Our relationship with food will be the longest, most challenging and for the unlucky few the most satisfying. As beings with a body that requires feeding we experience sensations around food that rival no other… desire, ecstasy, regret, comfort, pain, disease, power, and with a certain balance we have life.
I enjoy the experience of being alive. I want to give my body what it needs to thrive, evolve and support a life of growth, however; my responsibility doesn’t end with my own physical being. Every bite I take and product I vote for with my dollars has a history. With that choice I now become responsible for the effect that product has had on our soil, water, air, economy, and health. Life expectancy has increased and some are seeing 100+ years old, but the larger population has seen increases in disease and is battling with an unseen force that challenges the body’s impulse to live. It’s also a natural impulse to ask why…
The fact is we eat less actual food than we used to and it shouldn’t be a challenge to find fuel our bodies were actually created to consume. It’s estimated that processed food makes up 70% of the US diet. That’s up 70% since the 1940’s. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are now present in 75-80% of conventional processed food in the US and it’s only been since the mid 90’s that we’ve seen GM foods on our shelves. I believe genetically modified foods are only one reason our health, environment and economy are on the decline but it’s not to be ignored. The flaws in our food system at large become apparent as we observe the health of bodies and our communities, but when Pandora’s box is opened there are a slew of other issues that are just as shocking and abhorrent.
The majority of the crops we consume today have had DNA alterations by biotechnology giant Monsanto, who was once hired to create gems like DDT, PCB’s, Agent Orange and recombinant bovine somatotropin. The lines between government and this behemoth have continued to blur. Monsanto’s staff and board have placed themselves in the US government in the following positions: Congress, Senate, FDA, White House Senior Staff, US Secretary of Commerce, Policy Advisor, EPA, First Lady, US Supreme court Judge, US Secretary of Defense and the US Secretary of Agriculture.
Ok, getting ahead of myself. Who am I and what’s the point? I’m a middle class, 38 year old, married, white chick with 2 kids. I have a degree in environmental policy, I’m employed by company who installs wind and solar in the agriculture industry, drive a Subaru, garden and do yoga. Yup, I’m that girl. Now the point… walking the walk. Bitching about GMO’s on Facebook and signing petitions may raise awareness (or annoyance), and could possibly help nudge policy but does it change what I’m purchasing and putting in my mouth? Where will my $3 go when the 2:00 craving hits? What will I choose to purchase and serve my family? And, will we see a short or long term benefit from going GMO free entirely?
I’ll be spending 30 days free from consuming any product that is genetically modified. At the moment my kitchen is filled with a variety of items; some home grown, some USDA organic, some not organic but sustainably grown and yes there’s some crap… Kraft mac and cheese, frozen burritos and canned soup.
Between now and July 1st I’ll be stripping the kitchen of all items that have genetic modifications to any ingredients, and yes they’re getting tossed, not given to the neighbor. That would miss the point… We’re all better off without it.
Over the next couple of months I’ll probably touch on… What are GMO’s and how they are different from a hybrid, responsibility for the items we buy, the deal with Monsanto, politics behind GMO’s, environmental damage, potential dangers of GMO’s to the body, how to buy GMO free, where to buy and what happens when I’m starving with out any GMO-free options…
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, scientist or anyone else who has credentials that give you the illusion I’d be worth listening to. This blog is documenting my experience with going from a mixed bag diet to giving up GMOs for at least one month. I’m not claiming that GMO’s have created all ailments we see today nor do I necessarily believe I personally am going to see life changing health benefits… the good is multifaceted. My philosophy regarding our responsibility to our environment, the economy and each other is, yes, mine. I’ll be including data found from a variety of sources and I’ll cite whenever possible. I’m always open to new ideas and information so call me out and back it up if you believe me to be misled.
Here’s to the journey!