by Kristi Marsh
Here and there, my eyes would run across the acronym GMO, barely acknowledge it, and move right past the letters. I wasn’t sure what it meant or entailed—other than something had been genetically modified.
As I chatted with BFFs, it turns out; I wasn’t the only one who was unfamiliar with GMOs. I found comfort in our equal ignorance. Or so I thought. The bigger revelation was realizing that many of us know so little about our own food sources and I started on my path to understand this enigma.
What I learned about GMO’s was fascinatingly complicated.
My passion built and as I continued my studies, I was thrown a curveball. I didn’t need to visit a laboratory to find examples of genetically modified items. I simply needed to go to any local grocery store. Or, downstairs to my kitchen cabinet. Our homes? Crawling with GMO food products.
This wasn’t going over so well with me. I was all for advancement, until I learned it was crossing over that one-acre property line of mine without being invited. My hands, highly skilled at product-flipping, went to work as my laser eyes rapidly scanned the front, back, and undersides of boxes, cans, and bottles in my cabinets. Nothing. Not a peep to indicate some or any of the ingredients within might be genetically modified. I was stupefied. You’re telling me I can find out if my groceries were made in a nut-free facility or when a beer was born but not if food was made with GMO ingredients? Why weren’t these companies proudly stating that my mac n’ cheese was enhanced at the hand of a scientist? Where was the former celebrity GMO spokesperson touting health benefits? The picture of the family laboratory proudly producing genetically modified food for a half a generation?
The absence of a GMO label led me to believe they weren’t in the products I used. The bottom line for me: GMO foods have not been in use long enough for me to feel convinced they are safe. There are too many questions surrounding these foods and not nearly enough answers. As a mom and Director of Household Consumerism, I was being asked to play ball with a blindfold on.
I have a right to know what I am putting in my body and my children’s bodies.
If more than 40 other countries, including Europe, Japan, China, and soon-to-be India label, where is our right to know? Right now, there is a very real chance that my right would disappear forever. This experimentation with the food chain was on my generation’s shoulders, yet few people I knew were informed. Right now, we can make a difference. It is within reach. The first step is to educate ourselves.Let this little article be a seed planted. Now lovingly nurture it and let the GMO journey o’ learning evolve. You can start with www.nongmoproject.org or www.justlabelit.org, or watch the just released movie: Genetic Roulette at www.geneticroulettemovie.com
Kristi Marsh is founder and force behind www.choosewiser.com, unofficial representative of the EveryDay Me’s, and proud author of just-launched Little Changes, her 5×8 13-ounce bundle of joy. Little Changes enlightens readers about the simmering, swelling, epic transformation of our generation; becoming self-advocates for their own beautiful bodies. Excerpt from Little Changes lovingly adapted for Edible South Shore.
Kristi Marsh will be the featured speaker for the South Shore Locavores gathering, a collaboration between edible South Shore and the Kingston Public Library) on January 17th. 7:00-8:30pm at the Beal House, 222 Main Street, Kingston MA.