Doin’ It Well: What are GMO’s?

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This may or may not be old news to you guys, but I had to share. Everyone’s favorite “Fozzie Bear” inspired Rapper, Wacka Flocka, made headlines a while back after posting to his Instagram a Before & After Photo of his significant weight loss – simply captioning “Big difference… All I did was cut all GMO products”.

Big difference… All I did was cut all GMO products ??

A photo posted by WAKA FLOCKA (@wakaflocka) on

Pretty amazing if you ask me, and not because I’m all raw and vegan, but because clearly it’s just the little things you can do that make all the difference. If you can’t quit meat or dairy, but need healthier options – there are many ways, my friend. Maybe cutting out GMO’s can help you, but before you do – know the conflicting facts about GMO’s here.

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WHAT ARE GMO’S?

A genetically modified organism, or GMO, is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering. According to Wikipedia, we’ve been doing a version of selective DNA modification in plants and animals since forever…

“Humans have domesticated plants and animals since around 12,000 BCE, using selective breeding or artificial selection (as contrasted with natural selection).[7]:25 The process of selective breeding, in which organisms with desired traits (and thus with the desired genes) are used to breed the next generation and organisms lacking the trait are not bred, is a precursor to the modern concept of genetic modification.” – Wikipedia

ARE GMO’S GOOD OR BAD?

Finding information on GMO’s might lead you into crazy sites talking about why they are terrible for humans and the earth or even to the other side where people think they are good. One on hand, they present major health concerns – but on the other hand, they can potentially solve problems like a breed of vegetable on the verge of extinction due to a killer insect. BUT, that leaves an even greater question; just because we can genetically modify, does it mean that we should? Think of the bigger impacts on our systems and our planet. Also, maybe certain things are meant to die off…survival of the fittest, right? I guess that is just my thought…

THE GOOD & BAD OF GMO’S?

According to LiveStrong.Com here are the Pro’s and Cons of GMO’s.

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GMO PRO…

Insect Resistance

Some GMO foods have been modified to make them more resistant to insect pests. The University of California in San Diego reports that a toxic bacterium can be added to crops to make them insect repellent, yet safe for human use. This can reduce the amount of pesticide chemicals used on the plants, thus potentially reducing exposure to pesticides.

Environmental Protection

Oklahoma State University reports that the increase of GMO crops and animals often requires less chemicals, time and tools, and may help to reduce environmental pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and soil erosion. This can improve the general beauty and health of the environment surrounding farms and contribute to the sustaining of better air and water quality, which can indirectly benefit your personal well-being.

More Nutritious Foods

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations reports that some GMO foods have been engineered to be more nutritious in terms of mineral or vitamin content. Not only does this help you get the nutrients you need, it can also play a significant role in battling malnutrition in the developing world. The United Nations advises that vitamin A-enhanced rice is helping to reduce global vitamin A deficiencies.

GMO  CON…

Allergic Reactions

GMO foods can present significant allergy risks to people, according to Brown University. Genetic modification often mixes or adds proteins that weren’t indigenous to the original plant or animal, causing new allergic reactions in the human body. In some cases, proteins from an organism that you’re allergic to may be added to an organism that you weren’t originally allergic to, prompting the same allergic reaction experienced from the first organism.

Decreased Antibiotic Efficacy

Some GMO foods have had antibiotic features built into them to make them immune or resistant to diseases or viruses, according to Iowa State University. When you eat them, these antibiotic markers persist in your body and can make actual antibiotic medications less effective. The university warns that such ingestion of GMO foods and regular exposure to antibiotics may be contributing to the decreased effectiveness of antibiotic drugs that is being noticed in hospitals around the world.

Gene Transfer

A constant risk of GMO foods is that the modified genes of the organisms may escape into the wild. Brown University warns that herbicide-resistant genes from commercial crops may cross into the wild weed population, thus creating “superweeds” that are impossible to kill with herbicides. A related risk is that the escape of genetically enhanced animals and vegetation can create new super-organisms that can out-compete natural animal and plant populations to drive certain species into extinction.

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Trini-Jamaican Brooklyn Rapper, Jungle Pussy, has a line in her song “Now Or Later” where she says

“Silly Hoe, must be eating GMO’s.”

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The argument can go either way. One of the main concerns is that while genetically modifying plants and animals is not new, the regulations to how much or how far aren’t as strongly reviewed – which could go overboard. The other concerns is that GMO’s exist all over the world but America had not been required to indicate which foods were GMO.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Personally, I like things as natural as possible – organic and non-gmo, or at least as minimally gmo as our ancestors and elders would have eaten. It makes sense to me why out of nowhere masses of people are having insane allergic reactions from seemingly out of nowhere. And hey, if Wacka Flocka lost a decent amount of weight by eliminating GMO’s – at least it proves that GMO’s aren’t making us any leaner.

I am no expert and tried to share both sides of this debate evenly, but maybe you have more facts in regards to this topic…if so please share!

 

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