Another concern, which is just as controversial as sugar, are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and whether or not GMO foods are safe for consumption. GMOs were developed for the purpose of improving crop yields with less effort and expense, creating a sustainable way of feeding a large population, introducing plants that are better resistant to weeds, insects, and disease, adding life-giving nutrients to produce that would not otherwise contain them, and for the introduction of pharmaceuticals.

Many GMOs are designed to be more resistant to pesticides or to produce pesticides themselves. Over time, weeds and insects develop a resistance to the chemicals that we are using, and then harsher chemicals are developed and used, and the cycle continues. After decades of toxic pesticide use, it is no wonder that our soil is so horribly damaged.  

Some of the chemicals being used are so potent that those who are spraying it are required to wear hazardous material clothing because touching, breathing, and swallowing (even small amounts) these chemicals can cause devastating damage to health. Yet we seem to think it’s okay to eat the produce sprayed with these chemicals.

And as we continue to use these chemicals to kill, one has to wonder what this does to our ecosystem, including the life-giving minerals found in our soil. Many have speculated as to why the bees that we need so desperately to pollinate seem to be dying at exponential rates.

What many don’t realize is that the EPA has long been aware of the cause, but has neglected to implement the cure. In fact, they have increased the number of chemicals that can be used rather than decreasing it.

It is estimated that due to over-farming, upwards of 80% of the United States soil is now considered to be nearly absent of the minerals it once contained (123). 

Zinc is a perfect example. The fact that most major diseases are on an increase despite record-breaking pharmaceutical use only reinforces the logic that nutritional deficiencies, along with chemical exposure, are the root cause of these diseases.

GMO containing foods are certainly on the rise, especially in the United States, even though many countries have banned many out of concern for the negative health effects. Here’s a list of the most common GMO foods:

  • Alfalfa
  • Canola
  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Sugar Beets
  • Sugarcane
  • Tobacco
  • Tomatoes
  • Papayas
  • Potatoes
  • Summer Squash
  • Golden Rice
  • Salmon
  • Peas
  • Grapeseed
  • Zucchini

WOW right! Were you aware of all the foods on this list? And let’s not forget other products often containing GMOs such as cotton, honey, and cooking oils. Plus…

Soon to be released to the public: flax, eggs, and non-browning apples!

And nonetheless, despite the mounting evidence of the dangers of GMO foods, the controversy continues. Thank goodness many countries have decided to promote health over profit.

The following countries currently have total or partial bans on GMOs:

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bhutan
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Scotland
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • Turkey
  • Venezuela
  • Wales

And many others that do not have any bans in place at least require GMO labeling so that consumers can make informed decisions.

Here in the United States, however, the one way to know if you aren’t eating GMO food is to make sure that it is labeled organic.  As of now, Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine are the only states that have passed laws requiring that all GMO products be labeled as such.

The Institute for Responsible Technology is one of the most extensive websites on this subject and contains a list of all possible health concerns backed by scientific studies.

Something to keep in mind is that artificial sugar alternatives are not just found in immense quantities in so many food and drink products, to make it even worse, they are also genetically modified.

The following is a list is of commonly found genetically modified sugars.

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFC)
  • Corn syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Dextrose (usually from corn)
  • Maltodextrin (usually from corn)

You’ll find that as your awareness increases and you begin to eat a cleaner and more healthy diet, choosing to eat organically will become easier and easier. Many grocery and chain stores, including Walmart and Costco, now have large selections of affordable organic foods.

Additionally, supporting your local farmers market is another great place to start when searching for healthier options, and many local farmers practice organic farming even if they can’t afford to pay the government fees for the right to label them as such.