We are a walking experiment for the food industry. From the time I graduated with my degree in nutrition to now, I have seen the food industry ‘advances’ come and go and what has always remained, is whole food by Mother Nature as the single best option for health. Zero calorie sweeteners, designed to satisfy our sweet tooth without weight gain; found to increase desire for sweets and promote weight gain. Partially hydrogenated oils invented to extend shelf life; increase artery plaque. Fortification of grains that have been milled; need powdered supplements added back (and don’t think for a moment manufacturers use the highest quality supplements). Genetically engineered or modified grain, vegetables and sugar beets have more herbicide residue, as well as small changes in nutrient content that add up to big changes in your health. If you were lucky enough to be born before 1960, most of your childhood food was grown without high nitrogen fertilizer and was not genetically modified. High nitrogen fertilizers leave behind nitrate/nitrite residue in the food (same stuff you avoid in hot dogs), and genetically modified plants tolerate higher levels of herbicides such as Round Up. If you don’t want to eat Round Up, you need to know if your food is a GMO. I can’t stress enough the importance of your right to choose what you want to eat. Some may choose to eat GMO grain, willing to be part of the experiment and that is their choice. I won’t stand in their way. But for the rest of us who want to wait and see, not putting ourselves or our children at risk for possibly cancer, autism, diabetes, mutations in DNA, digestive disorders, immune function changes, or some other risk we don’t well understand, we deserve the right to be able to avoid these foods if we so desire. Think I’m being dramatic? Would you spray a little lighter fluid on your food each day to see what happens? It costs manufacturers nothing to put the letters ‘GMO’ in the ingredient list on packaging that they already change continually to convince us the product is healthy or delicious. As your advocate for your health, I see whole unprocessed food fix a myriad of ailments everyday. I can only recommend you avoid GMO foods and I will be voting YES on Proposition 37 the California GMO Labeling Initiative. If you are a California resident, I encourage you to stand with me and vote YES for your health.
Author: Linda Illingworth, RDN CSSD
Linda Illingworth is a widely recognized nutrition expert, Board Certified Sports Dietitian, specializing in weight loss, diets for heart disease and cancer prevention, gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes. Utilizing her belief that “food is your best medicine”, Linda is masterful at designing personal nutrition plans that can prevent many health problems and increase longevity. Linda is the founder of Nutrition Muse, providing nutrition programs to individuals and corporations, works as the Registered Dietitian at Lifewellness Institute, and is the past Nutrition Director at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa. She maintains memberships with Dietitians in Functional Medicine of the American Academy of Nutrition, the American Society for Nutrition, and the California Dietetic Association. In addition, she is a featured expert at National University’s Integrative Medicine Health Review, works in partnership with the USDA as part of the Nutrition Communicators Network, represents Kids Eat Right with the American Dietetic Association, and provides peer review for Natural Standard, an international integrative medicine database. She attended California State University, Long Beach graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and then completed an internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee, a world-renowned pioneer in cardiac and cancer care. Linda has been seen on Los Angeles ABC news and in print media, such as the Los Angeles Times, Time, Inc., Well+Good NYC, Fitness, Spa, Malibu, Elite Traveler, C and Angeleno Magazines.