Do you see that little sticker on your produce? Before you dismiss it as garbage, read the first number. It will make a difference, trust me!
My sister Sabrina recently shared a post via Facebook that got my attention more than others. It was a simple way to know whether your fruits and veggies are organic, have pesticides or are GMO. I was quite intrigued by this and immediately went to our kitchen to check the sticker on our produce. Mainly 4s. Not great, but happy we didn’t have an 8. So what do the numbers 4, 8, 9 mean?
There are 3 categories represented by 3 numbers. A 4 means the produce has been treated with pesticides, a 9 that it is organic, and an 8 that it is fake! My apologies, that it has been Genetically Modified. Does it really even matter? Well, I don’t know about you but I prefer my food the way God created them & the way guarded by Mother Nature—fresh, simple and pure!
“In the U.S, GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed foods,” reports the Non-GMO Project—a non-profit organization that aims to inform consumers about Genetically Modified Organisms and help in making an informed decision in the foods we buy. What are GMOs anyway? They are “living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE.” See why I used the word “fake” earlier?!
Again does it even matter being that it looks and mainly tastes the same? Considering most developed countries including European nations, Japan and Australia consider GMOs unsafe for consumption, I’d say it’s best to stay away. But what are the risks? After all, most of us have already consumed quite our share of GMOs, especially living in the U.S.
Based on studies conducted on animals eating mainly a GMO diet, a number of health risks were reported including, “infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) who published the studies requests that physicians warn their patients about GMO products and to avoid it altogether. Sounds quite serious to me!
Now the four-digit codes that begin with a 4 (or at times a 3) mean the produce has been treated with pesticides and other chemicals “in order to produce bigger and faster crops.” According to the original article, should you be on a budget, buying conventional produce such as avocado, cabbage, onions, and sweet potatoes won’t hurt you. But I say, why chance it?
Your absolute safest solution is to move to the countryside and grow your very own produce. Yet that’s not ideal for most of us. Your best bet is to just buy organic as often as possible (the sticker begins with a 9). Yes it is more expensive and with many of our funds going to bills, bills, oh yea, and more bills, the last thing on our mind is to check every produce at the grocery store and spend more money at checkout! I’d suggest to start with the fruits and veggies you use the most during the week. At our house they are bananas, kiwis, avocados and spinach. Taking it an extra step, we recently started buying only cereals with the “Non-GMO Project verified” check on it. Again, it is a couple of bucks more, but the way we see it is, best to spend the money now then later in healthcare costs due to illnesses. No matter how you slice or dice it, it’s just another simple step towards better living!
For the most comprehensive source of information regarding GMOs, check the IRT—Institute for Responsible Technology.