I love corn on the cob. Sometimes there is nothing better than getting stuck into a freshly cooked cob smothered in butter and topped with salt. I remember being in Bali where the locals would grill it on the sandy beach in front of your eyes, while your mouth watered in anticipation. The more I learn about corn however, the more put off I am. Particularly any corn grown in America. I now refuse to eat the stuff.
Almost all corn in the United States is genetically modified. Genetically modified foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). What exactly are GMOs? Basically, GMOs are plant or meat products that have their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other animals, viruses or bacteria.
In the summer of 2012, mass quantities of GMO corn began appearing in grocery stores and even roadside produce stands. Why? Corn is genetically engineered to be herbicide resistant and to produce its own insecticide. This is because it is grown to withstand Monsato’s Roundup pesticide and live, while weeds around it die.
Studies have shown that GMO corn contains extremely high levels of toxic chemicals. According to one study, GMO corn contained a number of elements absent from traditionally-grown corn, such as chlorides, formaldehyde (hello – this is used to preserve dead bodies!) and glyphosate. Consumption of glyphosate has been linked to organ damage in tests on animals. Another study has shown that GMO corn causes cancer in rats. Eek!
Another shocking downside is that GMO corn can be found in almost anything – from food containing corn syrup, to snack bars, crackers, cookies and baby formula. Further reports estimate that up to 70 per cent of processed foods at the supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients. There is currently no way to measure the percentage in each individual food however as companies are not required to state this on the packaging.
For this reason, I now avoid corn and all corn products like the plague. For completeness, the top seven genetically modified crops grown in the US are:
- Soy (another reason I avoid this)
The takeaway from this is to try to buy certified organic produce wherever possible. This way, you are guaranteed you will not be consuming these harmful toxins.