GMOs? Glyphosate? Organic foods? What’s making our children sick? Whoa. Its title definitely caught my attention, and the episode was so interesting. The main topic: What the Research Says About Glyphosate… And Why It Might Be Ruining Our Kids’ Health. Eek. Katie (“Wellness Mama”) interviews Michelle Perro, MD and Vincanne Adams, PhD, who she describes as the “dream team” on the topic of industrialized food and how it may be connected to chronic childhood illness. Again, eek. Michelle is a pediatrician with over 35 years of experience in acute integrative medicine. Vincanne is professor and vice chair of medical anthropology at the University of California, San Francisco, and editor of the Medical Anthropology Quarterly. Basically, they’re well-educated and have lots of experience.
Here’s a little overview of the episode and what it covers:
- the troubling trends Michelle started to observe in her patients … and what she did about it
- why Vincanne agreed to get on board (even though she was a skeptic at first)
- the rising rates of chronic childhood illnesses like constipation, food allergies, seasonal allergies, ADHD, asthma, autism (and the list goes on – they specifically mention IBD in kids)
- how glyphosate works, what it’s made of, and why farmers use it
- why crossbreeding hybrid plants is NOT the same thing as genetic modification
- how asthma, allergies and eczema are rising at drastic rates (as much as 40% of children may be affected)
- 3 reasons glyphosate may be a serious problem (and what the most recent research is finding)
- whether or not organic food is actually worth the extra money
- practical things that we can do to change the food future and protect our kids (and the environment!)
The episode was super eye-opening and the catalyst for my recent obsession. I mean, that’s what I do. If it’s related to autoimmune disease/IBD, I want to know ALL about it, especially since I am always trying to “fix myself“, and I’m constantly worried about Quinn’s susceptibility to IBD or another autoimmune diseases.
Then, I watched a documentary called GMO OMG, which is nearly 5 years old. (FYI: I watched it on Amazon Prime.) It’s crazy that I hadn’t even heard of it until now. Maybe I just didn’t care about GMOs? Maybe I just live under a rock? The film is super one-sided (anti-GMOS), but interesting (and cute) at the same time. It definitely makes you think twice about what you’re feeding your family. Speaking of which…
This blog post isn’t to declare our family a GMO-free household, but we’re definitely more aware of what we’re buying and putting into our bodies. Mal actually teaches his students about GMOs, so he already knew a lot about them and we’ve had a ton of conversations lately. For our family, it’s not realistic to eat GMO-free ALL the time. We still want to enjoy our Saturday donuts, go out to dinner, and eat “Scooby Snacks” aka Pringles from time-to-time. But, knowing what we know now, we will make our best effort to choose non-GMO when we can.
We actually went shopping at Whole Foods this past weekend because I’m not sure what to think about Trader Joe’s even though they claim to be GMO-free. Anyone know details? Again, this is not to say we’ll never shop at Trader Joe’s again (that place is awesome), but we like that Whole Foods has so many verified GMO-free options. In fact, my old roommate, who works for Whole Foods Corporate, chimed in on one of my recent Instagram posts to share that WFM Exclusive Brands (365 and Whole Foods-branded items) has committed to NOT carrying ANY items that contain the “product contains GMOs” statement by September of this year. They’ve cleaned up nearly 95% of their SKUs. Very cool. When we shopped there this weekend, it was easy to find GMO-free options – and when we couldn’t, we opted for USDA-certified organic, BUT organic doesn’t always mean GMO-free and ‘Non-GMO’ Does Not Mean Organic. I know, our food system is a hot mess, but you just need to do the best you can.
Also, just wanted to add, because it’s important, that our grocery bill wasn’t THAT much more expensive shopping at Whole Foods. We meal planned, shopped sales, bought in bulk when we could, and used the WFM app for coupons, so we didn’t totally break the bank.
Ok, well, this post is getting a little ramble-y, but, hey, I’m just writing and sharing the info I’ve discovered so far. I’m not saying I’m an expect in the subject of GMOs (at all), but so much of what I’ve learned is quite eye-opening. I’m basically just sharing what I would tell one of my friends if they wanted to know about GMOs.
Unrelated side note: One of my goals for the next 10 years of CNC is to share my life and my thoughts with you guys like I did back in the day at the start of this blog. I used to just write whatever was on my mind, and I wasn’t afraid to say what I wanted. At some point (right after I had Quinn), I stopped feeling comfortable doing that. The “perfect parents” came out of the woodwork, and, boy, were they angry with how I was caring for my baby. And when you’re struggling as a new mom, the last thing you need is strangers bringing you down and telling you that you’re a terrible mother. It was a hard time for me, and I really started to pull back from what I put out on the Internet. Obviously, this has been on my mind as I look forward to what’s next for CNC. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching in both my personal and work life lately, and I dunno… I’m still figuring it all out, but I guess I’ve grown a thicker skin, and now I’m ready to let down my guard and share my life again.
Sooooo, back to the GMO stuff…
On Saturday night, Mal, Quinn, and I had some fun with a Cheerio box. FYI: Plain Cheerios are GMO-free! 🙂 Our friends at General Mills sent us all of the supplies needed to make a cool Wheel & Axle Truck, inspired by Rube Goldberg‘s inventions/cartoons. General Mills also sent us Rube Goldberg’s Simple Normal Humdrum School Day book, and Quinn is now obsessed with it. It’s super cute and shows start-to-finish inventions and how they work. We always joke that Quinn is going to be some sort of engineer when he grows up based on his current interests, so this book was right up his alley!
As part of General Mills’ partnership with the 30th anniversary of the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, new boxes of Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms and Reese’s Puffs include easy-to-follow instructions to transform the packaging into Rube Goldberg-inspired simple machines. They bring S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts to life using everyday household items like straws, paper clips, pencils and tape. General Mills is also giving away $20,000 scholarships to 20 winners of our cereal box machine sweepstakes. For official rules, visit RubeCerealMachines.com. We are going to enter! 🙂
Fun little story about Quinn’s Cheerio truck… Mal and I helped him put the finishing touches on the axles/wheels. When Quinn saw the final product, he immediately cut off one of the wheels! Haha! I guess a 3-wheel truck was more his style. Actually, he was just REALLY into his new scissors, which were big kid scissors and actually cut things – unlike those weird safety ones that just wrinkle paper.
After completing our truck project, I got Qman ready for bed. Mal headed out for a guys’ night, so I spent the evening reading Foreign Invaders: An Autoimmune Disease Journey through Monsanto’s World of Genetically Modified (GM) Food (free on Kindle). It was so good, and I blew through it in just a couple of hours. It makes a strong case for avoiding GMOs if you have an autoimmune disease. Further reading: How To Avoid GMOs.
Ok, so I’ve just spewed so much information at your guys about GMOs. Obviously, I am anti-GMO, but I wanted to share some of the pro-GMO resources that have been passed along to me by CNC followers. They include lots of valid points – and not ALL GMOs are bad (i.e. Golden Rice, Hawaiian papaya).
- GMO Basics <— Industry groups are involved, but there are many independent researchers/scientists/farmers who participate too
- Why Does Everyone Hate Monsanto?
- About Those Industry Funded GMO Studies . . .
- GMO safety debate is over <— interesting, but a little iffy on the relationship between NRC and Monsanto/biotech companies
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you to do your own research and make decisions for yourself and your family. I’ll continue to share what I know and discover, but I hope you take a look into both sides of what GMOs are all about. They’re a super interesting topic and new information/research/data comes out every day, so this space will most definitely continue to change and evolve. It’s exciting, and I’m curious to see what comes next.
Question of the Day
GMOs: What do you know? What are your thoughts? Do you avoid them? Do you care?