On Saturday, March 25th, 2013, there was a global initiative to stand up against Monsanto, the number one purveyor of harmful genetically modified crops, which are wreaking havoc on our bodies and our planet. Apparently, the March Against Monsanto protests occurred in 55 countries and 450 cities around the world. I was asked to give the keynote address at the NYC event. Here is what I said:
I am honored to be here today and thrilled to see so many of you here standing up for truth, justice, and transparency.
I come to you from California.
I come to you as a deeply concerned citizen…health food enthusiast…. healthcare professional…Registered Dietitian….and a mom….
I march today…not simply against Monsanto, per se. I march because we live in a democracy. A democracy where we have rights…the right to justice, to liberty, and the right to know.
Yet, somehow, our democracy has actively engaged in and supported what will go down in history as the most comprehensive, most perilous, unprecedented experiment of our generation.
We are being fed a crockpot full of lies, manipulation, and politics. But what’s at stake is not anything light…What’s at stake is the single most valuable asset we have as human beings…that, of course, is our health.
Yet I am not here as a politician or policy expert.
What I can do is tell you what I have learned after being in the health & fitness industry for almost 20 years…
Yes, we are seeing increased overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But we are seeing what scientists are calling “inexplicable increased prevalence” of:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Allergies and food and environmental intolerances
- Behavioral disorders (Autism, ADD, ADHD)
- Antibiotic-resistant superbugs
I argue today….that part – if not most – of the reason for all of the aforementioned ailments come to us because of the Frankenfoods that are inundating our food supply.
We are what we eat. Literally.
Our bodies are incomprehensibly complex, a symphony of evolution, biochemistry, biology, microbiology….that nobody can really explain. Scientists, researchers, healthcare professionals are at what I believe to be the very tip of the iceberg with what we actually understand about the human body…
Let’s break it down a bit…
We are made up of ~100 trillion cells and 10 x as many microbial cells…most of which are in the gastrointestinal tract. Let’s talk about the GI tract for a moment.
- Responsible for digestion & absorption of nutrients
- Enteric nervous system, separate from the CNS= brains of the gut
- Hosts largest # immune cells….
- GI tract represents 70% of the immune system
Thus, your GI tract is the gateway to your health…we are what we eat. Your cells are constantly regenerating, utilizing nutrients obtained from food to rebuild. Unfortunately, we are not doing our brilliantly complex bodies justice these days with the foods we are providing…
Genetically Modified Organisms are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. Created to withstand threats like viruses and pests.
We are theoretically supposed to make health recommendations. Based on sound science. Yet, somehow Monsanto has surpassed those rules. FDA does not require testing of GMO foods.
I have been saying that there are no long-term human trials on GMO’s…but I realize that this is inaccurate. Indeed, to be more accurate, there have been no CONTROLLED long-term human trials on GMO’s. We have been lab rats and guinea pigs, subject to the tyranny of harm being caused by these “pseudofood” industries…But I am here today to tell you we are not powerless. I know just because of the fact that you are here today that you are not interested in lying silently as victims….Thus, I want to offer you some suggestions on how to avoid these products as best as possible until labeling is indeed mandated….and, ultimately, GMO’s are obliterated entirely.
My Tips for Avoiding GMO’s:
1. Choose organic whenever possible, but especially when you are choosing the 7 top produced GMO crops: soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, alfalfa, Hawaiian papaya, sugar beets. Under USDA Organic label, foods can not contain GMO ingredients!
- Corn (88% grown is GM)
- Soy (93%)
- Cottonseed (94%)
- Hawaiian Papaya (75% to withstand papaya ringspot virus)
- Canola (90%)
- Sugar beets (54%)
2. Avoid processed foods. 70% of processed foods contain GM-ingredients. It is optimal for long-term health to eat as close to nature as possible anyway. This is a great additional excuse to do so.
3. Minimize or eliminate animal products because they are being fed these GM-containing foods and the residues most likely reside in their flesh. It’s a life-time supply of toxins built up….also known as bioaccumulation…
4. Support family farms, local farms….they are up against and being bullied by big corporations like Monsanto and are fighting for survival. It costs a lot of money and takes years to become certified organic. So go to your local farms and farmers markets and ask where their seeds come from and whether they spray. If they are GMO-free and don’t use spray, support them as much as possible.
5. Grow your own produce. Even with limited space, there are now methods to grow food in small areas like hydrponics, aquaponics, and vertical gardening.
I come to you from California….the state from which Proposition 37 did not pass last November. The No on 37 campaign spent >$40-45 million to ensure it didn’t pass. And I saw how it unfolded and how this brilliant campaign of confusion worked. Let this be an example of what not to do. We need to educate and share this information so that people know…
We have a long, bumpy road ahead with many battles to fight. My goal for today was to help empower you….thus, I was trying to come up with the perfect quote to end with…I had a competition on my facebook page to find out what inspires other people and interestingly, my top favorite quotes kept appearing. Because I couldn’t decide between them, I decided to share all four: