You’ve heard of GMO crops, haven’t you? GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are crops which have been substantially altered using genetic engineering. They’re unnaturally modified foods whose safety is dubious at best. (Many European countries have banned their use completely.)
And unfortunately, they’re quite pervasive here in America. 90% of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are GMOs, as is 63% of the corn. These expensive crops were sold to farmers around the world by a handful of mammoth biotech corporations with promises of radical yield increases.
According to a recent report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, those were empty promises.
While it’s true that we’ve seen crop yield increases in the fifteen years since the use of GMOs became widespread, the report argues that other factors led to those increases. In fact, when they contrasted yields of genetically engineered soybeans to low-input, organic yields for soybeans, the low-input crop outperformed the GE crop by 13%.
Why should you care?
Because if you’re an American and you consume corn and soy products that are not explicitly labeled “organic” or “GMO-free,” chances are you’re eating these foods!
Not only is that potentially hazardous for your health (for reasons we’ll be going into over the next month), it’s downright nasty for the environment. GMO crops rely heavily on pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other high-energy inputs that not only decimate the soil, but also drown farmers in a sea of debt as they struggle to pay for these costly inputs.\n\nThere are a host of reasons to avoid GMOs, and over the next month we’ll be looking at them.
Why? Because next Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day), the folks at Real Food Media will officially be launching a No-GMO Challenge.
Our goal? To go 30 days without consuming any GMOs!
It’s an Earth Day Challenge worth taking, and it shouldn’t be terribly difficult for any of us to do. But if we do it — and we encourage enough other people to join us — we may actually turn the tide for GMOs in this country and spell their doom.
How do I know this?
Because in the parts of the world where GMO crops are a marketing liability, they’re not used. Period. Just last week, Germany became the latest country to ban GMO crops completely. If they can do it, so can we!
Here in the U.S., our biggest problem is awareness.
Anne Marie at Cheeseslave had this to say:
According to Jeffrey Smith, leading expert on GMOs and bestselling author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, GMOs or genetically modified organisms are in about 75% of the foods at the supermarket. Most processed foods contain either soybean oil or soy lecithin, or high fructose corn syrup.
According to a 2001 poll:
- 52% believe GM foods are unsafe
- 13% are unsure about them
- 93% say the government should require labels on food saying whether it’s been genetically modified
The majority of Americans don’t trust GM foods and we want labels on our food. The sad thing is, there’s so little information about genetically modified food. Most of us are eating it every day and we don’t even know it.
That’s why we’re launching the No GMO Challenge!
We believe that if we can get just 5% of consumers to avoid purchasing GMO foods, the food industry will buckle and GMOs will effectively be purged from our food supply.
Guys, this is going to be HUGE.
I could say more, but I’ll save it for our official launch date. I just wanted to whet your appetites and encourage you to get ready to join us.
This is our chance to UNITE, to fight back against the dominant food culture with every forkful of food we eat, to say NO to GMOs, and to make real and lasting change!
(photo by thomas.merton)