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Friday
May302014

Say No to GMO, Part 3

We are so delighted that the bans on GMO crops in Jackson and Josephine Counties passed.  This goes a long way to helping us avoid GMOs in our valley...but what about GMOs on our plates?  In this article, I will provide you with some tips for eating GMO free. 

It can be challenging for many folks to remove the GMOs from their meals.  But now is the time to pay attention to GMOs,  for your health, the health of your children, and the future of food in our country (since we vote with our dollars at the checkout line).  Even if all you feel able to do is to remove part of the GM foods in your diet, that is a big improvement, so here are some guidelines for making that improvement in your own life.
 
The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) and wise health practitioners recommend these tips to keep GM foods out of your body:
 
How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods:

Buy Organic – Organic producers are not permitted to intentionally use GMOs.

Look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal

Avoid At-Risk Ingredients - If it's not labeled organic, or doesn't have a Non-GMO Project Verified Seal, then avoid processed food product ingredients made with these GM crops: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed and Beet sugar.  In the U.S., where we are quite behind the times in regards to laws about GMO foods, these plants are likely grown using genetically modified seeds. Basically, if it's a food in the center aisles of your supermarket - where all of the processed ‘food’ is - then it likely contains one or more of these ingredients: 

  • Corn – Includes corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrups; Sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose; and Modified food starch
  • Soy – Includes soy flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone; Vegetable oil and vegetable protein, TVP
  • Canola - Canola oil (also called rapeseed oil)
  • Cotton - Cottonseed oil
  • Sugar - Avoid anything not listed as 100% cane sugar since GM beet sugar recently entered the food supply. To avoid it, look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar (rapadura or sucannat).
  • Aspartame - The artificial sweetener also known as NutraSweet and Equal, which is derived from GM microorganisms.
  • More than 50% of Hawaiian papaya is GM, and a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash.

Beware of "Invisible GM Ingredients" - Ingredient lists are often difficult to decipher and some of these foreign-sounding ingredients are derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Some of the more common products include: whey, xanthan gum, glutamate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, cellulose, citric acid, maltodextrin and mono and diglycerides.

Choose certified organic dairy products - Conventional dairy products are taken from cattle raised with rBGH, a growth hormone likely containing genetically modified components.Fortunately, there are organic and rBGH-free dairy products out there and they are becoming more prevalent.

Don't trust the produce stickers and PLU codes on fruits and vegetables - There are many myths regarding the small coded stickers on produce - that these codes can help identify GMO fruits and vegetables. But, while many people are convinced a 5-digit code beginning with an 8 identifies a GMO, such identification is completely optional and, as of yet, no produce providers have chosen to be so forthcoming. The one you can trust is a 5-digit code starting with a 9 - that identifies organic fruits and vegetables and by their classification as certified organic, they are GMO free.

Download IRT’s Shopping Guides:  Use either IRT's new Non-GMO Shopping Tips brochure or redesigned Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid GM foods. They devote an entire page in each guide to help you uncover hidden GM ingredients on food labels that often read more like a chemical periodic table. If you have an iPhone, download their ShopNoGMO guide for free from the iTunes store.  You can also download the app for a GMO free shopping guide here:http://nongmoshoppingguide.com or pick up a paper copy at WWCA.
 
Additional Hints from Summer:
Whenever possible, choose real foods which will nourish your body, most of which do not have labels!  Aside from the GMO issue, it’s always best for your health and longevity (and heart, and digestive system, and waist line, etc.) to leave processed foods on the shelves!   
 
I hope many of you will join me in choosing the foods that help our bodies function at their optimum.  Now is the time!

- See more at: http://www.wisewomencare.com/6077/just-say-no-to-gmos-2/#sthash.Qt7Q3ZN0.dpuf

Tuesday
Apr152014

Say No to GMO, Part 2

In my last article, I explored what GMO or Genetically Engineered (GE) foods actually are.  This past year both Jackson pased a GMO ban. This coming election, Josephine countiy in Oregon is seeking to pass a similar measures making their farms GMO free. These measures protect Rogue Valley family farmers from the GE pollen that is spread for miles by wind from neighboring farms, contaminating other non-GM crops.  This contamination by GM pollen affects both conventional and organic farm crops and in turn is a great concern for you and your families’ health.
 
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) has asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.  I have been letting my patients know about the dangers of consuming GM foods for many years now and will continue to do so, especially since the evidence of detrimental health concerns continues to mount.  The AAEM reported that “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system (the gut). 

More than 60 countries have labeling requirements, bans, and/or moratoriums on GMOs. Several U.S. counties have GMO crop bans. Nevertheless, long term health and safety testing has not been required by our federal, state, or local governments; nor do they require GMO labeling. This means that as a US consumer, it is challenging to make informed choices about GE foods.  Unfortunately, if you are not paying attention to this issue in your food choices, it is highly likely that you are consuming some GM foods on a regular basis. 

While we continue to learn about the negative health consequences from GE foods, we continue to see more detrimental effects concentrated in small children whose undeveloped immune and digestive systems are particularly susceptible. 
The fact that these man made GE foods are so common in our food supply and that our bodies and our children are essentially the guinea pigs for this technology - which has nothing to do with human health and everything to do with financial gain for the companies who profit from their use - is nothing short of tragic.
 
For further information on GMO dangers from the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), see  http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers
 
While it is important to understand the dangers of GE foods, I like to offer solutions to many health challenges.  Stay tuned for future Say No to GMO in which I will focus on how to avoid GE foods.  You can make the commitment to join me and empower yourself by eating foods that do not include Genetically Engineered ingredients!

Saturday
Mar152014

Say No to GMO, Part 1

Many of you reading this are already well informed on the issue of GMO’s. For those of you who are new to this issue, here is a nice summary from GMO Free Jackson County:

"Genetically modified organisms are created through manipulation of an organism's genes using recombinant DNA techniques. Genes from unrelated species are combined, such as a fish gene inserted into a tomato.  This can't happen naturally or through traditional breeding. Most GMO crops rely on increasingly toxic pesticides made by the same companies that produce the seeds. The terms genetically engineeredGE, and transgenic also refer to GMOs."

The issues involved with Genetically Modified (GM) crops are far reaching, to put it mildly.   I would encourage you to visit the Our Family Farms Coalition and the GMO Free Josephine County websites to learn more, and check back here frequently for other articles in this series.

Here is a summary of what I’ll cover in my GMO article series:

  1. What is a GMO? 
  2. Health concerns of GMOs
  3. How to avoid genetically modified foods
  4. Why do so many people want GMO labeling or a moratorium on GMO crops until further study can occur in laboratories (not in our bodies and our environment)?

- See more at: http://www.wisewomencare.com/6042/just-say-no-to-gmos-part-1-what-is-a-gmo/#sthash.uZdpCaiY.dpuf

Sunday
Aug312008

Welcome to Summer's Blog!

Hello Everyone!

This is my new Web site's blog.

I'll utilize this space to share various thoughts I have on health and wellness.  My intention is to focus on what I'm impressed with that relates to our well being.  I'll also discuss what I'm NOT impressed with, primarily as a way to constructively vent.  Check back soon, and feel free to leave a comment or question.  Thanks!

In Peace and Health,

Summer Waters, L.Ac.

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