GMO-Free, Gluten-Free Eating

Want a quick introduction to two of the fastest growing ways of eating – GMO-free and gluten-free? Then check out this short interview I did on the two topics. The interview also covers the GMO Free Project of Tucson, which I am integrally involved in, and the Non-GMO Pure Food Dinner program that I and the group started this summer. The episode aired on the Arizona Illustrated program on the Tucson PBS TV station on July 26, 2012.

Melissa’s Comments:

If you’re just starting to look into genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and have read or heard pro-GMO statements that often find their way into stories on GMOs by the mainstream media, you may be a little confused about the truth about GMOs. Be sure to check out GMO Myths and Truths, a review of research on claims made about genetically modified foods (GM) done by scholars with critical positions on GM foods.

Using a science-based, heavily referenced approach, the authors argue that claims for the benefits of GM foods are not true. The evidence presented in their report indicates that GM crops:

  • Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops
  • Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
  • Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
  • Do not increase yield potential
  • Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
  • Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
  • Have mixed economic effects
  • Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
  • Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
  • Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
  • Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.

The bottom line on genetically modifying foods? Based on the evidence presented in this report, the authors conclude: There is no need to take risks with GM crops when effective, readily available, and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM technology is claimed to address already exist.

To shop and eat GMO-free to protect your health and the planet’s health, follow the tips in the Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Regarding gluten free: If you are just starting to look into the health problems caused from gluten and are confused by reports in the mainstream media saying eating gluten-free is a “fad,” it’s important to know the research that most doctors and reporters still don’t know: Gluten sensitivity is a real condition that leads to a wide range of symptoms and illnesses, and the main way to determine if you have it (after you’ve had a blood test for celiac disease that’s come back negative) is to eliminate gluten from your diet and see if your symptoms go away or dramatically lessen. (See “Best Test for Gluten Sensitivity a GF Diet Trial, New Journal Article Says.”)

As I wrote in my book Gluten Free Throughout the Year, here’s a list of some of the more common symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity:

Acid-reflux-type conditions

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Autoimmune diseases (including autoimmune thyroid

disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes)


Bone disease (including osteopenia and osteoporosis)

Constipation and/or diarrhea

Fatigue and tiredness

Gas and bloating

Neurological conditions  (including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, headaches/migraines, and ataxia)

Skin conditions (including dermatitis herpetiformis, eczema and psoriasis)

Unexplained infertility

GMOs and gluten are two different topics, but there are extremely important reasons why growing numbers of people are eating both GMO-free and gluten-free. (For more on the connection between the two, see “Gluten Free and Healthy? Many Times the Answer is No.”)

Copyright © 2012 Melissa Diane Smith

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