Are You Food Illiterate?

I have a confession.

I have consciously put off composing articles about the extensive research I have been conducting alldayeveryday since 11/01/2011. Why?

For several reasons. Two main reasons being: people don’t really care. and people don’t really change. 

(I.E. knowing smoking is bad for you, yet you still smoke) 

Cynical? ..YES. In my fit-of-fury right now, I’ll admit to that. But I hope you indulge in my rant..

Have you ever noticed the things in life that are too simple are almost always disregarded?

(I.E. knowing the instant you quite smoking you increase your survival rate…yet continue to smoke)

People disregard crucial information relevant to their everyday health, and come up with ridiculous justifications.

How many lives do we get? One.

How many bodies do we get? One.

Let’s take care of the one body we have so we can live a long, healthy life in the one life we get. We do this by caring what we put into our bodies. By knowing what we are buying and eating.

Let’s educate ourselves. Don’t just wonder about something — research it, cross-reference it. We should even research opposing views so we can have prospectives from both sides and make (better) educated decisions, and be prepared for counter arguments when educating others. <– I’m still working on that!

Why am I so fired up?

Here’s why:

It’s estimated that a jaw-dropping 2/3 of processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients. Plus over 80% of corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. Not to mention that the majority of the livestock we consume have been raised on genetically engineered grains. But you’d never know by looking at food labels.

Do you look at labels? Is the Ingredients the first thing you look at? Because it should be.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. The most frequent use of the term GMO is in relation to the food that we eat, in that many crops and factory-made foods are created from genetically modified ingredients.

Genes from other plants, viruses, bacteria, animals, etc. are inserted into the genes of certain products such as corn and soy, (click for top ten GMO crops) to make them more stable and resistant to drought, disease and pesticides.

DID YOU KNOW, GMO crops have patented genes? If you are an organic farmer downwind of another farmer choosing to modify his or her crops and their seeds spread (go up in the air and pollinate) your organic non-GMO crops (unknowingly or accidentally) the patent holder (a.k.a. MONSANTO) now has the right to control the use of those crops. Read that again–until it sinks in. You would no longer own your crops! Perhaps now Occupy Monsanto makes a little more sense?

If this pisses you off (it should!) please take action:

Here’s the thing, every bit of information I just shared above is just the tip of the ice burg.

I was at Costco the other day, and walking down the aisles I became so disgusted, my stomach felt like it was turning into knots. As I looked around all I could see were large companies selling poison and other large companies making money off the diseases these products create.


Click here to see how I really feel about sugar!

Oh, but I digress. And please don’t say or even think, “but it’s organic..” because it DOESN’T MATTER: sugar is sugar — and it will deplete your immune system.

According to Dr. Jerry Lee Hover, “Eating white sugar will paralyze and hinder your white blood cells from fighting off an infection. Eating 25 teaspoons of sugar will paralyze 92% of your white blood cells for approximately five hours. The average American eats over 42 teaspoons of sugar per day.” I.E. One 12 oz coke has approx. 8-10 teaspoons (Source).

I will go into detail about how sugar is killing consumers, but for now I will save that for a future post. Now I want to introduce the purpose of this post and why I am furious: PLU Labels.

Q: What is a PLU code?
A: PLU stands for price look-up code. PLUs are used on items that are sold loose or bunched, by weight or by each (i.e. an individual apple or bunch of greens). A PLU code contains 4-5 digits total. The PLU is key-entered at point of sale in order to obtain the price

I always knew those codes stood for something, I just didn’t know what exactly. I also knew that a certain sequence represented U.S.A. but never knew the numbers. Since Genetically Modified (GMOs) products currently do not need to be labeled, these barcodes are crucial for reference. I urge each of you to write the following information down and take it with you the next time you are at the grocery store:

Q: How is organically grown produce coded on a PLU label?
A: The number 9 is added to the front of the regular four digit PLU code. (e.g. an organically grown banana would be 94011.)

Q: How is genetically engineered produce coded on a PLU label?
A: The number 8 is added in front of the regular four digit PLU code. (e.g. a genetically engineered vine ripe tomato would be 84805.) (Source)

However, I should mention that according to Jeffrey Smith from the Huffington Post who wrote this article claims PLU Codes Do Not Indicate Genetically Modified Produce

“Those that run PLU-universe figured that someday some retailer might want to distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes. So they created a convention of 5 digits starting with an 8, just in case it catches on. But it hasn’t. No one uses that number 8 as far as we can tell. And why would they? Most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled.

Some seed companies don’t even want gardeners to know which seed is genetically modified. One company that sells zucchini seeds outfitted with virus genes announced that they would refuse to sell seed packets in Vermont, since the state legislature requires GM seeds to be labeled.”

I urge you to take inventory in your own refrigerator and read labels next time you’re grocery shopping!

We deserve to know, right?

There are millions of reasons to avoid GMO’s, but here’s 10 reasons according to the Institute for Responsible Technology. And here’s 65 health risks of GM foods if you were wondering.

More than 80% of processed foods at U.S. grocery stores are likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients. And you wouldn’t know it, because the FDA doesn’t require labels for foods with genetically engineered (GE) ingredients ‒ also called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (Source).

Tell The FDA!

A legal petition (Docket # FDA-2011-P-0723-0001/CP) has been filed with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the FDA to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

Click Here to Sign the Petition and Spread the Word!