Fit For Life: Monsanto, GMO’s + Healthy Eating

Saturday, August 31, 2013


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GMO's continue to be a controversial issue.

Recently, I asked my followers on Facebook, to tell me what topics they were interested in reading about, learning more about, and hearing my opinions and advice about. More than fitness, I heard there were lots of questions about whole foods, natural foods, what is organic, what are GMOs – and what should I eat – and where should I shop? There is so much confusion today. Are labels accurate? What’s the difference between what you read on the front of packaging and what is on the label – and how do you read a label?

You Can’t Exercise Out A Bad Diet

When people begin to work with me to attain better fitness, one of the first things I offer to do is to take them shopping. We learn about “whole” foods, and eating organic, or as near to organic as possible. We talk about “back to basics” and natural foods prepared in natural, wholesome ways. Watch how you prepare your foods and eat as natural as you can. You might even start by growing your own foods – and taking what’s growing now in your gardens, and bringing them inside for the cold season – no reason you can’t continue to have fresh herbs and other items all year round.

The GMO issue & labeling

What are GMOs? A genetically modified organism (GMO) is 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, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. Genetic modification involves the mutation, insertion, or deletion of genes. Over 60 countries have banned or restricted the production or sale of GMOs. They include Australia, Japan, and all of the European nations, but so far, no ban exists in the U.S.

As far as labeling goes, while products currently do not have to disclose if they contain GMO ingredients, they can note that they don’t – you’ll see the label usually on the front of the product - “Non GMO”. This is similar with RBGH found in dairy. You’ll see some cartons marked “No RBGH”. Locally, both Maine and Connecticut have passed laws requiring GMO labeling. Some food companies, such as Whole Foods, have partnered with the “Non-GMO Project” to independently verify which food items are Non GMO, with full labeling targeted for 2017.

Why GMOs?

Originally, GMOs were used as a way to keep growing foods healthier; as an herbicide. They were used to produce GMO corn, soy, and other basic food crops. No one knows the long term impact of GMOs in our food chain. There is much we do not know, but much to concern us, so I still go with some basic advice. If you want to be sure there are “No GMOs” in your food pantry, buy “organic”. Look for “No GMOs” on your food labels. Watch what you add to your foods to prepare them – oils, in particular. Think about that home garden. Read more about the issue. I’ve listed some good sources for more information, below. I like this advice the best, “if the food would not have been found in my grandma’s kitchen, then it won’t be found in mine.” Visit my page on Facebook and let’s talk about this more….

Centers for Science in the Public Interest:
The Non-GMO Projects:
Institute for Responsible Technology:
Doctor Oz on GMOs:
Whole Foods:

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Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt: [email protected], check out his website at or on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.


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