Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How GMO products have impacted my family

There is already so much information from both sides on this topic. I used to spend way too much time analyzing the so-called facts on this subject. I wanted to be sure I was making the right decisions. It was very important to me to have information ready to defend my decisions.

That was the problem in my logic. I had already made the decision based on experiences in my own life. Why did I need skewed evidence to prove my point to someone who wasn't even interested in my own well being?

The truth is that there is a lot of fact-slinging coming from both directions. It can be a lot to wade through. If you aren't careful, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype and begin to demonize the other side.

For me, it doesn't matter what supporting evidence is presented. I have had enough bad experiences with agri-chemical companies and their supporters that they have lost me as a customer. In fact, I pay a monthly contribution to this company just to show how dissatisfied I am:

Why am I so dissatisfied?

Here is my story:

It all started when I discovered that I was allergic to gluten and positive for Celiac disease. I had always been conscious about what I ate and I even bought organic food if it was a good price. But, that diagnosis catapulted me into a world I didn't understand. I started researching everything I could about gluten and how to avoid it. There were so many facts that shocked me.

It scared me to be given reckless recommendations on a subject that had scarcely been explored. Then, I learned that many people sensitive to gluten are also sensitive to gm foods. Again, it seemed that the effects of these compounds had not been conclusively explored. So, I swore off grains all together.

I went over a year with no grains. But, then the pregnancy cravings kicked in. A little rice pudding here, a corn tortilla there, something processed—which almost certainly contained soy. Each new item I tried made me bloated, cranky, and ruined my skin.

So, out of desperation to have some convenience food in my tired, hormonal state, I tried organic. Guess what? It didn't make me sick! Say what you want about the organic industry. It isn't perfect. But, it doesn't' make me sick. What was the big difference? I believe it was a combination of being chemical and GMO free. The more I cut GMO foods and other chemicals out of my life, the healthier I feel. My asthma is gone, my skin stays clear (until I eat a bag of chips!), I am not falling asleep as soon as I wake up. My body doesn't constantly ache. I could go on...

That wasn't my only brush with organic foods though. When my Zobo was not even one, she developed a rash on her face. It didn't go away until I cut out all foods that were not FODMAP diet friendly. FODMAP's are short-chain carbohydrates that irritate the gut lining. The gut can be damaged from grains like the large protein's in wheat, chemicals like GMO's and other toxins in the environment or our water supply. As she had never had grains and I went grain free just after she was born, I can only surmise that her gut was damaged from my diet before she was born. It was a heartbreaking thing to watch.

Then I found hope! Organic foods seem to not cause any visible reaction! That is when we made the switch to fresh, organic produce. The physical evidence I saw in my own family is enough to make me scared of GMO foods. I understand that this doesn't happen to everyone. It doesn't happen to my husband. It doesn't happen to most of my friends. But, it happens to my girls and I. In the interest of my family, I have to fight to protect our bodies from further damage.

Still, just because you don't see the symptoms doesn't mean it isn't causing your body some type of harm. My husband, who is not allergic and shows no symptoms, notices more energy, better sleep, and easier breathing when he cuts out most grains. He also notices that he has strong anxiety when he eats something with non-organic sugar (regular sugar is made with gmo beets). If this is what he feels, there is likely more damage slowly being done that will not show for many years. But, unlike us ladies of the family, he has the choice of what to eat. He still chooses organic often. He would choose it more if it were readily available for a reasonable price. Because he values the health of our family and has seen the benefit of organic foods, he works hard to provide a usable budget for our organic foods. It's a huge sacrifice for him financially. The more people who make the choice, the more the food industry will see that chemical free food is important to America. So, he makes the choice gladly. And, for someone like me, who seems to have no reasonable choice, that effort means the world.

Having a gluten allergy is a blessing and a curse. Of course, it is a curse because it is a terrible burden. But, it is a blessing because it gives me no option but to make better choices for my body. Now that I have seen the difference, I am glad that the choice was made for me. It taught me things I would never know otherwise. That is why I want you to know my story. Maybe it will compel you to learn more about the effects of GMO's and pesticides in our food supply.  But, sometimes it is tiring doing all the fighting alone. I hope you will consider joining the fight with my husband and I.

1 comment:

  1. We are switching as much as we can afford to over to organic and non-GMO in our home too- and have seen a difference in the health of the kids while in our care as well. You aren't alone. :)


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