You Are What You EatPosted April 13, 2012 by Pamela Fletcher
Do you Know What is in Your Food?
When I was growing up I lived in rural Central Oregon and my dad always planted a huge garden each year - it must have been at least half an acre. I vividly recall a patch of raspberries that scratched me badly every time I got anywhere near it and a patch of corn so large my cousins and I could play hide and seek and get lost. The swiss chard, peppers, green beans, onions , potatoes and more growing from the soil enriched with fertilizer from the ever present compost heap behind the shed, were a staple of our meals all summer long and anything that could be canned, dried or frozen was in our meals all winter long.
As an adult I had a vegetable garden or two over the years –string beans that were purple when you picked them and turned green when they were cooked stand out in my memory. (Does anyone know where I could find those again?) But for years I have not had the space to grow much of anything beyond the occasional banana pepper plant and maybe some basil. This year is going to be different. I feel the desire to get my hands in the dirt, nurturing seedlings from little green shoots to mature lettuces, zucchini and peppers to use in the meals I prepare.
The Concern about GMOs
My parents raised a garden for one reason – to put healthy food on the table in an economical fashion. But aside from the fact that any vegetable fresh from the garden is superior in flavor, I have another motive spurring me to dig in the dirt - the realization that how our food is grown has changed dramatically since introducing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) into our food . I read an article the other day that disturbed me greatly, despite the fact that I’d already bought into the whole “GMOs are bad” thing. It was entitled Study Found Toxin from GM Crops is Showing up in Human Blood and describes how GMO toxins are not broken down in the gut like previously thought and instead are circulating in the bloodstream of those of us who consume them.
“Scientists have detected the insecticidal protein… circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation” - India Today
Because GMOs are present in practically every processed food that contains corn or soy, it is going to fall to us, the consumer, to closely monitor where our food originates and how it was grown.
How Should We Respond?
As I write this I am looking out on pots of fragrant herbs and tiny lettuce, tomato and pepper seedlings and it brings me joy knowing that every day they will grow and someday I will incorporate them into our meals and make beautiful soups, salads and more. And because I had control over the seeds, soil and what fertilizer I use, I will know what is in the food I am consuming. At the moment I am enjoying the aromas of tomatoes roasting in the oven and fennel, leeks and celery sautéing to make a Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto, all from vegetables purchased at our local Farmer’s Market earlier this morning. The recipe for this delectable soup can be found in one of my favorite cookbooks: The Spirited Vegetarian: Over 100 Recipes Made Lively with Wine and Spirits Check it out - a little splash of Sangiovese does wonders for tomatoes and fennel!
How Can We Avoid GMOs?
I‘m not naïve enough to think that eating non-GMO, organic food is going to eliminate all disease, but I believe that we owe it to ourselves and our children to at least get educated about what is in the food we eat. Here is a link from wikiHow with information on how to avoid genetically modified food if this is something that you are interested in. How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
How does it make you feel knowing that a pesticide toxin may be circulating in your blood because of the tortilla made from GMO corn you ate last year? I would love to hear your comments – let me know what you think!