To the editor: Gut check finds we are what we eat

Facts: Up to 287 chemicals have been found in the umbilical cord of newborns; the rate of autoimmune diseases, diabetes, obesity and cancers have increased along with the increase in the use of glyphosate; even non-GMO crops such as wheat, oats, barley and potatoes, are sprayed with glyphosate before harvesting; the Maximum Residue Level of glyphosate in drinking water is 7,000 times higher in the US than in the EU; as of 2018, there were 280 different pesticides listed on the VT Agency of Agriculture’s website and pesticide use doubled between 2013 and 2018; it now takes 25 apples, not one, to keep the doctor away because that one apple no longer has the nutrients it previously had; in 2015, the World Health Organization declared that glyphosate causes cancer, but the EPA continues to deny; 1 in 5 children are obese; 1 in 54 children are now diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as opposed to 1 in 5,000 prior to 1974 when Roundup (active ingredient: glyphosate) was patented.

Many of the health problems above are the result of conventionally grown food products containing few nutrients but plenty of toxins from glyphosate, neonicotinoids, dicamba and atrazine.  If you eat processed non-organic food, you are most likely eating GMO corn and soy that has been sprayed with toxins.

The facts are not only proven by scientific data, but millions have experienced first hand the debilitating effects of a processed food diet.  I was born in the UK and was fortunate to have been brought up on a good local farm fresh diet.  This was still the time when the meat was chopped to order and fish, eggs and dairy were delivered to your door.  It all changed in the ‘70s.

My gut issues started when I visited family in the USA in my early teens – what a vacation that was! – and I was allowed to eat the staple diet of most Americans: soda, hot dogs, processed packaged food, and white bread.  By the end of three weeks, my stomach was in knots and it never truly recovered.

Interestingly, when I return to the UK to see family now, my gut recovers quickly because the country has banned GMO crops and the water is relatively clean. However, despite eating a mostly organic diet for the past 30 years, by the time my children were born, the damage was done.  The scariest fact I have learned is that some of the worst effects of glyphosate can be passed on to your grandchildren and beyond.  In other words, if you have ever succumbed to “Big Ag” and its advertising – and most people have – its effects could go on for generations.

My advice: Buy fresh food from regenerative or organic farms and support your local farmers market.  Read the ingredients on packaged food.  And don’t use Roundup!

Anne D’Olivo

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