Saturday, June 1, 2013

Who's Afraid of GMOs? This Mom.

Disclaimer: If you fed your child Cocoa pebbles or Trix for breakfast I don't judge you. Those cereals are fucking delicious and you are a better mom than me because you are brave. I am just trying to make sense of this world we live in and choose what is right for my own family. All love. No judgement. 

Confession. I have anxiety.

Fact: Most mothers do. Sometimes it's crippling. Sometimes it's manageable. I am someplace in between right now.

Why? Because we are raising our hearts outside our bodies and the world is a very scary place. We have to try and balance out the bad with the good all while holding their little hands to cross the street.

One of my newest deep fears: GMOs ( genetically modified organisms) in food. I am not so much afraid for me. Confession #2, sometimes I eat absolute garbage. Donuts in the teachers lounge. Ice cream sandwiches, gum etc.  My children on the other hand rarely do, and by rarely I mean I sometimes have to leave the room and convince myself that one bite isn't harming them... I digress. GMOs worry me.

 I worry about their foodless futures. I worry that frankenfood will become all that people can have access to or afford.

 I worry that they will get cancer because of what I fed them and what the government says is ok to put in their bellies.

I worry for the kids at daycare that have processed rice crispy treats and artificially flavored yogurts for breakfast and Lunchables for lunch.

I worry about soy.

I worry about too much dairy.

I worry about whether someone mixed up the conventionally grown stickers and the organic ones because they were drunk at the sticker factory.

I worry that my children will glow because of artificial coloring or worse yet, have brain damage.

I worry that the food in the grocery store will one day actually sprout legs and walk away from us.


I know that there is a ton I cannot control ( like the time my oldest had orange cheeze balls, he vividly remembers ) and I am trying to make peace with that. In any case I am also working to educate myself about GMOs and how to try and lessen their ability to creep into my fridge and pantry.

At our local Trader Joe's today I was speaking with our cashier about GMOs and she mentioned that all Trader Joe's labeled products are made without genetically modified ingredients. My jaw dropped and I almost fainted. She smiled and kept ringing. I thanked her profusely and hugged my baby. This really happened. I put our reusable bags in the car while happily humming, jumped in the car and googled. Then I found this and was crushed. I guess I just assumed ( stupidly) I could take the cashier's word for it. We do need to push the government for labeling. It is the only way we as consumers can be sure that our food is pure and not contaminated. I hope, moreover I pray, that something will be done. In the mean time, I am trying to take deep breaths.

Curious about how you can minimize your family's exposure to GMOs? Here are some tips:

Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Buy Organic whenever possible- I am not a millionaire. I am a teacher. I have to pick and choose what we eat that is organic. Remember the rules about the clean foods and the dirty foods. Organic producers can't intentionally put in GMO ingredients. ( this isn't fool proof as we recently learned with the frankenwheat scare this week)

Use the ShopNoGMO app for the iPhone- While most products ( of companies that give a darn) are labelled you can be doubly sure of your purchases.

Buy organic seeds for your garden- Yeah crazy right? I didn't think of this either. Here is a list for you to read with some wine in hand.

Build a bubble ( rest assured, Pinterest has the DIY) and only eat organic mung beans you grow yourself- I kidSeriously, it's getting out of hand, BUT there are people who care and are fighting. We can each make a difference by waking up and paying attention. Write to your congress people. Call up your mayor. Change happens but slowly, but still can happen.

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