Francois Meehan via CompfightThere have been several stories in the news recently about genetically modified foods, also known as GMOs. Dr. Jennifer McLeod, a general dentist in Newberg, OR, takes a deep interest in the overall health of her patients, including what kinds of food they eat.
Whether genetically modified or not, the quality of food that we eat has a direct effect on our dental health.
What is Genetically Modified Food?
Genetically modified food has been grown with changes in the DNA through genetic engineering techniques. Since agriculture became a business run by corporations, food needed to be resistant to disease, grow faster and larger, and tolerate being shipped across the country. Genetically modified foods range from corn and soy products (such as syrups, sugars, starches and flours) used in processed foods to vegetable and fruit crops around the world.
Controversy regarding genetically modified food has picked up speed recently, with protests held across the country targeting corporations growing and selling these products. The areas of controversy include the public’s concern the harmfulness of genetically modified products, whether or not it should be regulated and labeled, and the effect of this kind of food on the ecosystem.
Cut Out Processed Food
One of the easiest and most beneficial changes to make for your health and for the environment is to stop consuming processed food. This kind of food is high in sugar, fat and calories and requires a lot of packaging that ends up in landfills. Processed food also contains high amounts of GMOs and not a lot of nutrition.
How Can We Find Better Food?
The basic fact of this matter in particular is that our bodies require food. With the absence of GMO labeling, it can be hard to know how to find nutritious food that will cause more good than harm. Here are some tips to help!
One of the ways to take good care of your health and the community is to shop locally for fresh fruits and vegetables in season. This is a great time of year for that strategy, as Farmer’s Markets are well underway and there has been a resurgence of organic and locally grown food. Shop every few days for the freshest, locally and organically grown vegetables and fruits whenever possible in your area, avoiding big chain stores and finding smaller neighborhood stores with this priority in mind.
Eat the Rainbow
As we have modified our food, it has gotten less colorful and nutritious. Instead of dull food, shop for brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that naturally grown food is smaller than genetically modified varieties found in larger grocery stores, but they also tend to taste more vibrant and are healthier for you.
Grow Your Own
This is the perfect time of year to start a garden, even if you are working with a small space. Seek out heirloom seeds that have been carefully cultivated in order to grow the healthiest varieties of food possible. These plants will be full of nutrients and you will know where your food is coming from!
The health of your teeth can give clues as to your overall health. Contact Newberg Family Dental here or call (503) 278-4281 to schedule your appointment!