If it’s not one fad diet, it’s a food group. Last week you couldn’t eat carbs, this week, bread is okay, avoid legumes. Then just when you got used to a vegan diet, everyone has gone caveman with the meat. Last week you were all organic, this week it has to be raw. Frankly, it is enough to make your head spin, and your stomach. Genetically modified foods, pesticides, organic, farm fresh, hydroponically grown, really, where do you start?
Keeping healthy, keeping your diet balanced and eating properly can be difficult with a hectic lifestyle. It’s even harder if you have children, to keep them on track and off junk foods.
Skipping breakfast, then having a sugary pastry with a large coffee, a greasy burger or sandwich for lunch on the go and then pizza or something microwaved for dinner. It might satisfy at the time, but it’s not healthy. Plus, the ingredients are mostly unknown.
Food labelling has definitely come a long way in recent years, but it’s likely not enough. Reading labels on items we buy is a good idea, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Foods labeled Buying organic might make you happier about the choices you are making but they can be a lot more expensive. The term ‘organic’ can be misleading. It may mean the soil the carrots were grown in was organic, or just the seeds, or maybe just the farmer’s boots. It doesn’t tell us where he got the seeds and if they are genetically modified, like many foods are.
Genetically modified foods, frankenfood, as it’s been called, is food that has had its DNA modified. This is usually for longer shelf life, shorter growing period, quicker ripening and also engineered to resist bugs and other pests. Larger crops, corn, soybean, cotton and foods used for feed, oil and other processing have been being modified for years.
The usage and regulation of these foods varies from country to country and while most scientific research claims they are healthy for consumption, many people still are not convinced. The method of foods being modified today vastly differs from, say, thirty years ago, but many feel any is too much.
Demands in non-modified foods continues to grow, despite the ‘all-clear’ from many sides. Increases in diseases, allergies and less and less resistance to illness has many people pointing at the food we eat. Of course, not just modifying foods adds to it’s health or harm. Environmental problems, pollution, exhaust, methane from the very livestock that are also being modified, genetically and with hormones and steroids, acid rain, it’s really a wonder we eat at all!
Not everyone dislikes the GMO foods. Corn, one of the biggest crops and the most modified is widely used for livestock feed, used to make breakfast cereal, corn syrup, which in turn is used widely in other foods, corn oil, it’s really endless. But the increase in crops for the producer and the bug resistants of it means big money for the corn farmer. But even finding products that claim to be GMO free doesn’t mean they aren’t sprayed with pesticides, fertilizers and other harmful chemicals used for bugs and plant diseases.
So, if the soil is organic but the seeds are GMO, how are we to know? Well, we don’t But you can start by buying local, supporting your local farmer at the farmer’s market, where you can ask about the foods you are buying. Read the labels and stay informed.