Tag Archives: GMO

After one or two weeks of Stage 1, you’re probably horrified about how rampant the soy and corn is in your diet. It’s estimated that Americans consume about fifty percent of their calories from additives made out of corn and soy. And then there’s sugar, some from corn syrup (made from GM corn, you guessed it) and some made out of sugar beets (also GM).

You know those kids who are allergic to corn and soy? They have a lucky horseshoe up their rear end because they never touch the stuff. Unfortunately, a lot of parents just replace those calories with sugar, not knowing that a lot of the sugar is made from the same corn and wonder why sometimes their kids totally freak out. Not that the sugar helps, but the source of the sugar is a concern too.

Just taking out the processed food might have caused a noticeable decrease in bloat. For women, this is more noticeable in the mid-section, and clothes (especially jeans) will fit more easily. For me, this is the difference between before riding the dragon and after riding the dragon.

Speaking of the mid-section, this is the next step in cleaning out your diet. Clean out the plumbing. To do that, you’ll want to re-populate the flora and fauna in your gut. That means you need to eat good fiber, pro-biotics, and pre-biotics. This is a good time to change out your grains to organic.

Probiotics

The most inexpensive source of probiotics is straight yogurt. WHOLE milk yogurt, raw if you can get it. The lower the percentage is of fat in the yogurt, the more it’s been processed, even if it’s organic. Greek yogurt is touted as being wonderful, and it is, if it’s real greek yogurt. I don’t know a single Greek person who would deign to put Fage in her mouth. We get our yogurt from Sophia’s in Belmont. It’s made from sheep milk (pasture fed in the summer and while not certified organic, damn close if not better) and the plain has a tang that’s out of this world. I’m not a huge fan of additional flavors – you can get the flavors by adding the actual fruit in the morning. If you have plain greek yogurt, you can eat it in the morning with RAW honey. It’s delicious and sating. (Honey decreases inflammation in the body; don’t worry about the sugar content, since a lot of the yogurt going into your system will actually digest the sugar for you.)

Prebiotics

Prebiotic foods are covered by anything fermented. Lacto-Fermented is best, since it means it wasn’t bathed in vinegar made from….GM corn. (It’s ubiquitous, sigh). We get our kimchi from our Vermont farm share.

Fiber

Go get yourself some Psyllium Husk. Whole Foods carries it; it tastes like nothing, but drink it quickly because it solidifies and then it’s really difficult to get down. Psyllium husk has the benefit of being a prebiotic and an excellent source of fiber, so it’s a two in one.

Another wonderful source of fiber and prebiotics is a bar made by Two Moms In the Raw. There are a bunch of different flavors to choose from, and it makes you very regular. It has the added benefit of being easy to bring around with you in the car or to work. My girlfriends and I call it “Two Moms on the Can.”

Water

When you have to clean out the plumbing, you need a lot of water. The standard formula is 2/3 your body weight in ounces. Add 12 ounces for every half hour you work out to account for water loss due to sweat.

While we’re on the topic of water, try to stay away from water bottled in plastic, especially if you live somewhere hot. Ever open a plastic water bottle and smell the plastic? What do you think that’s doing to your water? Treat yourself to a glass bottle, and fill up at the cooler and from your filtered water at home. It’s greener, less expensive, and better for your health.

A bunch of friends have been asking me how to go about making these massive changes in their diet. It’s a mammoth task, and it’s not one that can be undertaken without some sort of plan. Because the truth is, if you think about this stuff too much, you can go insane. Then analysis paralysis ensues, and you need to take a nap before you even start.

With the vantage point of being a few years into this, I have put some thought into how to execute all the modifications in the most consolidated way possible. Please note that I did not use the word easy, because making these changes is SO not easy, and I respect you enough to know that you have already intuited that.

So, enter the concept of doing things in stages. The earlier the stage, the less complicated. Each successive stage involves more planning or work to execute.

Here are the main guidelines for Stage 1:

  • You start reading labels on every single thing you eat.
  • You eat nothing with dye in it. That means anything that has a color and a number next to it. If it says “lake” that’s just the powder form of the dye. It’s made as a by-product from processing gasoline, and it’s banned in China. (Yeah, China. And they’re not exactly world leaders on human rights and caring for their people.)
  • You remove all corn that is not organic. You’ll find it in a TON of food that comes out of a box. If it’s not specified as organic, it’s genetically modified. 88 percent of corn in the US is genetically modified, and it’s MUCH cheaper than organic corn, so it’s a safe bet that the processed food company is not decreasing their profit margin to be nice. That includes corn oil.
  • You remove all soy that is not organic. 93 percent of soy in the US is genetically modified. Also much cheaper than organic soy. Also, any time vegetable oil is referenced but not specifically called out, it is usually corn, soy or canola. Which brings me to the next one.
  • Remove canola oil. Canola oil is actually a created name to represent Canada’s genetically modified rapeseed oil. (“Can” for Canada; “ola” for oil) Rapeseed goes rancid quite quickly and so most canola oil is processed with a lot of chemicals including hexanes so that when the oil goes bad, you can’t tell. 90 percent of canola oil is genetically modified (Even the organic stuff is now called canola because that’s the only way people recognize it. You can imagine the PR nightmare of trying to sell an oil with the word rape in it.)
  • If something has sugar in it, but it’s not specified as cane sugar, it’s likely sugar made from genetically modified sugar beets, which comprise 95% of the sugar beets grown in the US.
  • Just removing these four things will probably put about 80% (possibly more) of the processed food you consume out of play. Which might make you eat more food that doesn’t come out of a cardboard box. Anything left that you need to come out of a box, look for the label that says “non-GMO”.
  • Replace the stuff you used to eat out of a box (especially cereal) with organic granola and raw nuts.
  • God help me that I would have to say this, but NO FAST FOOD. It’s basically composed of GMO ingredients and MSG.

If you lose weight or start to feel better, please comment on this post so we can share our experiences as a community!

GMO Doubt About It – It’ll Probably Kill You

Okay, enough fun and games with Thanksgiving and all that. Back to the organic definition bandwagon. The next one up is…GMOs. What are they?

The basic idea is that Monsanto inserts bacterial DNA into specific plants, like corn or soy (more than 90% of the corn and soy in the United States in genetically modified), which allows them to do three things:

  1. They can patent the seeds so that farmers always have to buy seeds from them in order to grow crops (otherwise farmers would save seeds and replant per traditional farming custom, which is why we have such things as “heirloom tomatoes”, “native corn”, etc.”
  2. The bacterial DNA is designed to make the plant produce its own insecticide. And this is produced from within, so there’s no washing this off. It’s inside the flesh of the plant. The fact that the insecticide is inside the plant isn’t enough – it actually makes the plant more resistant to Roundup, which is an organophosphate. Remember the post about sarin gas? Riiiigggghhht. Roundup is linked with sterility, hormone disruption and birth defects. If that’s not enough, the World Health Organization just came out with a ruling that it’s likely carcinogenic to humans. Here’s the Scientific American article.
  3. Because the seeds cross-pollinate, Monsanto regularly patrols other farms (especially conventional ones trying to go organic) to find seeds that have errantly cross-pollinated and to fine them large sums of money because they are using the technology and haven’t paid for the patent. This usually puts them out of business or off track so they can’t complete the process.

Okay, so what about the “crazy hippie” factor? Like is this something cooked up by a bunch of doobie-smoking people in Vermont who just want more cows to be happy? And if it were that bad, why would the United States, a first world nation, allow it? Don’t we have the FDA?

Yes, we have the FDA. But the guy in charge of food safety right now is Michael Taylor. Michael Taylor was a former attorney and later the Vice President of Monsanto. Uh, conflict of interest, anyone? It’s no small wonder that the FDA never required safety testing for GMOs under the auspices that it wasn’t really all that different. EXCEPT IT WAS.

Oh, and the argument that we can’t feed the world if we don’t go GM? Bogus. It doesn’t increase yields. But it messes up the soil for decades because of the constant dousing of the crops with Roundup, cancer causer extraordinaire.

The biggies to stay away from? Corn, soy and canola.

Canola isn’t even a thing. It’s CAN for Canada, and OLA for oil. It’s really rapeseed oil, but as you can imagine, an oil with the word rape in it doesn’t really sell so well. You don’t need a marketing degree to figure that one out. Rapeseed oil goes rancid very quickly, and so in the processing they douse it with all sorts of deodorants and caustic agents. Which they don’t have to disclose because it’s proprietary. So you’ll never know what trace elements of bleach you have in our cooking oil, which you’re using to “gently saute” your super healthy vegetables and tofu. Which include corn and soy.

Corn syrup, and tons of soy fillers are used in processed foods, which are supposed to be healthy. Those “health bars”? Loaded with sugar (also made from genetically modified beets, by the way), corn syrup, and soy proteins. We were never meant to consume this amount of soy. It disrupts all sorts of hormonal pathways, even if you’re eating organic soy. My favorite B.S. soy product is soy protein isolate. You know what that is? MSG. The same crap bad Chinese restaurants use. Tread carefully.

 

Please support GMO Labeling

We’re going to change history; we’re going to turn the Titanic around this time before it hits the iceberg; we’re going to miraculously stop the insane, suicidal march now presided over by the governments of the world; and it’s going to happen because we say so.

-Marianne Williamson, The Age of Miracles

 

Our family eats organic. All the time. Not because it’s trendy, not because we are independently wealthy. (We are neither of those things, by the way.)

We eat that way because when we stopped eating GMOs, our kids’ behavior changed. They became, well, fun to be around. They stopped pestering me like Sheldon knocking on Penny’s door in The Big Bang. No more tantrums for no apparent reason. Turns out they can keep their act together. I just needed to stop cattleprodding them by feeding them additives and neurotoxins. Sounds like inflammatory language and I’ve gone off my rocker and become some nutty hippie, but do a little reading on what’s going on in our food chain, and your mouth will drop open. And then you’ll clean out your pantry.

But whatever you think about whether GMOs are safe or not, you should be able to choose. If they aren’t labeled, how are you to know? Isn’t one of the core American values that I get to decide for myself and my family?

Last week I got this email from Food and Water Watch:

The House of Representatives recently passed Monsanto’s dream bill – a bill that will prohibit states from labeling genetically engineered foods.

Can you ask your Senators to oppose any bill that tries to take away labeling for genetically engineered foods?

Why is this important? In poll after poll, more than 90% of people want food to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. Several states have already passed laws requiring labeling, including Vermont, which will require labels on all foods starting next summer, unless this terrible bill passes through Congress and is signed into law by President Obama.

It’s really important that your Senators hear from you, so they’re not misled by the Big Food Corporations that want to prohibit GMO labeling.

The lobbyists for Big Food have been busy on Capitol Hill and in-district during the Congressional summer recess. Too many members of Congress are confused by the language in the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.” It sounds good doesn’t it? [Food and Water Watch] has been calling it the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).

At the end of the day, it all comes down to who gets to decide what you are eating. Shouldn’t that person be you?

Senators could be taking up this bill when they come back after Labor Day. Can you ask your Senators to oppose any bill that tries to take away labeling for genetically engineered foods?