Before you stuff yourself with dinner at Daly’s Dining Hall or Cranberry’s tonight, have you ever thought of what might be in the food? There’s a possibility your food might have been made with genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. The Non-GMO Project defines this relatively new science as the unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. GMOs are present in a wide variety of foods that we consume daily, such as veggies, fruits and grains.
GMOs have been linked to many different health problems across America. Recently, a new study linked GMOs to gluten disorders that affect 18 million Americans. The number of gluten allergies has increased over the past decade parallel to the amount of GMOs consumed. The Genetic Literacy Project also states that studies have linked genetically modified animal feed to severe stomach inflammation and enlarged uteri in pigs, as well as genetically modified corn to rat tumors. These issues are just a small fraction of the problems that have been studied and reported. The issue of genetically modified foods is still undergoing much research, but keep a look out for updates and new issues related to the matter.
We all like to watch TV. But how about instead of watching the same old shows, try some new movies like The Human Experiment, The Future of Food or Food Inc. These movies are educational and eye-opening to issues involving GMOs and chemically modified foods. By attending our next Green Film GMO OMG on March 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. in Sweigart auditorium, you will learn all about what is really in the food we eat and how it is affecting us.
There are easy ways to avoid GMOs, such as buying locally, consuming organic foods or growing veggies yourself. By buying locally, you have a better chance of avoiding GMOs because many local small farms don’t mass produce these foods. In Daly’s, most of the salad bar is grown locally in the Lawrenceville area. Even some of the side dishes are grown locally, too. Look for signs that say “locally grown” and you’ll know you’re making the right choice. By buying organic products you avoid not only GMOs, but also harmful hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and insecticides which have been linked to many health problems as well.
Growing your own garden is a great way to keep track of what touches the food you’re going to consume. Living on campus? Not a problem. There is a garden behind Daly’s that is seasonally filled with fresh organic fruits and veggies that students, faculty and staff are more than welcome to take. Bring healthy, GMO-free and organic food with you to campus to help finish the year on a healthy note.
—Ambria Dell’Oro and Rachel Nangle
Lawrenceville Eco Reps
Printed in the 03/02/16 issue.