Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hot Topics Other Than Skin - Your Breakfast Cereal GMO's + Whole Foods

All my life my grandfather has stressed the importance of eating whole grains and in his case hot oatmeal for breakfast. He often tells the story of how oatmeal was prepared for him when he was growing up in Philadelphia circa 1905. It's soothing just to hear the story and I can only dream how good it tasted over 100 years ago. My great grandfather Bernando LaPallo, Sr. who was a doctor, had the oatmeal cooked in a double boiler so the grains would not stick and burn.

Fresh cinnamon would be added to the water the oats were cooked in to infuse it with flavor and aid in digestion. Finally a whole apple cut up in cubes would be added being the only sweetener used. Having dabbled a bit in cooking truly whole grains myself using buckwheat and oat groats back the 80's  grown in rich pesticide free soil to term,  there is a kind of natural sweetness to them a far cry from the sugar coated frosty cereals of today with "added "nutrients". 
Recently an old friend of mine who I will just call "O" told me that he had recently experienced an allergic reaction to the 365 Brand of oatmeal sold by Whole Foods. Minutes after his meal he bloated up and had difficulty breathing. After an emergency trip to the doctor's office together they "retraced" his steps which lead them back to the ingredient label. Turns out listed was GMO oatmeal on the packaging. And there in one fell swoop Ladies and Gentleman, Parents, Mother's and Children, the unflinching faith we have held dear for generations in a whole grain that Americans have relied upon as a trusted source of wholesome nutrition came to a screeching halt. Later the same week when I warned my own mother from eating another brand that I suspsected might contain GMO's. Her response was surprisingly cavalier; "What could happen from eating a little GMO?" Well Mom as it turns out quite a lot.

1. Food Allergy Foods that you have taken for granted that you could eat all your life with impunity ranging from breakfast cereals to peanut butter to corn chips are likely to be made with GMO's.  It is estimated that 60 to 70% of our food supply now contains them.  Read labels carefully before you buy. As scary as the above incident was for my adult friend "O" imagine the effects on a much smaller individual like your child. When I look back on my childhood and teenage years the "food allergy" pandemic was almost non existent. Occasionally we would hear about the "freak" kid would would be allergic to peanut butter but now this type of thing is everywhere. Why?  2. Toxicity The practice of growing crops that are not only genetically modified but now have pesticides built into their very fiber should serve as a warning. You may have noticed the trend of gluten free foods. While wheat in of itself isn't bad new genetically modified wheat plants loaded with pesticides are. Andrea Moss enlightened me about this new breed of wheat in an in depth conversation we had about nutrition last week. Thanks Andrea that was an eye opener.
3. Sterility Testing  done on laboratory mice and rats found that there were startling differences in the litters of each group. The GMO eating group's offspring not only had a significantly lower body weight , their offspring proved unable to reproduce as they had been rendered sterile by their diet. Even more alarming are cases in women who have been eating GMO soy and corn. During labor it has been discovered that  shortened umbilical cords, still births and birth defects are skyrocketing in countries  where GMO products have flooded the market. Read Award Winning mid- wife Robin Lim's testimony here GMO Foods and Damage to Human Babies  5. Poor Digestion Bloating of the digestive tract is another phenomena that occurs. It would seem logical to surmise that the ingestion of pesticides would cause and inflammation of the digestive tract. Clearly this makes eating if possible at all extremely uncomfortable.
Tips: Carefully read your breakfast cereal labels. Pick whole grain cereals where you know a little something about how they were really grown. Here in New York one of our favorite suppliers and growers is Cayuga Pure Organics  You can find them in several Green markets throughout the city like the McCarren Park Green market in Williamsburg/Greenpoint Brooklyn. They carry a wide variety of grains, beans and organic flours. Avoid GMO soy, corn, canola oil and cottonseed products. 

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