What's the Deal with Glyphosate?
WARNING: Read this before you hand your child another pile of cheerios!
It’s being talked about more and more in the news. Glyphosate. Also known as Roundup. Heard of it? A man just won a huge case against Monsanto (the manufacturer) by proving it caused his terminal cancer. How about GMOs? Much of the reason food is genetically modified is to resist herbicides like Roundup. So, Monsanto sells farmers the GMO seeds that can survive the weed-killer they also manufacture. See what’s happening here?
So…what is glyphosate? And how does it impact us?
Glyphosate acts as an herbicide and pesticide. It kills weeds and bugs. Herein lies our problem.
Can you think of any beneficial bugs you might not want killed? How about the ones living in our gut?
Yep, our microbiome…our gut bacteria. It destroys them too.
Regularly eating glyphosate-laden foods basically equates to regularly consuming antibiotics.
Our microbiome is critical for our overall health and proper body function. In many ways, we are more microbe than human. Our bodies contain roughly 150 times more microbial DNA than human DNA!
Our beneficial bacteria determine our gut health, which determines our:
and on and on!
A healthy gut and microbiome help protect us from:
digestive dysfunction (reflux, IBS, etc)
autoimmunity (crohns, hashimotos, MS, etc)
even autism, etc
This is not to be taken lightly.
Destroyed microbiome = destroyed health.
Not to mention glyphosate puts a heavy toxic burden on our body and inhibits the body’s ability to detox.
In addition, our immune system will attack whatever the glyphosate is attached to, which leads to future reactions to that food (haaaaay gluten/corn/soy allergies)!!
Glyphosate is even showing up in our water, urine, breast milk, etc.
This is why avoiding glyphosate is so important. The problem is…it’s EVERYWHERE! It’s not only widely sprayed as an herbicide by farmers, but it’s also used to desiccate (dry out) crops like oats and wheat right before harvest (both GMO AND non-GMO…yep). Heck, your neighbor is likely using it to kill the weeds in his yard. It’s hard to avoid, but it’s not hopeless.
So, what do we do?? How do we avoid it?
Want to know where glyphosate is found in the highest concentrations?
Conventionally grown crops of any kind, especially grains (oats, wheat, soy, corn), but also veggies, fruit, nuts, sugar, beer, vegetable oils (esp canola), feminine hygiene products (cotton), and meat/dairy from conventionally raised animals (grain-fed…after all, you are what your food eats!), the list goes on. In addition, any non-GMO crop that is desiccated before harvesting. Oh, and possibly your lawn, your kid’s playground…anywhere people are spraying for weeds. It even makes its way into organic crops due to environmental cross-contamination!
The truth is overwhelming….so, how do we minimize our exposure?
THIS is one of the main reasons buying organic and pastured/grass-fed is so important! And, if you can buy local and talk to your food producers, even better!
Although there’s always a chance of environmental contamination, organic means the farmer doesn’t use glyphosate as an herbicide or desiccant, so you’re definitely reducing your exposure. Try to avoid processed and packaged grain-based foods, like cereals, in general. Aim for whole foods. One vegetable is better than lots of processed grain condensed into one cracker! In addition, big companies who do both conventional & organic (or organic brands owned by larger corps) may often have adjacent fields, so cross-contamination to organic products is more likely (ie Quaker, Kashi, Annies, etc). Also…talk to your neighbors…talk to your school district…make different choices about how you handle weeds and pests around your own home.
If buying organic and grass-fed feels like it might break the bank, I encourage you to think of it as an investment in your health and a sort of insurance policy against expensive future medical bills. Try to at least avoid the “Dirty Dozen” list and conventional grains. I also highly recommend grass-fed/pastured animal products (conventional and grass-fed can’t even be compared in nutrient value, toxic load and environmental impact).
The question is really how, where and when do you want to spend that money?
Vote with ya dolla billz, friends!
If you want to see lists of glyphosate levels in common foods, check out these links:
Okay, then. What are some alternatives?
I’ve had a lot of parents asking…
”So, what do I give my child instead of cheerios?”
Cheerios continually show up as the worst offender when it comes to levels of glyphosate…yet they are the most common quick snack given to babies. This is a problem.
As mentioned before, I first recommend quality whole foods like organic veggies, fruit, nuts, pastured eggs, and grass-fed meat for little ones.
If you need quick easy carby snacks, I recommend looking for options that are grain-free and organic. They are not perfectly clean and they’re not whole foods, but they are great in a pinch. Here are a few options:
Love Grown Power O’s Original Flavor (made from beans…closest alternative to Cheerios)
Plantain Chips made with coconut oil like these or the Terra brand
Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips made with coconut oil
This brand looks to have some good options: Nosh
There are so many other alternatives now, I recommend going to your local healthy grocery store to wander the snack aisle and read labels!