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The Low-Down on GMOs: What You Need to Know


There is so much misinformation abounding about GMOs that we thought we’d set the record straight. Here at Dr. Jen’s Ultimate Protein Bar we are passionate about creating foods that are all-natural without artificial ingredients that are good for you, including non-GMO protein bars.


WHAT IS A GMO?


GMO stands for genetically modified organism. This can be either a plant or animal or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in some way most likely in a laboratory. The resulting organism or plant life is something that was not produced by Mother Nature.


When people are speaking of GMOs, they are most likely referring to the genetic modification of plants. Humans have been messing around with plant varieties for thousands of years with the goal of producing plants with specific characteristics such as being more resistant to certain insects or weather conditions. The history of GMOs starts with selective breeding of animals for certain traits. A great example of this is dogs. Thought to be the first animal humans specifically bred for, most of the world’s dog breeds are mixes that were chosen for specific characteristics to help humans such as hunting or guarding.


As the population of the world has increased so has the need for crops to resist droughts. This was blatantly apparent in the 1930s and the Dust Bowl. Jump ahead to the 21st century where the farmer is a dying breed, the genetic modification of crops to be resistant to drought, insects, and disease continues to grow in importance. These crops often have higher yields and lower production costs due to the fact they are insect resistant.


According to the United States Department of Agriculture, as of 2010, at least 80 percent of corn and approximately 90 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are grown from genetically modified seeds. Currently, the United States limits GMOs that can be commercially sold to 10 plant types: alfalfa, apples, canola, corn (field and sweet), cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash, and sugar beets.


WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF GMOs?


Technology is a wonderful thing, but oftentimes humans jump in without thinking of the consequences. One famous example of this is the insecticide DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane). Great for killing bugs, it also nearly wiped out the bald eagle, the symbol of this great nation, and the peregrine falcon as these chemicals went through the food chain and caused the eggshells of these magnificent birds to weaken. Luckily, humans wised up and banned DDT in time for the bald eagles to recover and now flourish. Seeing a bald eagle in flight is guaranteed to melt your heart.


Humans are now investigating the effects GMOs have on us as we ingest these artificial products in our system. Here’s what we know:


  • Many GMO plants are engineered to contain their own insecticides, which means in effect, you are ingesting insecticides in its molecular form. Insecticides are poison.
  • Many GMOs are engineered to be resistant to herbicides. This resistance is an invitation to farmers to spray large quantities of herbicides, and many do. In this case, you not only are ingesting herbicides in a low dosage, but the plants are being doused with herbicides as well, increasing our exposure to these toxins.
  • The rise in allergies, autoimmune diseases, infertility, gastrointestinal problems and chronic diseases may be associated with the introduction of GMO foods.
  • It is estimated that over 80 percent of processed foods have GMOs in them. Most of the sugar we eat comes from beets, most of which are products of genetic modification. Furthermore, almost 90 percent of what domestic animals that we eat (cows, chickens, etc) are fed GMO foods.

Plants and animals change over time due to the natural process of survival of the fittest. However, when humans step in and start messing with Mother Nature’s natural selection process, errors can be made. Although there is no conclusive evidence that GMOs harm our bodies, the question you must answer is this: is the unknown worth the risk?


CAN YOU AVOID GMO FOODS?

Currently, the US does not require food producers to label GMO foods. Some states, however, are working to require it. The FDA encourages voluntary labeling. Here are some tips for avoiding GMO foods:


  • If you want to stay away from GMOs, your only option is to eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods marked "certified organic" or "USDA organic." However, these products are not verified by the federal government and work on the honor system. Also be aware these claims can appear on foods developed from genes originally altered by chemicals or radiation.
  • Also, some whole food stores are developing their own lines of food products for their customers to ensure that the ingredients are non-GMO.
  • Buy organic as much as possible.

The job of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to keep our food and drugs sold in the US safe for consumption. A GMO food isn't allowed in stores in the U.S. until the FDA team is satisfied it's safe. With no conclusive proof on the effects of GMO, the decision ultimately rests in your hands.


Dr. Jen’s Ultimate Nutrition Bars believes you should avoid putting anything artificial in your body. We choose mostly organic ingredients and always look for the non-GMO label on our ingredients. The rule of thumb is the closer the food is to the source, the more natural it is. The more processed the food, the more unnatural it is.


Our goal here at Dr.Jen’s was to create a non-GMO protein bar that was allergy and sensitivity-friendly and that tastes great. We currently offer two delicious gluten-free, non-GMO protein bars for you to enjoy: Double Chocolate Almond and Double Chocolate Peanut Butter. These protein bars online are gluten-free and non-GMO protein bars make with mostly organic ingredients. Perfect as a protein snack, keep these bars in your car, so one will always be close at hand.