genetically modified foods

  1. Organics are worth the extra money -- here's why

    Why organic foods really are better

    You've seen the headlines by now: Organic food is supposedly no better for you than conventional foods, at least according to a new study out of Stanford University.

    But there are some huge problems with this study -- including the fact that it didn't reach that conclusion at all if you go by any reasonable definition of "better."

    First, the study found that organic produce has 30 percent less pesticide residue than non-organic. Since avoiding these dangerous chemicals is one of the main reasons many people eat organic in the first place, that's a win right there.

    The researchers also found that people who chow down on conventional chicken and pork are 33 percent more likely to get a taste of at least three different strains of drug-resistant bacteria than those who eat organic meats.

    Now we're not just talking about a win... we're talking about a BIG win, and it comes from a study that supposedly finds that organic foods are "no better" than conventional foods.

    But let's dig a little deeper here. The real reason for those headlines is the finding that organics have the same levels of nutrients as conventional foods -- at least according to the study.

    And that brings me to the next big problem: The Stanford team didn't examine a single piece of food.

    Not one apple, strawberry, or steak.

    Instead, they relied on other research. It's called a meta-analysis, and the problem with that approach is that researchers get to pick and choose what to include... and what to exclude.

    So they excluded, for example, a study that found organic strawberries have higher vitamin C levels than regular -- and they even admitted afterward that they goofed by leaving it out.

    And that's not the "sin of omission" here.

    Charles Benbrook, a professor of agriculture at Washington State University, told Environmental Working Group that studies have consistently found that organics have higher levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, phenolic acids, and other nutrients.

    But for whatever reason, those studies didn't make the grade at Stanford.

    So organic IS better -- and in addition to having lower pesticide levels, fewer disease-causing germs, and higher levels of key nutrients, organics offer one more benefit that the study didn't even look at.

    Conventional foods -- especially corn and soy -- are often genetically modified monstrosities that come with big-time safety risks, and you can read about them in more detail right here.

    All organic foods, on the other hand, are 100 percent natural as God intended -- and that alone is worth paying extra for.

  2. Learn which foods use genetically modified ingredients

    Give yourself the right to know

    You might think you know what you're eating, but you don't.

    Genetically modified ingredients have taken the food industry by storm, turning up everywhere and in everything in the space of just a few short years. And despite the considerable health and safety concerns over these ingredients, there are no requirements in the United States to list them.

    According to new numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 88 percent of all corn grown in the United States is now genetically engineered, along with 93 percent of all soybeans and even 94 percent of our cotton.

    Most people eat corn and soy in some form or another all day long -- and most of them have no idea what they're really eating. And it's not just these two staples.

    Fruits and vegetables have been "tweaked" to make them larger, brighter, longer lasting, and more appealing. And if these "frankenfoods" aren't bad enough, there are even "frankenfish" getting ready to head to the market soon.

    You'd think this widespread availability would mean GM ingredients have been tested in humans and proven safe. You'd think that, but you'd be wrong -- because there are literally no long-term studies on the safety of genetically modified foods in humans.

    In the limited studies we do have -- on animals, not people -- GM foods have been linked to fertility problems, immune system disorders, birth defects, and more.

    Some studies have also found changes in the gut, liver, kidney, and spleen.

    Even worse, the genetic modifications to some crops were made so they could withstand more and more powerful chemical pesticides and herbicides. That makes it easier for the factory farms -- just soak the fields and call it a day -- but it also means today's produce contain higher-than-ever levels of chemicals.

    In addition, some of my colleagues are very suspicious that GMO's are one of the main reasons food allergies and sensitivities in Americans are skyrocketing.

    That's why it's so important to eat organic foods (and I mean real organic foods, not foods with the meaningless "all-natural" label).

    But even that's no guarantee anymore.

    While organic rules don't allow for genetically modified ingredients, organic farmers are facing a growing threat of cross-contamination as seed from nearby GM fields begin to drift.

    Even more outrageously, the organic farmers could then be sued for not paying for the right to grow the GM crops they never wanted in their fields in the first place!

    For those reasons and more, I joined the "Right to Know" movement here in California. If you live in this state, you can sign up yourself -- and more importantly, vote for Proposition 37 this November.

    This proposition would require all food with genetically modified ingredients sold in our state to have labels indicating the presence of those ingredients -- a common-sense requirement already found in 50 countries, including the entire European Union and even China.

    If you don't live in California, see if you can find a similar movement in your home state -- or start one yourself. Tell your neighbors you just want one of the same basic rights given to people in China. That'll get their attention.

    Remember, knowledge isn't just power. It's health. And without this knowledge, your health could be in jeopardy.

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