Learn about GMO foods: an interview with Leah Sedegie
GMO foods are genetically modified organisms created through gene splicing, and they’re finding their way into our everyday foods. Blogger Leah Sedegie (aka BookieBoo or Mamavation) is a strong voice against foods made with GMOs. She is arguably one of the most popular health and fitness bloggers on the web, and she has been campaigning to educate consumers about GMO foods.
Melissa Brodsky: Tell us a bit about you and why you got involved with the whole GMO movement?
Leah Sedegie: After my first baby was born, I spent hours breastfeeding and just surfing the internet. I came across information about the California initiative to Label GMOs and that caught my attention. I didn’t really know what a GMO was and people look up to me to know these kinds of things, so I started diving into the topic.
It wasn’t long before I found studies coming out of Europe stirring up debate about the safety of GMO foods. I usually take a pause when people are debating safety because I have a family to take care of. And then I found out that most of our conventional grocery store is full of genetically modified food.That was the point by which I got angry.
I was angry because I never consented. I had been feeding these foods to my family for years and didn’t even know. Why wasn’t I told about the possibility of the dangers? Why wasn’t this stuff labeled?
If there was even a possibility that it’s not safe, it should be labeled. Period. It’s an issue of health.
I tried to sleep on it but couldn’t, because I’m that person that has to do something if I have the ability to. And I did have the ability to broadcast this message to moms all over social media with my contacts and network.
So I contacted the campaign the following day and told them all about my social media reach, hoping they would get back to me. I wanted to help. And within 15 minutes, I got a phone call from them and I practically begged them to let me help and that is where the relationship started. I wanted to help spread the word and they needed help. It was a match made in heaven.
Then over the course of two months, I helped them create 150 million impressions in social media. Our target was the everyday mom like me who has no idea about this issue. She has a right to know.
MB: What exactly are GMO’s and why should we care?
LS: GMOs are genetically modified organisms. They are defined as “the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same” via ResponsibleTechnology.org.
We should care because they have not been proven safe. In fact, most of the world acknowledges this and labels or bans them for safety reasons.
We just don’t know. And biotechnology and chemical companies have a record for creating unintended problems and then covering them up. You only need to search on “Monsanto,” the largest biotechnology company in the world, to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
As it stands, over 80% of your grocery store is full of GMOs. The main culprits are soy, corn, canola, sugar, aspartame, cottonseed oil, paypayas and types of squashes. But it gets even crazier when you dive into all the hidden GMO ingredients.
Because corn and soy are subsidized by the government, they have created fillers, additives and preservatives out of them which are pretty much in everything that is packaged. Just take a look at Non GMO Shopping Guides list. And because the American public hasn’t been told about them, we eat them every day without our knowledge.
European public scientists are arguing that GMOs can cause the following issues per animal studies: cancer, allergies, intestinal problems like IBS or “leaking of the gut,” infertility, damage to liver and other organs, infant mortality, among other health issues you can find at Responsible Technology. We should care because if there is a chance that this is happening to us, we should label and avoid them just like they have all over the world.
You might also like:
• Top 10 free apps to help Mom organize
• Healthy holiday wine pairings
• Amazon launches kids-only subscription for Kindle Fire
• Best free food coupons of the week
• Teach your kids to protect their “Digital Footprint”
• Steal the beauty secrets from Victoria Secret’s 2012 fashion show