The Primal Pioneer Podcast teaches you how to improve the environment you live, work, and exercise in so you can achieve optimal health. Heathar’s leading-edge teachings and expert interviews with integrative health professions teach you the most effective, simple yet deeply transformative solutions to overcoming and preventing every chronic disease today. You’ll walk away from this podcast feeling invigorated, inspired, and confident about your body’s incredible and natural ability to heal!
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Their Potential Health Risks with Zen Honeycutt
Genetically Modified Organisms are a regular part of many people’s lives and diets...but that’s because many people are unaware of the HUGE potential health risks associated with GMOs. That’s why episode 17 of the Primal Pioneer features a conversation about Genetically Modified Organisms between me and Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America, a national coalition of moms determined to raise empowered, healthy kids.
But before we dive right in, let me introduce myself in case this is your first visit. I am your host, Heathar Shepard and I am incredibly passionate about helping people JUST LIKE YOU find the health and happiness they truly deserve.
Besides being an alternative healer and integrative health coach, I’m also a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor who struggled for 10 years until I discovered the MOST important factor for overall health: the environment we live and work in. And in The Primal Pioneer, I share what 98+% of doctors don’t tell you (or don’t even know!) about true health and wellness. You’ll learn about the importance of sunlight, as well as the foods and eating cycles that heal the root causes of chronic disease. And in an age dominated by technology, you’ll discover how EMF mitigation can drastically improve your life.
Everyone has their own healing journey with their own unique struggles...but I’m here to give you all the tools you need to make that healing happen!
So if you’re ready to learn more about how Genetically Modified Organisms can negatively impact your health and that of your family, keep reading! And for even more details, listen to ALL of episode 17 of The Primal Pioneer on your favorite streaming platform.
What To Know About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Point #1: Zen’s journey to becoming an advocate against GMOs.
Zen Honeycutt is a pioneer in the field of GMOs in terms of educating the world on this subject. So to start our talk, I asked her to give us a little background on how she got involved in this work.
According to Zen, she didn’t want to be a pioneer in this field, but after her child began having multiple rashes, autism symptoms and autoimmune issues, she dove head-first into figuring out what was wrong and what she could do to help. That’s when she found out about GMOs and thought that they and the related chemicals used to grow them were hurting her kids. So, she took her kids off of GMOs for four months, and within four months, her older son was dramatically better. Because Zen had this hunch and there was a major GMO-labeling initiative (Prop 37) going on, she also got involved by passing out flyers at a farmer's market.
But when Prop 37 was lost, Zen wondered what could’ve happened if she had taken on a leadership position. So she came up with the idea of Moms Across America and doing a march to call for labeling GMOs. And slowly, Moms Across America became a national nonprofit organization. And with the help of others who share Zen’s vision, she just keeps going forward.
I think one of the most powerful messages we can all take from Zen’s story is that a lot of moms have experiences where they feel something is off with their kids, whether it’s physically or emotionally. But they often don’t connect the dots or dig deeper into possible causes, and Zen’s story shows the benefit of going for it and finding out everything you can actually do.
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What To Know About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Point #2: Why going 80-20 organic is not enough.
Once Zen learned about GMOs and removed those from her son’s diet, she still wasn’t strict about eating only organic. Like most Americans, she thought following an 80-20 organic diet was OK. But then she found out that glyphosate - the number-one weed killer in the world - isn’t just sprayed on GMO crops that are engineered to withstand it so that the whole crop could be sprayed and only the weeds would die. It’s also used as a drying agent for crops that are not genetically modified, like wheat, peas, beans, legumes, sugars. And it’s important to know that glyphosate doesn't wash off, dry off or cook off. So to avoid this glyphosate chemical, everything has to be organic.
That seemed tough to Zen, but she knew that’s what she had to do for her family, just like she had to look at what was going on in their food supply. And she discovered just how dangerous glyphosate in non-GMO foods can be when she helped convince a lab to initiate the first glyphosate testing in America. She sent them her son's urine at the time he was experiencing autism symptoms, and his levels of glyphosate were eight times higher than anyone who had participated in a similar test in Europe. And this was after Zen’s family was 80-20 organic.
So Zen’s family went all organic, and her son also went sugar-free to help his gut health. And after six weeks and a new test, his glyphosate levels were no longer detectable and his autism symptoms were gone and have never come back. Then glyphosate testing took off in the United States and is now pretty common.
Places like France and Germany have also stopped using glyphosate as a drying agent, and most wheat crops in Canada are no longer sprayed with glyphosate. Even large companies like General Mills no longer accept oats that are sprayed with glyphosate. While her organization can’t take full credit for these changes, Zen is proud of the effort made by the moms of Moms Across America to help raise awareness about glyphosate.
What To Know About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Point #3: Basic facts everyone needs to know about GMOs and glyphosate, and how they can negatively impact your health.
So let's get into some more specific facts about GMOs and glyphosate. First, there are three types of GMOs:
- B.T., which is when a toxin from the carcass of a dead green caterpillar has been reengineered to constantly produce more toxins. Normally, when a B.T. toxin is used in organic crops, it dies out in about four hours and isn’t toxic anymore. But GMO engineering causes more toxins to constantly be produced and for the pesticide to be built into the plant we eat.
- H.T., which is what 80 percent of GMOs are. Farmers can spray the crop so that the weeds die, but the plant still survives. The problem is, these sprayed crops carry a lot of residue with them: up to 1000 parts per million of glyphosate. And it only takes like one part per billion to destroy your gut.
- D.T., which is a class of GMOs where people are not using pesticides or herbicides. Instead, they’re genetically engineering crops for a desired trait, like for a potato to not brown.
Glyphosate fits in with the middle GMO described above: H.T. And the problem with glyphosate is that it was originally used as a pipe cleaner because it grabs onto heavy metals and the nutrients and vitamins of any living thing. So that's why the plant dies if it hasn’t been engineered to survive glyphosate. So what do you think happens when you spray that on your crops and the food that people eat? All of these foods that you normally get nutrients from become severely deficient.
We've been using glyphosate for 40 years and predominantly in the past 10 years. And surprise, surprise, that's when we’ve seen this leap in the number of Americans with chronic illness. Glyphosate is also:
- An endocrine disruptor that can lead to all kinds of hormonal and cancer issues.
- A neurotoxin, meaning it can damage the brain and contribute to mental illness and autism.
And Zen and I are sharing those facts because it puts GMOs and glyphosate into perspective. People need to hear a much more complex message than just “eat organic.”
Hi, I am Heathar
With over 12 years experience as an alternative healer, integrative health coach and one who has been through severe physical injury trying every remedy under the sun to heal myself with no avail…I’m here to tell you, all of those things are not only attainable but are foundational to achieving optimal health and are core elements to overcoming all chronic and stubborn diseases.
At the age of 23 I suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) preventing me from the ability to engage in physical activity for over 12 years post my car accident. Today, I know I could have recovered from this injury much quicker if I had known then what I know now! But….the accident lead me down the healing path. A path that I was destined to take to help myself heal and to learn how to help others heal complicated and chronic disorders as well.
During this time, I learned two things: How to harness the healing power of sunlight and how to utilize frequency based medicine to facilitate biological transformations in the body - all the way down to the mitochondrial level.
Today, I lead an active life and you can bet I’m uber passionate about teaching others how they can overcome even the most daunting health experiences that most medical professionals have band-aid solutions for, at best.
And today, my health continues to improve each day and I now lead an active, healthy lifestyle - all of which I thought would never be possible to achieve again. All it took was discovering the most effective path to health and healing to get me there and now, to help my clients get there as well!
What To Know About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Point #4: The connection between GMOs, vaccines and negative health impacts.
Another topic related to GMOs that is important to discuss is vaccines. After Zen started looking at the ingredient labels of food, she began to realize that a lot of ingredients in vaccines could include GMOs. And when Zen sent five vaccines for glyphosate testing, all five tested positive. And although Zen and others sent various testing information to the FDA and the CDC, both associations assured them that the vaccines are highly tested and safe.
What’s especially concerning for Zen is that people are developing new vaccines for different, vulnerable groups of people, like pregnant women, children and the elderly. And it’s unclear if all or any of them will be tested for glyphosate contamination and other toxins like aluminum. And the passing of aluminum from the blood-brain barrier into the brain is the cause of the autism epidemic.
It’s also important to realize that vaccines like the flu vaccine have an 80-something-percent chance of not being effective but a 100-percent chance of you being injected with aluminum and BT. That’s why I would rather boost my immune system naturally by getting outside, changing my diet to non-GMO and organic, getting vital nutrients like vitamin C and D and E, etc.
There’s also a racism issue with vaccines. Science shows the African-American population is more highly impacted by junk food and vaccines. They aren’t getting the diagnosis of having autism due to a lack of access to quality health care, but a study showed that African-American boys had significantly higher levels of autism when given the MMR vaccine. And it’s interesting to consider the role vitamin D might have to play, as people with darker skin tones need more sunlight to produce vitamin D.
What To Know About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Point #5: Actionable steps you and food producers can take to contribute to a more nutritious food system.
So what labels should you watch out for while grocery shopping? First of all, the best option is to grow your own food. Next, look for organic and certified organic foods, and try to go with the 100% organic and USDA organic as much as possible. In addition, if you can buy a product that has organic and the non-GMO project verified little orange butterfly on it, that's the best because organic means non-GMO, but they don't test for contamination.
Now, Moms Across America is taking matters into their own hands. They’ve created the Moms Across America Gold Standard, which has three, four and five tiers of stars. This gold standard is for everyone to celebrate and acknowledge companies that are not only making food that's good for our families, but good for the planet.
Zen is also working with others to raise awareness of the recent FDA changes due to Coronavirus. They announced that food manufacturers can substitute ingredients due to shortages in the food supply and not update their labels. So for example, they could sub sunflower oil for corn oil or canola oil and not change the label. And that is a huge problem because plenty of people could die from consuming food with a non-updated label. And you can go to Moms Across America dot org and their blog will have articles on this topic and links to allow listeners to take action.
It’s important to also know that food producers can be part of the solution. For example, if commodity crop growers of corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, etc. just switched one percent of their crop acreage to mixed vegetables - in a method called “chaos farming” - that would increase the access to organic mixed vegetables in food desert areas across the United States by 50 percent.
Right now, animal processing centers also have reduced safety regulations as a side-effect of Covid-19 and being ordered back to work. As a result, it is a lot more likely that factory farm food is going to be contaminated with feces and disease. So, listeners, please go to your farmer's market and look for pasture-raised, non-GMO organic meats.
And for Zen, the even more important action to take is to empower and educate yourself. Do not accept that your family has to cope or survive with health problems. And Zen especially recommends reading her book, Unstoppable: Transforming Sickness and Struggle into Triumph, Empowerment and a Celebration of Community. Because that book will empower you in all areas of your life, especially in food and health. And then you can use that knowledge and empowerment to take care of others. Because right now, we don’t need more leaders. We just need people to take care of each other.
The Bottom Line of What To Know About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
The ground Zen Honeycutt is covering and the knowledge she is spreading about GMOs is huge and truly changing people’s lives and health. And I am sure that by the time you finish listening to this podcast episode, you will feel not only called to take control of your health through the foods you are eating but also empowered to take part in the movement to make food safer for everyone in America. For more information about how you can help change America’s food system for the better, check out the Moms Across America website.
And to work with me with Individual Radical Health Coaching, email me at Heathar.firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via my website, heatharshepard.com
And to hear even MORE about all four points outlined above, be sure to tune in to episode 17 of The Primal Pioneer on your favorite podcast streaming platform! And if you love this episode, don't forget to take a screenshot, share it on your Instagram stories and tag me @sunlight_rx so that we can spread this important message to even more people.
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