What are GMOs & How Do They Affect Us?

| Pregnancy & Parenting

When you were growing up, your parents probably told you to eat your vegetables. It has been branded into your memory that to be healthy you have to incorporate some vegetables onto your plate, but what's really in those veggies? Some plants and meats are injected with a bunch of GMOs, which can be hazardous to your health. Let's take a closer look at what they are and how they affect us.

GMO

GMO stands for "genetically modified organism" whose genetic substance has been tampered with using a genetic engineering system. Just think about a plant that had its DNA artificially changed by a team of scientists. In the lab, they insert other genes from plants, bacteria, viruses and animals into the plant. Therefore, making a genetically modified plant. Meats go through the same process. Imagine having your body stuffed with bacteria from other people. Sounds crazy, right? Well, some plants and meats are genetically modified in order to protect them from diseases and pests. (via What Are GMOs)

GMOs are said to affect your insensitivity to food, therefore making you sensitive to foods that you had no problem eating before. Since plants and meats are modified with all kinds of genes, you may be sensitive to the new genes that are injected into your favorite food. For example, when soybeans are genetically modified, the genes produce new proteins that may not sit so well with some people. Not only do they cause food sensitivity, but GMOs could also affect your intestines. The protein that you are hypothetically allergic to in the genetically modified soybeans may still be produced in your intestines after you’ve stopped eating them, which is where intestine problems come into play. GMOs can affect a microorganism located in your intestine called the microbiome, which can experience an imbalance, which can cause irritable bowel syndrome. Sensitivity to food and intestinal problems go hand in hand, because your body tells you if a food didn't sit too well in your stomach. (via Underground Health)

gmo riot with a little girl holding a protest sign

There are toxins in plants that we eat, but they are in low doses. When new genes are put in your plants, you may not know what level of toxins come with them. GMO genes produce toxins and can cause problems with your kidney cells. According to Digital Journal, a natural insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis makes a toxin, which wreaks havoc on your kidney cells by killing the them off.

>> Read more: Extreme Food Frauds: 7 GMO-Filled Foods

Antibiotic resistance is another affect GMOs can have on you, which is problematic because your body needs antibiotics when you get sick. This resistance occurs because of the process the plants and meats go through; antibiotic-resistant genes are used when GMOs are injected into plants and meat. The insertion of GMOs is like a domino effect because once you process the antibiotic-resistant genes they put in the food, your body builds a resistance to the antibiotics that doctors try to give you when you need it the most.

>> Read more: Rise of Frankenfoods: Debunking GMOs 

The bottom line is that GMOs affect your body. Plus, they're sneaky, so you want to make sure you get foods that are labeled "GMO-free" and take the first step towards a healthier you.