The Doctors: GMO 101
Most of us eat them every single day, but do you know what GMOs are? GMO stands for “genetically modified organism,” and on August 17, the Doctors cracked the codes on many aspects of health, including the foods you eat. 90% of all corn, soybean and canola now comes from genetically modified seeds. While proponents of GMOs claim that these foods are altered in order to keep costs low, many scientists in turn believe that GMOs can lead to an increase in allergies, intestinal problems, and liver damage.
The Doctors: What are GMOs?
So, what exactly are GMOs? Just like humans, foods have genetic codes that indicate things like who they are and how they grow. However, scientists are now able to alter these codes; for example, it is possible to make crops that give off their own insecticide.
Common genetically modified foods include corn, soy, sugar beets and canola. However, even if you’re not eating these specific foods, you could still be ingesting GMOs. If you eat cereal made from corn, grass fed animals, or anything containing high fructose corn syrup, you’re probably eating genetically modified food without even realizing it.
The Doctors: What do GMOs Do To Your Body?
The most important question is, what do all of these genetically modified foods do to your body? Unfortunately, the answer is that we don’t really know! Dr. Ordon pointed out that there is a benefit to GMOs– in an overpopulated world, making more food available to more people is a good thing. However, we don’t really know anything about the long term effects.
Dr. Sears suggested that perhaps GMOs are the reason why the rates of food allergies are sky-rocketing. Food allergies in kids have doubled in the last decade, while peanut allergies in kids have actually tripled.
The Doctors: How to Avoid GMOs
While many of the chemicals and hormones in foods are not required to be listed by the FDA, there are still ways to tell how and where your food is grown. For example, he PLU (“price lookup”) sticker on fruit has a series of numbers on it that you should pay attention to. If there is a four digit code, it means the fruit is conventionally grown. An organic fruit will have a 5 digit code starting with the number 9; neither of these indicate GMOs.