Genetically Modified Foods

This is a rather large topic or area of discussion that can be complicated to understand in some respects. However, I wanted to bring the issue to light and to inform consumers a little bit more about what a genetically modified food is and how it affects the body.

Genetically modified food refers to food that has been obtained from genetically modified organisms. In other words, genetic engineering is when genes from other organisms have been modified in the laboratory (mutation breeding). For instance, a Promoter (an area of DNA that “turns on” a transcription of a certain gene) is forced into the DNA of a plant. This insertion into the plant, (through a gene gun or other ways) leads to mutations and damage to the DNA of the plant. Because of these changes in the plant, different toxins, carcinogens, or other allergens can form in the plant, as well as other unknown effects that may take place. To think of this food wise, tomatoes have been genetically engineered so that a certain enzyme in the tomato plant will be suppressed resulting in a tomato that will not soften so soon after harvesting. This is just one example of a genetically modified food. There are many other foods including corn, cottonseed oil, rapeseed oil (also known as canola oil), potatoes, sugar cane, sugar beets, rice, potatoes, Hawaiian papaya, and soy, which have been altered in some way with new genes being added to the plant. genetic-experiment

It is not required to label Genetically Modified Foods! It is up to us to be proactive consumers to make sure we are buying quality food grown from the earth and not a laboratory. Wheat, soybeans, corn, and canola oil are some of the highest genetically modified foods on the market. It is best to purchase these ingredients organic, which contain no GM organisms, as well as do not contain any pesticides, herbicides, or any growth hormones. Also, be sure to read ingredient labels and avoid derivatives of corn and soy (ex. high fructose corn syrup, malt, dextrin, food starch, soy protein isolate, & textured vegetable protein).

Here are some websites if you would like to read more about GM foods.

http://www.gefoodalert.org/

http://www.fanaticcook.blogspot.com/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/24/gm-foods.aspx

http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/issues/gm/

Favorite Fall Foods

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I can’t believe the fall season is upon us!  Have you stopped and taken a look around at the beautiful scenery that surrounds us?  The trees have begun to change colors from green to shades of red, orange, and yellow. It is even more beautiful when the sun is shining brightly through the trees and the sky is a brilliant blue.

Think of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are now coming in to season just as the leaves are changing colors.  The scheme of reds brings apples, beets, and pomegranates, while shades of orange and yellow brings all kinds of winter squash, spaghetti squash (my favorite!), pumpkins, and oranges. The green leaves that are left remind me of fresh leeks growing in abundance as well as many hearty leafy greens such as kale, Swiss Chard, and mustard greens. Many vegetables of the brassica family are coming into season including cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.ist2_2198200-fall-harvest

I would love to hear what your favorite fall food is and how you prepare it. Perhaps it’s a velvety butternut squash soup or simply roasted vegetables over a grain!