GMOs are a hot topic these days! People either think they are heaven sent, or that they are dangerous, or they really don’t know anything about them at all. Sadly a large percentage of people in the United States fall into the last category.
Even after seeing flashy headlines about “feeding the world” or glancing through a few articles, most people don’t ever uncover the hard facts about GMOs and how they affect their families and the people around the world.
Let’s start with the basics. What are GMOs? Why and where do they exist? Are they safe to eat and wear? Should you avoid them or not? You can find all the answers to the most popular questions below.
Basic Questions And Facts About GMOs
What Are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic makeup have been purposefully altered in a way that would not otherwise occur in nature.
Basically, genetically modified plants have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. Many of these inserted genes come from species that have never been in the human food supply.
Why do we Genetically Modify Crops?
Most crops are modified with the intent to:
- Make them capable of surviving powerful chemical treatments (i.e. insecticides, herbicides, pesticides)
- Embed them with their own pesticides
- Make them resistant to diseases
Where Are GMO Crops Grown?
GMO crops are grown all over the world, including the United States. 88% of corn, 93% of soy and 94% of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified.
What Plants Do I Consume (Or Wear!) That Are Genetically Modified?
There are nine main commercial crops grown using GMO seeds, including:
- Sugar beets
- Yellow crookneck squash
- Hawaiian papaya
An estimated 70% of packaged foods contain GMOs. Cottonseed oil, soy, canola oil and corn (including corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and cornstarch) are extremely common ingredients in processed foods. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find many foods in the aisles of your typical grocery store that do not contain one or more of these ingredients.
GMO ingredients in packaged foods are often hidden in the form of additives, flavoring agents, nutritional supplementation, thickeners and pH regulators.
Are There GMOs In Meat, Fish, Eggs Or Dairy Products?
Unfortunately, YES. Unless your meat, eggs and dairy are sourced from organic, grass-fed free-range or wild-caught animals, they likely contain GMOs. How? Because most animal feed is made with GMO products like corn, soy and alfalfa.
Should I Avoid GMO Products (Including Food And Clothing)?
A lot of pro-GMO websites and media outlets will perpetuate the myth that GMOs are proven “safe” and that they will help to solve world hunger. But the data doesn’t back up their claims.
There are numerous studies that have found GMO products to be hazardous to animal and human health. Studied side effects of GMOs include, but are not limited to:
- Immune system problems
- Accelerated aging
- Faulty insulin regulation
- Unnatural changes in major organs
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Allergic reactions
- Liver problems
Other countries have recognized the dangers of GMO crops and have banned many or all genetically modified seeds and foods containing them. Such countries include Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and many more. You can find a comprehensive list of GMO-free regions HERE.
On top of the health concerns surrounding genetic modification, large companies like Monsanto have wrecked havoc on the economy of developing countries where farmers are deeply in debt from GMO seeds that did not live up to their lucrative promises.
How Do I Avoid GMOs In My Clothes And Food?
In Your Food:
- Non-Gmo Project Verified: You can find this label on foods that have been verified by a 3rd-party to be GMO free.
- Product Verification Program: Download a list of items in your grocery store that have been Non-GMO Project Verified by putting in your location HERE.
- Search For USDA Organic: This label is only put on foods that obey the USDA National Organic Standards which forbid the use of GMOs.
- Eat Fresh Fruits And Veggies: Most produce (excluding corn, hawaiian papaya, edamame, zucchini and yellow summer squash) is GMO free.
- Buy Organic Grass-Fed Meat And Dairy, Wild-Caught Fish And Organic Free-Range Eggs: This is the only sure way to be sure these products were raised and fed properly without GMOs, antibiotics and steroids and raised in unnatural and cruel conditions.
- Stay Up-To-Date On New GMOs Being Produced: The list of crops that are genetically modified is bound to grow. Be sure to stay current on your research.
In You And Your Baby’s Clothing:
- Shop At Frugal Organics: We only use 100% organic cotton in all of our clothing and baby products!
- Buy Clothing Made From Hemp: Hemp is another safe natural alternative to conventional cotton.
- Check Labels On Clothing Made From Cotton: Look for labels that say 100% organic cotton.
- Choose Clothing Companies Wisely: Support companies that make an effort to avoid GMOs and who support farmers by protecting them from toxic chemicals and Monsanto bullying!
Here at Frugal Organics, we do not support the use of genetically modified organisms in our clothing. We proudly use 100% organic cotton and consider it our priority to support cotton farmers by protecting them and their families from toxic chemicals as well as the economic downfalls of GMO crops.
But there’s more to it than that. Cotton is one of the dirtiest, most chemically-laden crops in the world. To make a single conventional cotton T-shirt, ⅓ pound of chemicals must be used from start to finish. Is that the type of fabric you want on your skin all day? Or on your baby’s skin?
To learn more about GMOs in your clothes and food, browse the other articles on our website or visit any of the following educational platforms: