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How Modern Farming Methods Have Led to Toxic Food Supplies

How Modern Farming Methods Have Led to Toxic Food Supplies

Recent studies are now linking many of the diseases plaguing our society to environmental factors.  One of the largest concerns is the consumption of genetically modified foods and the chemicals used to treat them and their correlation to increasing health risks.  One of the biggest culprits is the Mosanto group which holds most of the patents for genetically engineered foods.

Basically, genetically engineered crops are being used by farmers more and more because they are engineered to be resilient and survive all types of growing conditions.  To insure that these crops grow well, farmers are using more and more pesticides containing a compound called glyphosate.  I will explain more on this later, but for now, the key point is that superweeds are growing in the genetically engineered crop fields and more and more pesticides are sprayed on the crops to maintain their growing season.  The more pesticides are on the crops and in the soil, the greater the concentration of pesticides in the food that end up on our plates and in our bodies.

These include not just a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids, but also glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

Roundup was designed to be used in conjunction with Monsanto’s genetically engineered “Roundup Ready” seeds, which in turn have been genetically altered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of the chemical. This way, only the non-modified weeds die while the crop survives the indiscriminate sprayings. In theory, genetically engineered seeds were supposed to reduce the use of agricultural chemicals. It didn’t work out that way. Today, resistant “superweeds” are taking over large swaths of farm land, and in an effort to stay on top of increasing weed resistance, farmers using Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) seeds have progressively started using more and more Roundup.

The increased pesticide residue remains in the foods that wind up on your dinner table, as glyphosate is taken up systemically throughout the plant and cannot be washed off.

About 90 percent of the corn produced in the US is genetically engineered, and GE soybeans account for almost 95 percent of US production. In addition, an ever growing number of farmers are using genetically modified wheat and sugar as their crop source.  In other words, if you’re eating non-organic corn, soybeans, wheat and sugar in the United States, you’re eating a genetically engineered crop that’s been repeatedly and thoroughly drenched in glyphosate. The same applies to eating meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), as they’re typically fed GE grains.  It almost seems like there is no escape from these chemicals.

The danger to you and your children is very real, according to the latest research. While Monsanto insists that Roundup is safe and “minimally toxic” to humans, a recent report published in the journal Entropy argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, and soy, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”

According to the authors:

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.”

The main finding of the report is that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, a large and diverse group of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances. This, the author states, is “an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals.” One of the functions of CYP enzymes is to detoxify xenobiotics—chemical compounds found in a living organism that are not normally produced or consumed by the organism in question. By limiting the ability of these enzymes to detoxify foreign chemical compounds, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of those chemicals and environmental toxins you may be exposed to—including other pesticides.

“The consequences of pesticide use are seen in most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  … The recent alarming increase in all of these health issues can be traced back to a combination of gut dysbiosis, impaired sulfate transport, and suppression of the activity of the various members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) family of enzymes.”

At this point in western society, we do not necessarily need better health care (although we do need ongoing research), but rather we need more people taking a personal responsibility to become healthier.  This includes educating yourself and making healthy dietary choices to avoid genetically modified foods if possible, eating organic, and decreasing our sugar, wheat, and food product consumption.   Avoid all corn syrups, hydrogenated oils, and consume more greens, vegetables and healthy meats.  Just by making small changes like that, you will have a significant impact on yourself towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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