Emma’s Health Talk: GMO’s

What Are They and Are They Good or Bad?

by Emma Ware

There is so much we don’t know about our food that it can be overwhelming, confusing, frustrating, and even angering. 

This month I hope I can shed some light on such a dark subject; I say dark only because most of us are in the dark about this subject and we need to dissect it a bit at a time. 

The definition of GMO is genetically modified organism. That can be applied to a number of subjects since the definition goes on to say a GMO is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The exact definition of a genetically modified organism and what constitutes genetic engineering varies, with the most common being an organism altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. 

That’s enough to scare the bejeebies out of me. New genes can be introduced or endogenous genes can be enhanced, altered or knocked out. When all that applies to the foods we eat, I become nauseous. 

We just don’t know what has been done to our food supply and just how much has been altered and what has been added or removed. 

Let’s start by examining a simple example. Our beautiful corn is no longer what our first citizens ate when crops were harvested in Plymouth. Back then, it was pure and planted in soil untouched by chemicals—  unlike what our crops grow in today. 

Wikipedia has the most current information I have found that covers every phase of GMO concerns and questions. It is worth investigating for those of you wanting detailed and documented information.

Corn has been the most notoriously genetically modified and abused product I found, but it’s not limited to planted crops.  

Chemicals have been introduced to make all corn crops resistant to pests, but what does it do to the mature crop? Does it cause us to be resistant to insect bites when we eat it? Just wondering. 

I’ve just finished reading about genetically modified salmon and nearly choked on the description of how they are modified. The salmon now contains a growth hormone gene that acts like an “on” switch that enables the salmon to grow year-round instead of seasonally like wild or farmed salmon. It grows to market size in half the time (16-18 months verses 32-36 months) for conventional Atlantic salmon. 

We have become subject to a society that looks to increase productivity, increasing profits for chemical industries who develop the techniques to increase production, by genetically engineering crops and fish and who knows what else. 

What has happened to appreciating real and unaltered foods? Do we know how it all came about? Are there more of us who wonder what will be next? Should we be messing with the natural order of things for profit? What do you think? 

Whatever you choose, as I always mention, whenever you chose to make changes to your health routine, check first with your doctor. 

Let me know what you think, come see me at the office, 2798 D Howard Ave, Market Common Myrtle Beach, or give me a call at 843 997-7037. 


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