Thursday, October 18, 2012

Information Overload

The internet is great. It keeps us easily connected to loved ones. It helps us quickly find information. It helps us waste time. But sometimes the information that is easily accessible, maybe shouldn't be. We get sick or our kids get sick and we immediately google the symptoms and come up with the worst.

Today, I am researching Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This has been getting a lot of press lately and I have been reading more and more about them. It is SCARY!  Here's the Wikipedia definition:

an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods,

Genetic modification involves the insertion or deletion of genes. When genes are inserted, they usually come from a different species, which is a form of horizontal gene transfer. In nature this can occur when exogenous DNA penetrates the cell membrane for any reason. To do this artificially may require attaching the genes to a virus or just physically inserting the extra DNA into the nucleus of the intended host with a very small syringe, or with very small particles fired from a gene gun.

Ok. I am NOT a scientist, in fact, that was my least favorite subject in school. So, I'll be completely honest and just tell you that statement scares me. "the insertion or deletion of genes". Just doesn't seem right when we're talking about the food we eat. 

Before having children, I didn't think too much about food. When I was hungry, I ate what looked good. If it was a long day at work, we often made packaged dinners. Since my eating over-haul and having kids, we eat mostly "real" foods. (My term for it and my definition). My "real food" is that I don't buy boxed dinners. I don't buy many frozen dinners (every once in a while, you just need something easy, right?) I don't even buy pancake mix anymore (who knew how easy it was to make your own?!) But, I will buy the refrigerated pizza crust instead of making my own (bad, I know, but it's so much quicker!). We do our best to make everything homemade foods. 

I guess what I'm getting at, is HOW are we supposed to know what to eat anymore? Some days I feel like the more I learn, the less I actually know. Did you know there is even an app for the iPhone to help you determine what brands are nonGMO foods? I took a quick look and of course, it doesn't have my kids' favorite cereals (Honey Nut Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats). I've always thought their choices in foods could be worse, but now I am questioning everything. Even bread, flour, etc. UGH.

This site (here) seems helpful, but as with everything on the internet, I'm never quite sure which ones to believe. One of Jeff's favorite sayings that goes through my gullible mind often is "Don't believe everything you read on the internet!" My biggest issue is that they do not have long term studies on health effects and the studies on rats has NOT been good. 

How do you deal with information overload? Do you read everything you can and make an informed decision? Or are you more like me and partially bury your head in the sand until you can't ignore it anymore? What are your thoughts on GMOs? How do we keep our kids healthy?


  1. I try to eat as natural as possible all the time because I worry about all of that stuff a lot, but I feel like if you obsess it'll just make you crazy! There is so much info out there to be learned and discovered, but all in moderation! I really liked this post and am glad for all the info u shared!! Spa love!

    1. Thanks, Jenna. I am just trying to take it one day at a time and as you said, eat and feed my family as natural/whole foods as I can.

  2. Okay, I need the app, whats the name of it? I try to eat unprocessed foods most of the time, and I try to stay away from the HFCS at all costs. With the GMO movement, I am definitely on information overload, I really am nervous about it. Daily, I try to go back to the what my nutritionist told me - if it comes in a box or bag - don't eat it, if the box has more than five ingredients do not eat, no cold cuts (deli meats), or cheeses (go for the real cheeses) not's so hard with the children because they have limited diet but I try to follow this

    1. I've heard the same things about Deli meats, so what do you do for sandwiches/lunches? What if you buy the nitrate free meats? And cheese?! what? no cheese? I think my kids would move out.

      I do like the "if it comes in a box or bag, don't eat it".

      Good luck to you. We'll have to help each other through this crazy food world!

  3. Hi Anne, love the topic! I think a lot of the confusion has to do with the misinformation spread by the companies that sell this stuff. From the seed producers like Monsanto to the companies like General Mills, they have billions of reasons to make the truth hard to find in the hope we end up frustrated and keep buying the same food we always have. is the Wiki page of GMO foods, I think you will be surprised at the high % of common foods that are tweaked. has tips and downloadable shopping guides to avoid GMOs.

    1. Thanks for the links and tips, Royce. I think I need to just take it one day, one meal at a time.


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