The Future of Our Nation’s Diet: Living or Dying?

Article appeared in Spring 2006 Creations Magazine. As a holistic chef that passionately teaches conscious eating with wholesome, organic, nutrient-rich foods, I am aware of the tragedy of genetically engineered and chemically altered foods. On the very first page of Laura & Robin Ticciati's Genetically Engineered Foods, they note: "Genetic engineering (GE) is a new technology that, according to its developers, was created to improve food production, reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides, and increase yields. Though the U.S. government supports the development of genetically engineered foods, many scientists believe this technology reduces the nutritional value of our foods, perpetuates our dependence on the chemical treadmill, and disrupts the natural flow of intelligence in the genetic foundation of our ecosystem." According to "By artificially transferring genetic material (DNA) into unrelated species, scientists have introduced combinations that would have never occurred naturally. Currently, the multi-billion dollar biotech industry is engineering plants and food sources with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals and even humans! Presently, it is estimated that over 70% of processed foods contain GE ingredients because the most common GE productsÐcorn, soy, canola and cottonseedÐare used as low-cost ingredients in many products." Unfortunately, in the United States, GE ingredients are not required to be disclosed on product labels. There is now much scientific evidence showing that GE can transform safe foods into dangerous products posing the following appalling risks:
  • Creation of new toxins and allergens.
  • Increased antibiotic resistance.
  • Detrimental effects on the immune system.
  • Destruction of biodiversity, increased vulnerability to plant diseases, and endangering the food supply and the livelihood of farmers, especially in the developing world.
  • Devastation of species such as Monarch butterflies, killing beneficial insects, damaging soil fertility, and creating "Superweeds" and "Superpests" immune to chemical controls.
Other nations, including China and much of Europe, are not even accepting our foods. In the U.S., however, we have not yet lobbied enough to have more rigorous nutritional standards. Laura Ticciati, founder of "Mothers for Nature Law," writes:
"As concerned citizens, we must take responsibility for the future. We are at a time in our world's history where we can no longer afford to violate the laws of nature in our haste for progress. We must not only acknowledge, but honor the intimate relationship with everything in the universe. We need to shed our national addiction to profit-driven, quick-fix solutions. [We must now] make a decision as a society to embrace technologies that not only uphold and promote our collective growth, but do not damage anyone or anything in progress. There is an order in the universe, a seamless web that nourishes and connects us allÐfrom the tiniest seed, to the beating of our hearts, to the stars in the galaxies. Every time we act without reference to this underlying intelligence of natural law, we harm ourselves, each other, and our planet. But if we align ourselves and our society with the nourishing power of nature, we will create a civilization that upholds the integrity and dignity of life for all of us."
Agribusiness promotes foods that have been altered to ship, taste and grow according to optimal profit instead of optimal well-being. In addition, food companies spend millions of dollars promoting non-traditional agriculture and food supplies to countries that were once self-sufficient, spreading this toxic cycle to other cultures. If you want to voice your disgust, then vote with your wallet. Wake up and take action! Here are Helpful resolutions to strengthen your health. Spring is a perfect time for renewal, by planting seeds for a healthy, supportive lifestyle. Food is life, and our bodies are created from every spoonful we swallow, as the external environment becomes our precious internal environment. Become enlightened and empowered by implementing some simple strategies to build healthy bodies and minds: 1. Eat close to Mother Nature. Simple, non-processed, unpackaged foods provide the most complete nutrition. Also, organic foods are naturally richer in antioxidants, which protect our cells from the damage of free radicals. 2. Cook more at home. Carve out time to prep and cook weekly. Nourish the family with savory foods by making shared meals a priority. 3. Focus on organic, functional foods. Organic whole foods are better assimilated into the body, consistently taste better than altered produce, and they are NOT genetically engineered. Try a wide variety of organic and free-range foods: whole grains, beans, legumes, dairy, meats, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, herbs and spices. 4. Shop at local produce stands and organic co-ops. Food manufacturers are most likely to override the cycles of nature by manipulating foods to grow, ripen and ship with chemical additives, food irradiation and genetic alteration. 5. Shop with joy and gratitude. Take the time and put the thought into gathering your food. In shopping for wholesomeness, you shop for health and healing. 6. Oxygenation and physical activity. To truly honor your life and achieve personal power, strive to do physical activity every day. An exercise program will help drive oxygen into the body for optimal health and longevity. 7. Increase living/raw foods in your diet. As we age, the human body produces less enzymes to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into usable energy and basic building blocks. Since raw and living foods have active enzymes, the body works less to do more, regardless of age. Juicing fresh fruits and vegetables can also be especially powerful. 8. Choose foods that promote and support intestinal health. Look for foods naturally rich in fiber: vegetables, fruits, and grains. Also, enjoy fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, tempeh, and miso in order to keep the intestinal tract rich in healthy bacteria. These support good digestion along with assisting the immune system in repelling all common pathogenic bacteria and viruses. 9. Eat healthy fats. We do not make Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils naturally in our bodies. In moderation, these essential fatty acids, or EFA's, can be enjoyed in organic cold pressed nut oils, wild salmon, sardines, almonds, walnuts, seeds and whole grains. The brain, nervous system, and all protective cell membranes in your body are made almost entirely of fat. Give them the best building materials you can find, and you will increase functionality and immunity. 10. Supplement with super-foods. These are a special class of organic high-chlorophyll natural food sources, are very rich in naturally occurring nutrients, and a fantastic way to avoid too much chemically-derived vitamin and mineral supplementa-tion. Look for spirulina, wheat grass, and micro-algae by themselves or in combination with other super-food drink mixes widely available. 11. Choose free-range and grain fed animals. Research shows that the everyday accumulation of chemicals from non-organic foods takes its toll on our bodies, especially children. Choose only free-ranged eggs, chicken, beef, pork and lamb (now more commonly available in supermarkets). Cultivate the spirit of health and protect the gifts of nature, your food, and your body. Inherently, our bodies have known for thousands of years that by eating close to Mother Nature we are nourished, vital and alive. Remember, health is a process, and if you invest in it daily, the dividends will be high. As Weston Price has written, "Life in all its fullness, is Mother Nature obeyed."