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Sunday School: GMOs and “Frankenfish”

sunday school

This is the second edition of “Sunday School.”  This is a series I began as part of my whole food journey to keep you informed of the research and learning that I’ve been doing from week to week.  As always, it may be a bunny trail because that’s how I think {I’ve got two little kids for goodness sake!  My attention span – and time is limited! ;) }.  My goals change depending on what was in the news, what I’m trying to accomplish in my own home, and what questions I’m being asked by you and my “real life” friends. ;)

So this week, my sister in law posed a question about GMOs {Genetically modified organisms} and if they were really all that bad and it got me to digging around a bit more.  I was already a firm believer that GMOs are no good and I am on the side that says, at the very least, if we can’t stop them from being grown, they should label products as GMO so as consumers we have choice about whether we purchase them- and eat them-or not.

First off, if you don’t watch, read, or view ANYTHING else on my blog, please watch this video. This is all you need to know about the connection between GMOs and growing food allergies and rising rates of cancers in the US.

One of the biggest arguments FOR GMOs is that they will solve the world hunger problem.  Proponents for GMOs will produce a higher yield – but the fact is they do not.  Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The next biggest argument FOR GMOs is that since genetically modified seeds have been modified so that they are pesticides or herbicides in them, they will decrease the need for pesticides and herbicides and decrease the pests that bother the crop.   But the fact is, between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

And what is really troublesome to me is the fact that GM crops are like kudzoo, they take over.   GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool.  GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

And, it isn’t just crops they are fooling with either.  “Frankenfoods” come in both vegetable and meat varieties.  Just this week I was reading about how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of approving The AquAdvantage Salmon, produced by AquaBounty Technologies, – the first genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption. The genetically engineered Atlantic salmon being considered was developed by artificially combining growth hormone genes from an unrelated Pacific salmon, (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) with DNA from the anti-freeze genes of an eelpout (Zoarces americanus).  This modification causes production of growth-hormone year-round, creating a fish the company claims grows at twice the normal rate, allowing factory fish farms to crowd fish into pens and still get high production rates.  This “frankenfish” poses serious risk to the already decreasing populations of wild salmon.  It also turns a once kosher fish into a non-kosher fish.  You can read all about this in the article here from the Center for Food Safety.

If you want to learn more about the arguments against GMOs and why you should not feed them to your family, here are several good places to go:

Besides GMOs I’ve been looking into recipes and crafts for Passover {Pesach} – you can see my board on Pinterest here.

I’ve also been looking into changing my laundry regime. {I currently use organic, fragrance free, phosphate free detergents but still use regular {chemical ridden} stain remover.  I’ve found some alternatives I’m thinking of trying.  I’ll share more about that later.

I am also experimenting with a wholesome swap for my Coffee-mate creamer – this is going to be so hard!!

And finally, I’ve located a source for RAW milk {YAY!} and I’ve been making plans for a small garden of my own.  ;)

What have you learned this week?  Read anything good this week?  I’d love some more leads on my Wholesome Journey!

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  1. Do you have any resources to help others find sources for raw milk? It’s such a hush-hush commodity that I haven’t had any luck finding any on my own.

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