the only way to have a choice when deciding what to bring home to cook for dinner tonight. There are a couple of websites where you can get information on labeling efforts; www.labelgmos.org and www.justlabelit.org are dedicated to organizing the efforts to have foods labeled. Until the powers that be are convinced that the fair and just way to deal with this issue is a well-informed consumer, a list of Non-GMO verified products can be found at www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo.

Understanding GMOs – Part 1

By Pamela Walker124580433

October is non-GMO month; though the month is winding down, the issue of GMOs will continue to touch our lives. Today and tomorrow, read our blogs addressing the concerns of GMOs.

Genetically Modified Organisms are not an organisms’ natural state. GMOs are plants that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. There is a huge difference between hybridized corn and a GMO. It’s one thing when you cross two different species of corn, but when you put a fish gene into a tomato, that is pushing the boundaries of science. A growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage, and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of super weeds and super bugs, which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons. GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve. While I understand the reasoning for creating GMOs to feed our growing population, at what cost is this to human health?

Tomorrow, read the GMO blog written by my fellow supplement educator, Nancy Gardiner.

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