As Mother’s Day approaches, I can’t help but reflect on how my mom’s advice continues to guide me, and my work at the Non-GMO Project to this day. When I first started writing this piece, so many of her insights (and quite a few rules!) came flooding back. If I had to choose the top three things my mom instilled in me, it would be the importance of education, the interconnectivity of life, and to trust my instincts.
The values I have around learning and living are all a direct result of the lessons my Japanese mother taught me. She believed that the key to a better life was to get an education; andto never stop studying. Like many of my friends, I was the first person in my family to graduate from university. She taught me that I live in an interdependent society – rippling out from my family and extending to my friends, community, and the world. My mom taught me that we are all connected and that the decisions I make impact others, even if I cannot directly see those consequences. She also taught me the power of common sense and trusting my instincts.
Food for Thought
My mom believed in simple foods, made with fresh ingredients. She used meat and fish sparingly; portions were small and were meant to complement the wide array of vegetables on the table. I don’t remember my mom spending a lot of time reading labels. So my food education didn’t begin in earnest until I was living on my own, cooking for myself and feeling very pinched for time.
One day, my mom commented on all the packaged foods in my pantry. She reminded me of the relaxing process of cooking, plating and eating. She acknowledged my busy schedule, but wanted me to be mindful of my ingredients. I realized that with a little extra effort, I could have both quality and convenience.
I have since graduated from Label Reading 101: Artificial Ingredients. However, given the complexities of our food system, I knew that continued education was required.
Label Reading 201: GMOs
My experience working in a bustling natural foods market first opened my eyes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and how prevalent they are in the products we put in and on our bodies. I considered myself a healthy eater, so I was truly alarmed to learn about high-risk crops (corn, soy, canola, Hawaiian papaya, sugar beets, zucchini, yellow summer squash, alfalfa and cotton) and how many common ingredients contain GMOs .
I joined the Non-GMO Project not only to expand my own food education, but also to empower others with the knowledge about GMOs and their impact on our health and the environment. The best decision I can make to avoid GMOs and pesticides is to choose organic and Non-GMO Project Verified whenever possible. When shopping conventional products, I look for the Project’s butterfly seal because I know all major high-risk ingredients have been tested for GMOs by an independent third party and my purchase is helping to build a non-GMO future.
We’re All Connected
People often think that the argument against GMOs is solely focused on the impacts of the technology used to create these transgenic crops; however, it’s important to remember GMOs are also are part of a system that has detrimental impacts on our health and environment.
Source: Living Non GMO