I’m on vacation in Grand Junction Colorado and then Laramie Wyoming, so this post is sort of filler. I don’t have any decent pictures for it, so I apologize.
There’s a lot of debate about GMO’s on the interwebs. Most of it isn’t friendly. There’s a great divide between people for GM food and people against it. From what I can tell, the two sides are starting from entirely different worldviews: GMO advocates believe in science over nature and those against are firmly on the side of nature. Myself? I think it’s arrogant of us to assume we can force genes into plants (particularly genes of different species) and have no ill-effects.
But I’m not here to talk about the theory and science behind GMO’s. I want to explain why it is that I avoid them.
I have had digestive problems since I was an infant. My mom tried really hard to breastfeed me but it just didn’t work out, so I started on formula. I was always a colicky baby and my parents have plenty of crazy diaper stories they love to share. Ever since I can remember I’ve had brain fog and stomach troubles; up until very recently I thought it was totally normal to alternate between constipation and diarrhea (it’s way not normal, by the by, it’s a sign of intestinal distress).
When my TSH was over 10 at a routine physical I cleaned up my diet and brought it back to normal range within 3 months. I was pretty strict about grains and dairy for a long time. I was essentially paleo but I still ate potatoes and beans.
When I cut the wheat (which is not GMO, just to clarify), the conventional corn, soy, and white sugar (beet sugar is GMO) my health improved drastically. I still had a long way to go, but I no longer suffered from the constant brain fog and my stomach was a lot better off.
These days I’m less strict about what I eat. That being said, I know if I’ve been eating things that are detrimental to my health. Soy is a big one. I do alright with organic soy, but conventional soy gives me a hangover, even in small amounts. I avoid soy on principle because of my thyroid, but sometimes it sneaks in in things like jarred pizza sauce, or something my husband has picked up from the store (which isn’t saying anything about his shopping abilities, he’s just not as concerned as I am and that’s OK).
Corn is another big one. Conventional corn gives my stomach a run for it’s money. Given that GM corn is designed to erode the intestines of the insects it’s meant to ward off, this doesn’t surprise me. I’ve always been sensitive to things I ingest (like caffeine and alcohol or over the counter drugs) so I figure I’m also sensitive to herbicide residue and the BT that’s modified into the corn. It’s not much of a stretch to think that, since I’ve been eating BT corn for the majority of my life, my intestines are a little worse for wear. I know this because when I started my Live Blood Analysis I had two different kinds of undigested proteins in my blood and candida. Both of which indicate intestinal permeability. In my opinion, BT corn was a large part of the cause.
White (beet) sugar is less of an issue, but I do get a sugar hangover the next day if I have a moderate amount. Cane sugar doesn’t affect me the same way, so I use Sucanat for all of my sugar needs barring toffee and frosting. If I need refined sugar I always purchase organic.
So, there you have a super unscientific summary of why I avoid the major GMO’s. There are different kinds, like a strain of rice modified to contain vitamin A those potatoes modified to resist bruising (among others). I’m on the fence about those GMO’s that have nothing to do with herbicides or insecticides. I mean, cheese is mostly produced with a GM enzyme to avoid relying on calf stomachs for the rennet, so GM food is really difficult to avoid.
The bottom line is that the science is not settled -anyone who says this has no understanding of how science actually works, or is forgetting loads of history of science failing to identify problems it created- and there are too many unknowns for me to feel like GMO’s are a wholesome choice for my family. Given my personal health history and the resolution of symptoms when I started avoiding GM food, I’m keeping them off of my plate for now.