We began our cleaner food journey by way of a diet called The Feingold Diet. We jumped on board this plan in January 2013 in desperate desire to help our son’s hyperactive and emotional tendencies. I had read numerous accounts linking diet to behavior and how families had successfully fought against ADHD through the foods that they ate.
We jumped on board with Feingold and quickly began a clean up of our diet by eliminating artificial flavors, artificial colors and petrol-chemical preservatives. This was the very start of my crash course in food education. Before reading up on this diet, I had no idea that the artifical ingredients that we were about to eliminate were made from petroleum. Yes, like gasoline. Yuck! Of course I didn’t want my kids to eat that. It was a no brainer. Why would company’s be allowed to put those things in our food anyway?
Little did I know, this would be only the beginning of my eye opening education of what lurks in our food.
Almost immediately after eliminating these artificals, we saw night and day improvments with our son’s behavior. But something was still “off”. I kept a diary of all the food that he was eating and his behavior each day. We had some totally fantastic days, then others that were “ok”, then yet others that were horrible, although we were sticking strict to the approved foods 100%.
I was frustrated and confused. How could that be? I began to study the food diary with my engineering logic. I began to see a pattern…corn. As I started checking labels of food on questionable days, one common thread appreared to be corn. I posed the question to a Feingold support forum…could my son have a sensitivity to corn? The reply I got was that “most corn is GMO, it is most likely a reaction to the GMOs”.
What the heck does that mean? What’s a GMO? Google to the rescue…Genetically Modified Organism. What the heck?!
That was the day that the rock had been lifted from on top of me. The rock that had sheltered me of the knowledge that the corn I’ve been eating since the mid 1990’s is not the corn that God had created with the natural DNA of a plant. Nope, it was engineered by a chemical company, genetically modified to include DNA from bacteria, viruses and even animals. I certainly didn’t have a clue that some corn is actually a registered pesticide. Yes, it is designed to kill the worms that attempt to eat it. These genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand the spraying of pesticides while all other green living things around them are killed by the poison.
Hmmm…What the heck would this do to our bodies…short term?…long term? How can this be ok in our foods? I don’t know, I just sort of took it for granted that there were agencies in this country that made sure our foods were adequately tested and safe. But no, in fact GMO foods don’t even require testing for their safety to humans. None! No short term testing. No long term testing. We are living the test as we speak. I quickly realized that I can’t count on anyone looking out for the health of me and my family except for me. It was my job, and I was gonna tackle it.
I began cutting out all corn from our diet unless it was specifically labeled organic. The change proved to be successful in regards to our son’s behavior
And then there was the night that I made homemade french fries…in Plain Jane, run of the mill (but Feingold approved) canola oil. Yowsers! I’m talking full blown reaction mode…hyperactive, emotional and “that look” in our son’s eyes. I can tell when he is reacting to a food, I can see it in his eyes. It’s a look of fog from within. It saddens me to find that look within his eyes. I want to rescue my sweet, loving little boy trapped behind that look, in a body that is out of control under the influence of a “food”.
I then learned that GMOs aren’t just found in corn, they are also in canola, soy, sugar beets, cotton and more.
That is when I actively took our diet beyond Feingold and started to heading towards a real food diet. I could not knowingly allow my family to be a lab rat in the real world GMO study on humans. I already saw visible, external affects from GMOs in our child. What else could be going on hidden within our bodies.
Our family has been to the cross roads and we have chosen what I see as the safe route. We will choose to avoid genetically engineered food. It may not be the easy route as it means more work in ditching many processed and packaged foods due to lurking GMOs within. It may be the road less traveled, but more and more people are joining our trek along this path every day.
I now have a passion for seeking out hidden GMO’s in our life and kicking them to the curb. I also feel a strong obligation to start pulling the rocks off of others around me, and raising awareness in regards to the presence of GMOs in our every day foods.
If you are passionate about eliminating GMOs (or at least lableing them), let your voice be heard. Keep spreading the word to educate those around you.
If you are just learning about GMOs, get educated, seek out information. Here are a few sources to get you started:
It is important not to confuse genetically modified with hybrid crops. I see hybrids like an arranged marriage where two similar items (apple and apple, tomato and tomato) are forced together in close proximity and encouraged to naturally cross pollenate. While genetically engineered seeds take totally dissimilar items (plant and animal, plant and virus, plant and bacteria) and change them from the structural level, scientifically splicing genes from different life forms to create a new patented life form. It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie. The more I learn, the more frightening it becomes to me. Once these new living things are created, they can reproduce, cross pollinate…once their life is created, it can not be destroyed. (A read that opened my eyes: Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers by Ronnie Cummins & Ben Lilliston) It’s really scary if you think about it.