Be aware of GM crops and pesticides

By Juliana Kassianos, Transformational Fertility Coach, Yoga Teacher and Founder of The School of Fertility

farmer-880567_1280.jpg

GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS

As far as I’m aware, genetically modified (GM) crops are not grown in Britain, except for small batches for research. Some supermarkets like Waitrose do not sell any GM food and supply produce like meat, eggs and milk that has come from/been produced by animals that are fed non GM feed. Tesco’s doesn’t allow the use of GM ingredients in its own branded products. Any of its non-Tesco branded products that contain GM material are labelled according to EU legislation.

Keep in mind that in the EU, food that contains/consists of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) or ingredients from GMOs have to be labelled as such. GM products sold loose have to have information displayed immediately next to the food to say its GM. Products produced with GM technology (e.g. cheese) do not have to be labelled, nor do products like meat, milk and eggs from animals fed on GM animal feed.

FERTILITY

A long-term study commissioned by the Austrian government showed how mice fed GM corn or maize had lower birth rates and fewer off spring.

HUMAN HEALTH

According to the World Health Organisation, the main issues around human health is:

  • The potential for GM produce to provoke an allergic reaction

  • The transfer of genes from GM foods to cells of the body or bacteria in the gut

  • The migration of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or similar species in the wild, known as outcrossing

PESTICIDES

Make sure you wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating them to reduce levels of pesticide residue. According to Pesticide Action Network UK “In the UK, pesticide residues are found in approximately 60% of the non-organic fruit and vegetables that are available to consumers. Many of these contain the residues of more than one pesticide, so in effect they offer a cocktail of residues with each bite.”

The Environmental Working Group evaluates fruits and vegetables to determine their overall pesticide exposure. The Dirty Dozen (12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide loads ) and Clean 15 (fruits and vegetables with the least pesticide residue), help American consumers prioritise which foods to purchase organic when trying to limit pesticide exposure.

CLEAN 15: DON’T NEED TO BE ORGANIC

  1. Avocado

  2. Sweet corn

  3. Pineapple

  4. Cabbage

  5. Sweet peas (frozen)

  6. Onion

  7. Asparagus

  8. Mango

  9. Papaya

  10. Kiwi

  11. Eggplant

  12. Cauliflower

  13. Grapefruit

  14. Cantaloupe

  15. Honeydew Melon

DIRTY DOZEN: CHOOSE ORGANIC

  1. Strawberry

  2. Apple

  3. Nectarine

  4. Peach

  5. Celery

  6. Grapes

  7. Potato

  8. Spinach

  9. Cherry

  10. Tomato

  11. Sweet bell pepper

  12. Pear

+ Hot peppers (+ due to insecticide contamination)

REFERENCES

  • https://www.food.gov.uk/science/novel/gm/gm-labelling

  • http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modi ed- food/en/

  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1085060/Why-eating-GM-food-lower-fertility. html


Juliana Kassianos