What are GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms?

Adriana Rodriguez (left) getting some ring work in after class with fellow CrossFitter Vanessa Harris.

Adriana Rodriguez (left) getting some ring work in after class with fellow CrossFitter Vanessa Harris.

Adriana Rodriguez is a CrossFitter but also a college student pursuing a degree in Nutrition at Estrella Mountain Community College. Like many members she was trying to find a balance between school, work and staying healthy and fit. She started CrossFit a little over a year ago and it was while she was in Basics at Fury, that she learned about the Paleo Diet and spiked her interest in Nutrition.  She recently wrote the following article for us regarding GMOs or genetically modified organisms.  Check it out and learn why we stress avoiding processed foods!

Are you aware of which of your favorite foods contain genetically modified organisms otherwise known or labeled as GMOs?  Do you even know what a GMO is?  The average American usually does not consider if the foods they are consuming contain artificial ingredients, colors, sweeteners, or are a part of the many genetically modified organisms that are so commonly produced today. However, as CrossFitters and more specifically Paleo advocates we should always read labels and avoid GMOs.

Genetically modified organisms are organisms in which their DNA or genetic structure is modified in order to produce more effective crops or organisms. With constant technological advances happening everyday, scientist have made it possible to transfer or add additional genes to the genetic composition of a plant or animal in order to see a certain change in the size, color, consistency, or lifespan. Seed producers have found it extremely favorable to genetically include pesticides into their seeds to minimize upcoming problems with insects once the plant is grown. Seed producers have also modified their seeds to be resistant to their types of herbicides; these products are what are known as genetically modified organisms.

what is a gmoGMOs have been known to be a great innovation, but many claim that genetically modified organisms have adverse effects when consumed. The first GMOs were introduced to the public in the 1990’s and started being used for commercial production in 1996.Genetically modified foods have caused great controversy and continue to do so as to whether or not they are safe for human and animal consumption. It was stated in recent article that scientific research and reports from farmers around the world have linked GM foods to thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock; thousands of toxic and allergic reactions in humans; and damage to virtually every organ studied. On a study done I 2009 on corn approved for human consumption, it showed that it had caused many negative side effects to lab mice that were fed that genetically modified corn diet in just 3 months. Within 3 months of consuming genetically modified corn, mice showed damage made to the heart, kidney, and liver. In reality, there are many negative side effects linked to GMOs causing both harm to humans and animals. So why keep consuming them?

Every time you walk into a grocery store you encounter millions of products to many of which it is unknown if they contain genetically modified organisms. More than 70 percent of foods in the United States supermarkets are said to contain GMO’s. Two of the top genetically modified crops in the United States are soy and corn increasing your probability of the consumption of GMOs due to the large amounts of processed foods in our supermarkets that contain corn and soy products. Buying fresh foods from local farmers is a great way to reduce the consumption of GMOs. Always reach for the product that is in its simplest form, whether it’s organically grown, grass fed or from a local farmers market. Educating ourselves on what we feed our bodies is a very important factor to continue a healthy lifestyle that can also help us improve in the gym. As a paleo fanatic and follower, I believe eating in the simplest most natural way just like our ancestors did is a great lifestyle that can change the way you look and feel for the better. I strongly believe nutrition is the root to optimal health along with staying active and exercising. Now would be a great time to rethink and restructure your diet to see if you notice a happier and better you. If you are lucky enough to have the help and support from the Crossfit Fury team like I did, you are off to a great start! Consider signing up for one of Crossfit Fury’s Paleo Challenges that go on throughout the year, you might like the new change!