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Tag: gmo

Bought: The Truth Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma, and Your Food

If you haven’t seen the movie “Bought” yet, it’s free until March 15th, so click over there and sit back to watch the state of health in our country unfold before your eyes.Bought-movieBought-movie

The film looks at the connections between pharmaceutical company profits and vaccine safety, between the introduction of certain GMO seeds and the disappearance of the bees, and the infiltration of GMO products into our food supply and disease rates.

These are real problems that have been actively covered up by those with financial interests. I’m so glad that movies like this are being made and watched because, as I’ve said over and over in this space since 2008, you have to be proactive in looking out for your own wellbeing. When it comes down to a choice between safeguarding consumer health or a cheaper ingredient in a food or cosmetic product, too many corporations choose to take the lower road to higher profits.

If you still blindly believe that something is safe just because it’s always been done this way, I invite you to wake up to the first reality: things have changed. Vaccine ingredients and schedules have changed, processed food ingredients have changed from what they originally might have been, and our very food supply has been contaminated without our consent and without labeling.

I could go on and on, but watch the movie “Bought” and you can form your own opinions. It’s free until March 15th and then available to rent for a small fee.

Substitutes for Canola Oil

Reader question: After watching your TED talk and learning more about GMOs, I’m wondering: Do we stop using canola oil entirely, or just switch to organic, non-gmo canola? I don’t fry (because I’m too lazy to clean up), but I do use canola oil in baking, as I don’t use butter or any milk products. For salad dressings, marinades and stuff like that, I use olive oil. Thanks! ~Angel A., Denver, CO

Angel, I personally advocate for avoiding canola oil entirely.

Canola oil should not be your oil of choice when cooking or baking.
I think you should stop using canola oil.

Yes, I know that canola is used in many of the recipes in my cookbook, but I have learned a lot since I first wrote the book in 2001. I used to be a fan of canola oil, but now I know better. And so should you.

Not only is 90% of our canola crop now genetically modified, but canola is not from a plant that we ate during our evolution on this planet. In fact, there is no “canola plant.” A little history of canola oil can be helpful to know:

Rapeseed oil has been used as an industrial oil to lubricate machinery for a long time because it sticks to metal. During WWII there was a high demand for industrial lubricants and Canadian rapeseed oil producers expanded to meet the demand. After the war, there was an intense effort to breed a rapeseed plant that would produce a low erucic acid rapeseed oil to sell as a cooking oil for human consumption. In 1978, they named it “Canola” to stand for Canadian oil low acid.

The rest, as they say, has been marketing genius.

In terms of replacing canola oil, we want to look for a light, flavorless oil with a high flash point so that it won’t oxidize at higher cooking temperatures and can be used for frying, should you want to. Here are some better oils to consider in place of canola:

  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower seed oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Organic soybean oil

Is is Good to Use Canola Oil in A Glorious One-Pot Meal?

Reader question: Hi Elizabeth, I attended your 3rd breakout session at the NMO conference in LA last Wednesday 11/6. My name is Lora, I was sitting in the front row with my pregnant sister (she asked you about pesticides after the presentation…). Anyway, all of your books had been taken by the time I attended your session, so I bought one on Amazon. I was surprised that some of recipes called for Canola Oil. I might’ve misunderstood, but I thought you mentioned that Canola Oil was created by a chemical company (the name Canola even resembled the company’s name?). Can you please clarify for me? I was telling a friend at work that Canola Oil was bad, but then when your book was delivered to me over the weekend I saw it in your recipes. As a side note, I made my first ever all-organic shopping trip with my husband over the weekend and am committed to making-over our meals! Thanks for your insight. ~ Lora E., Phoenix, AZGlorious One-Pot Meals cookbook

Hi Lora. You’re right: there is a disconnect there. I wrote the cookbook in 2000 and I’ve learned a lot about healthy eating since then that has changed my mind about things like canola oil. During my cooking demonstrations I usually mention something to this effect, that I used to cook with canola oil but no longer believe it is good for human consumption.

The copy of the cookbook you are holding was published by Clarkson-Potter in January, 2009, which means I finished the actual writing of that version in late 2007. It is still in print (more than 50,000 copies sold) which means that until I’m otherwise notified by the publisher, I cannot make any changes to the current text.

Aaahhh… the frustrations of the printed page! It’s much easier to publish e-books because you can change text at will; once the plates are pulled for a print run of a book the text is set in stone.

So, the long and the short of it is that I used to cook with canola oil but I no longer think it is a good choice because it is a GMO grain. Here’s a blog post I wrote about my disillusionment with canola oil.

Let me know if you have any troubles as you prepare Glorious One-Pot Meals and remember that your oven needs to be fully preheated to 450 F before putting the pot inside. There are video cooking demonstrations here to help get you started.

Thanks for writing and happy cooking!

Hidden Places Where GMOs Lurk

Here are a few places where you might not think you’d find Genetically Modified ingredients, so be aware.

Breakfast cereals. Almost all of the corn and soy crops in the USA are now GMOs; unless your cereal sports the Non-GMO Project or Certified Organic seals, be certain that, by default, they contain GMO corn or soy.

Soda pop. If it contains high fructose corn syrup, you can bet it’s full of concentrated modified/mutated DNA. I’m pretty sure that there is not a GMO-free version of high fructose corn syrup, but let me know if I’m mistaken.

Chewing gum. If it contains Aspartame, it contains GMOs. Same goes for Diet sodas.

Chicken. Yep, those chicken nuggets, chicken fajitas, chicken sandwiches, chicken burritos… Even that plain grilled chicken breast on rice served at the luncheon and that roasted half-breast-and-leg portion offered at some fancy restaurants. All of that comes from chickens fed a feed made up of corn and soy. Yep, you guessed, it: unless it’s specifically labeled as Organic of GMO-free, it’s most assuredly chock-full of GMOs. So the chickens eat the feed and now they incorporate the GMOs into their flesh.

Eggs. See above. Always choose organic eggs.

Beef. Cows, too, are fed a feed made of GMO corn and GMO soy. The mutated DNA remains in the meat of the animal, which means that your hamburger is likely brimming with tinkered DNA.

Milk. See above. Studies have shown that GMOs pass into the flesh, milk, and eggs of animals fed GMO-contaminated feed. This goes for non-organic yogurts, too.

Genetically modified foods and your health

In a recent cooking class, a student raised his hand and asked: “What is so bad about genetically modified foods?”non-gmo project verified seal

Everywhere I go I hear variations on this question, and in some ways, it has become one of my missions to open our eyes about the dangers of GMOs.

Why are GMOs so bad?

Let’s just start by pointing out that we have been unwittingly made part of the largest experiment on the public health in the history of this planet. Twenty years ago, when the FDA approved the first genetically modified seeds for planting and introduction into the American food supply, all of the scientific research was presented by staff scientists for the chemical companies applying for the permission: Monsanto, Cargill, and others. Research had been limited to experiments of weeks and done on rodents, not humans. Despite these companies’ track records of assuring public safety with products like Agent Orange and DDT (Monsanto), the FDA took a “safe until proven otherwise” stance.

Did anyone ask you if you wanted to opt out of this experiment?

Current studies are linking GMOs to tumors and infertility, but the truth is that we really don’t know how bad they are for us. GMOs have infiltrated our food supply to the point that, unless you are very careful, every time you cook with canola oil or eat a corn chip or drink milk or have a soda with high fructose corn syrup, you are ingesting GMOs.

Genetically modified corn is designed to burst open the bellies of insects as a pest control method; our society is riddled with chronic ailments stemming from inflamed, leaky guts like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, chronic fatigue, migraines, and more. Could there be a link? Maybe.

The FDA says the jury is still out about the health effects of GMOs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to wait for them to make up their minds when it comes to my health. My goal is to avoid GMO foods whenever possible by buying organic and looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal on packaged goods.