I don’t often get to watch Jimmy Kimmel—his show is on way too late for the likes of me. However, I do have lots of patients and friends who send me clips when they think there’s something I just have to see. And recently, someone sent me a spoof Kimmel did on GMOs.
Personally, I think Jimmy is a good comedian… and I’m always up for a laugh. I’m okay with poking fun at just about everything—it often helps get issues out on the table that otherwise may get shoved under the rug.
This time, though, I do think he went too far… or, actually, not far enough. I’ll explain in a minute what I mean by that. But first, in case you missed it, the skit went something like this:
Kimmel interviewed people on the street who had no idea what GMOs were. And basically concluded that the “obsession” Americans have with not eating them is absurd, considering that no one knows what they are and why they’re bad for us.
Well, before going any further, let me tell you (and Mr. Kimmel) what GMOs are and how they impact your health. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. That includes animals, fruits, vegetables and everything in between. With the advent of modern agriculture, we have basically changed everything we eat from its original form.
That’s why every commercially grown tomato and apple in this country looks the same and has no flavor. It’s why produce can be picked months before it’s eaten and still be edible…-ish. It’s also, I believe, the main reason why so many people have issues with gluten. It’s not a fad or a trend. Rather, it’s a fact that, thanks to corporate behemoth Monsanto, almost all of the wheat grown in this country is genetically modified.
Our bodies don’t know what to do with this stuff. (That’s why people who are sensitive to gluten can eat spelt without the same stomach issues… because spelt is an ancient form of wheat and our bodies are already equipped to handle it.)
Let’s look at corn for a moment, shall we? Bees that pollinate genetically modified corn die. Considering almost 99 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified, is there really any wonder why we have so few bees left in this country? Now, consider this: If GMO corn kills bees, what is it doing to us?
The terrifying truth is, we don’t know. The rise of GMOs has only occurred in the past generation or two. So we’re only now seeing the effects of what genetically modifying the food supply does to humans. The genetic modification of food is one of science’s greatest living experiments. And we’re all guinea pigs.
Here’s some math: it’s been about 40 years when genetically modified crops and animals started to overtake our food supply — sort of around the time of, that’s right, you guessed it, the start of the diabesity epidemic. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
That’s why it’s worth the time—and extra expense, if you have it in the budget—to opt for organic produce and to buy meat from “heritage” animals (which trace back to the original animals who roamed the land, with no alterations down the line). They are out there, and if we start spending money on them, we will have more of them and the prices will come down. The next best thing is to look for free-range, grass-fed meat.
So, Mr. Kimmel, while you have the right to make fun of anything you want, we are in the biggest, most costly epidemic the world has ever seen. And your attitude towards GMOs make you look like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. I know you’re not obligated to save lives, but you missed a prime (and rare) chance to do just that. At the very least, you could have featured someone on the show, after the spoof, who could have briefly explained the other side of the story. That way, the spoof would have been just as funny, but there would have been some real meaning added behind the humor.
What’s a GMO? YouTube