Like most mothers, Zen Honeycutt had trouble making sense of the information and misinformation surrounding the effects of genetically modified foods on growing children. At the young age of 8 months old, one of her sons began experiencing concerning allergic reactions to milk products. Then when he was five years old, he had a nearly fatal reaction to a nut at a family Thanksgiving dinner. Neither Honeycutt nor her husband had food allergies; she knew something was wrong.
She dove deep into the research about the health effects of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the toxic herbicide glyphosate to see if they might be responsible for the life-threatening reactions her children were having from everyday foods. Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide commonly found in products like Roundup® and is used primarily to kill annual weeds that compete with crops. This is how it glyphosate may end up in your food.
Honeycutt resolved to remove foods that could potentially contain herbicides from her family's diet by going completely organic and non-GMO. And guess what? Within one to two years, her son's allergy symptoms reduced dramatically. And in the process of being more careful and selective about the foods the Honeycutt family consumed, they all learned more about the nutritional impact of food as well as some of the little-known side effects genetic modifications can have to our overall health.
The chilling link between glyphosate and infertility
According to a 2013 journal report from Entropy, glyphosate residues on food have been found to be a pathway to an array of modern diseases-- despite the industry (read: Monsanto) insisting that herbicides are minimally toxic to humans. New reports suggests that ingredients in herbicides like glyphosate are anything but harmless to humans and that they may even be responsible to inducing some of the diseases most associated with the Western diet.
"Glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins," the Entropy study states. "Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body."
In addition to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, cancer and Alzheimer's disease, infertility (in both men and women) is another major damaging effect linked to the consumption of or exposure to glyphosate. The absorption of glyphosate reduces your body's bioavailability of both cholesterol sulfate (which play an essential role in fertilization in women) and zinc (which is essential to the male reproductive system).
And it's not just food that contains glyphosate. Researchers at the University of La Plata in Argentina discovered that 85 percent of tampons contain glyphosate. This is because most of the cotton we produce has been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate. So when cotton is sprayed with the herbicide, the cotton can absorb it directly.
How can I tell which foods have been genetically modified?
Unfortunately, discerning what foods have been genetically modified is no simple task. Although Congress recently passed a controversial GMO-labeling bill, GMO foods in your local supermarket are not required to be labeled as bioengineered under federal law (yet). However, there are two standardized labels that guarantee that a food is free of (less than 1 percent) GMO ingredients-- USDA organic and the GMO Project Verified Seal. Look for these labels when shopping for GMO-free groceries.
Zen Honeycutt advises mothers or women who are trying to conceive to switch to a 100 percent organic diet for their family. That's why Honeycutt founded Moms Across America in order to raise awareness about GMOs and their effects on health and the future of American agriculture. She wants all families to understand the dangers of herbicide exposure and switch to an all-organic diet.
But aren't organic foods generally about 47 percent more expensive than non organic foods? According to a 2015 Consumer Reports study, yes they are. But Honeycutt argues that due to the rising healthcare costs linked to the many health issues associated with inorganic foods (especially ones containing glyphosate), you may not be able to afford to not eat organic.
Honeycutt suggests getting creative with your family meals. Eating out less and cooking organic meals at home is one of the best ways to go organic without going breaking the bank. Rather than eating french fries at a local restaurant, you could make fries at home using 100 percent organic potatoes and olive oil. Try reducing your meat consumption (organic meat can be expensive), buy organic foods in bulk, or try buying produce in season.
Choosing organic and GMO-free foods is one of the best ways for you and your family to bypass the harmful effects associated with consuming bioengineered foods.
Make the switch to organic and non GMO foods and join the 3- Day Fertility Diet Challenge. Packed with chef prepared recipes that will help prepare your body for a baby!
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!