I have to admit, I hate the GMO argument. It is too biased for real life. As Stewart Lyman
says in his article on the recent GMO labeling debate
, “neither side seems interested in discussing the scientific issues involved.”
It is also interesting to me that the food additive issue gets discussed, but the information is not overly scientific either.
I admit that I fully support growers producing genetically altered foods (GMO). Without these foods, we would be hard pressed to feed our rapidly growing world population. I am not for banning GMO as some countries have
, nor do I think a label that says “contains GMO ingredients” is informative enough to be useful. I think a good alternative is the “Non GMO Verified Project
” where foods get a “GMO free” label upon verification, like organic foods get. This is a better solution because it is a voluntary certification, and the program already exists and works well.Simply put, when you eat real food, your body recognizes the DNA and natural chemical makeup of it. As a result, you are able to metabolize nutrients correctly and you reap the benefits of that food (nutritionally and health-wise). Eat something unnatural (DNA or chemically) and your body is physiologically confused
, resulting in stress on the body. Eating corn modified with fish genes, your body just isn’t sure if you are eating corn or fish. Pretty simple concept. I know some corn is modified with genes from Bacillus thuringiensis, which is used as a biological pesticide, and commonly grows in animal feces. Sound more appetizing? I have enough medical problems, I don’t need to risk more, like renal problems. I will let those much smarter than I figure out the health issues of GMO and stick with a more natural diet
Now part of the problem is “how natural is a natural diet?” Because chemicals in foods tend to cause adverse reactions in my body, I try to avoid chemical additives
in or on my food, whenever I can. I decided that if I cannot pronounce it, it probably does not belong in my body. Since I have a reduced auto-immune system, I need as few reactions in my system as possible. This is why I started researching clean eating
. But you still need to use your head. I have seen clean eating sites recommending eating “power bars” and “liquid Stevia only.” I have not seen too many natural power bars, and I have seen plenty of Stevia liquids on the supermarket shelf with questionable ingredients. I personally use a powered Stevia that is 100% natural, so read labels and know what the ingredients mean.And what exactly are “artificial flavors” and “natural flavors
?” They are both chemical flavorings, which supposedly use the “same” chemical makeup. There are arguments about artificial flavors being more healthy, but I prefer something more natural. But keep in mind that any flavoring that is from a natural source can be called “natural flavors.” Natural raspberry, strawberry, and vanilla flavors can come from castoreum
(or other natural sources), but it still does not sound pleasant to eat something with an excretion of a beaver butt as an ingredient.
And artificial sweeteners have a bunch of debate around them. My personal view is that the “pink,” “blue,” and “yellow” sweeteners are all chemical or chemically modified sugar substitutes. Again, I stick with Stevia, but I also watch those carefully. Be careful what you buy, and read the labels.
I do want to say that eating natural should not be a dogma. In our world, one cannot avoid eating some “unnatural” things, or things with additives. As I said in previous articles, our bodies are smart and they do adapt. We just do not live in a “natural world.”
However, a more natural diet is much less stressful on the body, and knowing what we are eating allows us to control the negative reactions our bodies have to “bad” things we eat (and I define “bad things” as things which each individual does not, or cannot, tolerate). Natural foods help alleviate symptoms (not, I do not say “cure”) from many maladies, like reduction of inflammation, lowering of blood glucose levels, and reducing pain from headaches, which ultimately allows us to live healthier lives.