I first learned about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) when I read Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma. GMOs occur when scientists merge the DNA from various living things to create new species that do not naturally occur. For example, they might design a potato plant that has insecticide built right in.
On the surface, this seems like a good idea. What’s not to like about crops that are resistant to drought, pests and disease?
Well, studies are beginning to show that some of these GMOs are having serious health consequences on livestock, humans and lab animals. They have been linked to thousands of sick cattle and to allergic reactions in humans. Soy allergies in the United Kingdom increased by 50% when genetically modified soy was introduced into the food supply there. In addition, lab animals subjected to GMOs suffered liver abnormalities, reproductive problems and infant mortality.
I’m certainly no expert on GMOs, but I know enough to know that I need to learn more. My friend Owen from Rumiano Cheese mentioned that October is Non-GMO Month so I thought that was a good incentive to begin my education. The Rumiano Cheese website features a non-GMO action guide which provides a lot of information if, like me, you’re just beginning to learn about GMOs.
You might also want to check out a movie called Genetic Roulette. I haven’t seen it yet, but plan to soon. Here’s a very compelling line from filmmaker Jeffrey M. Smith:
“When I brought a video camera to one of the medical conferences, the doctors were extremely bold in stating not only that GMOs caused certain diseases and disorders but that when the patients switched to non-GMO diets, they would improve on a wide variety of ailments and often very quickly.”
What are your thoughts about GMOs? Do you try to follow a non-GMO diet?
Quick reminder: Those of us involved with Virtual Potluck are working to make ourselves healthier in 2012, but we aren’t focusing exclusively on losing weight. Once a month, we’ll each be posting what we are doing to improve our health and well-being. Thanks again to Foodhunter’s Guide to Cuisine for coordinating this project.