Are GMOs lurking in your daily meals?
The debate over genetically modified (GM) foods has been a hot topic in the last couple of years. Today, it continues to be an issue for producers and consumers alike. As the World Health Organization announced glyphosate, a herbicide, as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans,’ there has been great controversy over the safety of these foods.
One common type of GMO is Roundup Ready crops, which include corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, sugar beets, and alfalfa. A farmer can spray these crops with glyphosate and only the weeds will die, leaving the crops intact but covered in herbicide saturated seeds. Although we don’t know the full story on the safety of this product, we also don’t know the dangers. However, we do know that glyphosate is a carcinogen as well as an endocrine disruptor as it has been linked to birth defects, tumors, cellular damage, and other diseases, such as autism.
Common crops of food that have GMOs include:
One of the most prominent GMO foods, most corn is highly modified. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health concerns, including weight gain and organ disruption. It was developed with a pesticide genetically engineered into the corn itself, killing common corn pests that attempted to feed on it. While it was thought to be safe for human consumption, a Canadian study found that this pesticide was found in human fetuses.
Soy can be used in a variety of ways, from soybeans as a protein source to ingredients like soy lecithin used to thicken and preserve food. GMO soy can be found in many processed foods and may be linked to the rise in soy allergies. Look for non-GMO labels on soy products like tempeh, tofu, and edamame.
Almost 93 percent of canola oil seeds are genetically modified. This oil is derived from the rapeseed plant and has to go through many processes to be shelf stable. To avoid these GMOs, choose healthier cooking oils, such as olive, grapeseed, and coconut instead.
In the U.S., most livestock are fed genetically engineered crops, including corn, soy, alfalfa, and canola. It is estimated that 88 percent of corn crops grown on U.S. soil are of the genetically modified variety, and about 36 percent of that goes to animal feed. A whopping 94 percent of soy crops grown in the United States are genetically modified, and an astounding 98 percent of soy crops grown in America become animal feed. Don’t forget the dairy either – dairy cows are the primary consumers of alfalfa hay, which is another common source of GMOs. The marriage between meat and dairy with GMOs is one ever-present, but certainly lesser-known.
The risk of GMOs is yet to be truly known. Fortunately, an urgent care center, such as Sand Canyon Urgent Care, is there to help you through medical issues. To visit our Irvine location in California, call us today.