Whole Foods will label GMOs by 2018. Maine and Connecticut have passed conditional GMO labeling bills. Chipotle Mexican Grill has voluntarily disclosed the genetically modified ingredients on its menu, and consumer outrage over the health and environmental risks of GMOs is at an all time high. The heavy hands of the U.S. Food Industrial Complex may seem unmovable, but what if the U.S. joined the rest of the developed world and banned genetically modified foods?
It's as easy to fantasize about a GMO-free world as it is one where Monsanto-engineered genetically modified processed foods are our only option. Will we move towards a more holistic and balanced food system, or does an Orwellian dystopia await us?
Obviously, the choice is up to all of us, as we vote with our dollars. And in case you need a little encouragement to support the actualization of a GMO-free U.S., consider these possible scenarios if the U.S. moved away from GMOs:
- We'd have a smaller food system: No more GMOs means at least one level of corporate interest is removed from our food supply. That could open up opportunities for smaller producers to prevail.
- Food would be less toxic: It's not just that GMOs may cause certain health issues. We know that the chemical herbicides and pesticides commonly used on them are also unhealthy. Fewer chemicals in our food would greatly improve our health.
- Fewer digestive issues: Experts have connected GMOs (and their companion chemicals) with a number of digestive issues ranging from food allergies and irritable bowel syndrome to Crohn's disease and leaky gut syndrome.
- More chance for organic foods to thrive: While they seem to be everywhere, organic foods make up just 10 percent of all food sold in the U.S. With GMOs out of the picture, perhaps there would be more focus on organics.
- We'd consume less high fructose corn syrup and sugar: They're two of the most common GMO ingredients found in our diet. No GMOs = no excess sugar.
- We'd have a more varied diet: GMOs dominate our food system, but it's only a handful or crops, mainly corn, soy, canola, cotton and sugar beets. Removing the ubiquity of those crops from our food supply could impart more variety in our diet.
- There would be more bees: A breaking news story this week reported on the discovery of 25,000 dead or dying bees in a Target parking lot, most likely the result of pesticides. And around the world, bees are mysteriously dying. Fewer GMOs and chemical pesticides/herbicides would help save these important pollinators.
- Could we be happier? A recent study on pigs fed GMOs noted the animals were more irritable than pigs not fed GMOs. Could the same be true for humans? Wouldn't you like to find out?
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Image: Dishing Dirty