Molokai Mom On a Mission

 GMO Exposure

Community Contributed

Opinion by Mercy Ritte

Did you know that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is not only limited to the food we eat? Here is how we may be exposed to GMOs on a daily basis without even knowing it.

Personal care and cleaning products: The next time you lather lotion on your skin or clean your shower, have a look at the product labels you are using.  Among the incredibly long list of synthetic ingredients you may come across soy protein (derived from GM soy) or alcohol and glycerin (both derived from GM corn).  Some healthier options include Dr. Bronner’s pure castile soap for hair and skin cleansing, extra virgin coconut oil for hair and skin conditioning, and Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds to take care of your home cleaning needs.

Cotton: Seventy-six percent of BT cotton planted in the U.S. in 2012 was genetically modified, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  If your clothing and linen are not labeled organic, it is likely to have been manufactured with GM cotton.  Next to organic cotton other safe material include hemp, bamboo, lyocell/tencel, modal, linen, and Eco spun.

Soy Ink: A few decades ago, newspapers were once printed with petroleum-based ink.  Now a shift has been made toward using vegetable based inks, commonly derived from GM soybeans. Ninety-three percent of soy planted in the U.S. in 2012 was genetically modified, according to the USDA.  Knowing this, you may want to take extra precaution and cleanse your hands after handling newspaper.

Gasoline: GM corn has been approved to produce ethanol, now being mixed in with gasoline. Eight-five percent of corn grown in the U.S. in 2012 was genetically modified, according to the USDA. Perhaps this may encourage more of us to drive less and walk or bike more frequently, when possible.

Interestingly, while Monsanto claims to feed the world using biotechnology, quite a bit of GMO crops are not being grown for human consumption.

It is also important to know that it is through our permeable skin and airways that many potentially harmful substances enter our body and into our bloodstream.  Let’s protect ourselves, especially our children who are most vulnerable, by taking small, proactive steps to reduce our exposure to GMOs in our home.

For more information on GE crops in the U.S. visit: ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx#.UipkvxZD3dk.

GMO-Free Recipe:
Iced Lemongrass Tea

12 fresh lemongrass stalks, 1 or 2 outer leaves discarded
¼ cup honey
8 cups water

Trim off bottom 6 inches of lemongrass stalks. Cut enough lemongrass tops crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (discard any discolored parts) to measure 1 cup. Bring lemongrass pieces, honey, and 2 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until sweetener is dissolved, then remove from heat and let steep, partially covered, 20 minutes.

Put remaining 6 cups water in a pitcher. Blend lemongrass mixture in a blender until lemongrass is finely chopped (use caution when blending hot liquids), then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into water in pitcher, discarding solids. Serve over ice.


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