The Sunday Feed

How Genetically Modified are You?

It is believed that about 90% of corn, canola, soy and cotton grown in the US is genetically modified. Other GM crops in the US include alfalfa, canola, cotton, papaya, potatoes, eggplant, squash and sugar beets. In 2015, GM crops were grown in 28 countries and on 179.7 million hectares — that is over 10% of the world’s arable land and equivalent to seven times the land area of the UK.

A GMO is defined as an organism or microorganism whose genetic material has been altered by means of genetic engineering. This process today is much different than the process used to create GMOs. Today companies use gene- splicing techniques to create DNA that wouldn’t be naturally found normally in nature.

So let’s take a walk back in history and see how this phenomenon became so popular. It all began in 1935 when a Russian scientist Andrei Nikolaevitch Belozersky isolated pure DNA.

In 1973 the idea for man-made DNA, or rDNA, came from a grad student at Stanford University Medical School. Professor Herbert Boyer and a few of his biologist colleagues ran with it. In 1975, a group of biologists got together with a few lawyers and doctors to create guidelines for the safe use of genetically engineered DNA.

The final nail was struck when in 1980 when the court case between a genetics engineer at General Electric and the U.S. Patent Office was settled by a 5-to-4 Supreme Court ruling, allowing for the first patent on a living organism.

So how does an excess of GM food affect the body? The five conditions that GM foods can either trigger or exacerbate gluten-related illnesses include intestinal permeability, an imbalanced gut bacteria, immune activation and allergic response, impaired digestion, and damage to the intestinal wall. Does this sound familiar to you then you need to take a relook at what you have been stuffing yourself with.

It is believed that a lot of junk food along with alcohol and smoke can cause permanent inflammation. Well, your body is built in a way that it will start sending stress signals and you need to understand them and make the required changes. However, if you don’t then after some time it will start to break down. The only difference is that it has no particular time line as different people have different immunity levels.

The most important and lethal damage that GMO does is the change it creates in your immune system. Constantly challenging your body with the genetically modified food makes your immune system work so hard that it is extremely overused and eventually becomes weak.

There are 5 things that deteriorate the immune system

1. Stress

2. Lack of sleep

3. Lack of exercise

4. Lack of hygiene

5. Poor nutrition

Well of the things mentioned above, it is very difficult for someone with big dreams to control everything due to the hectic schedule. However, you need to be alive to enjoy your fame and fortune. I guess a balanced approach might be the most feasible way to deal with the changing world and the challenges it throws on us.

In a highly disorganised sector it is extremely difficult to find what percentage of food we eat actually is GM. Well it depends upon your eating habits and the country or area you live in. If you are a heavy junk food eater, chances are 95% of the food might be GM! Fruits, veggies, fish and meat, there is no exemption!

If you look at the pandemic, there is one thing that everyone agrees and it is that it affects different people differently and the key to survival is the person’s immunity. Well if that is true then your food apart from the other factors have played a vital role in your survival. But as many people say, this might just be the beginning. We might see more viruses like these and might need a stronger immunity to fend ourselves. Making a change in our food habits should definitely not be overlooked. We are all being genetically modified. However, the key to survive this onslaught is to slow the process by putting up a good fight.