Glyphosate & The Weekly Menu Sept. 11, 2017

the weekly menu sept. 7

Let’s Talk About Glyphosate

This week I want to talk a little more about glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Round-Up) and GMOs.

Glyphosate is designed to kill weeds and normally sprayed on genetically modified  organisms (GMOs) who are modified to be resistant to it.  In this case plants like corn, soy, and beet sugar.

Glyphosate targets and blocks an essential pathway in plants, fungi and bacteria (but not mammals) leading to the eventual death of those organisms.

Specifically, it inhibits the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthetase (EPSPS).

This enzyme plays a critical role in the Shikimate pathway.  That pathway synthesizes the amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan.  When EPSPS is inhibited by glyphosate, these amino acids are no longer made available for biological function.  And the organism dies.

Is it Safe?

In 2018, plaintiffs won a lawsuit against Monsanto linking glyphosate to cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Here is the trial tracker for ongoing litigation in 2019.

And evidence shows that they paid scientists to publish articles with Monsanto backed studies.

Before the litigation, it was argued that glyphosate is safe for humans because it does not affect our biological pathways.  Because we specifically do not rely on the Shikimate pathway to make the amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan.

But what about our gut bacteria?

We now know that we have important microbes in our gut, on our skin and in our environment that can assist us biochemically and metabolically.

Not all EPSPSs are the same.  In one of the Monsanto patents, they have separated EPSPS into two classes.

  • Class I EPSPS is inhibited by glyphosate (meaning exposure kills the bacteria, fungi and plants)
  • Class II EPSPSs are tolerant to glyphosate (created by selective pressure and patented by Monsanto)

There are amino acids in certain portions of the Class II EPSPS that confer tolerance to glyphosate.

These types of resistant genes come from a few species of bacteria that actually mutated to survive excess glyphosate exposure in run-off pools and other concentrated exposures.

And those mutant genetic sequences that developed resistance were cloned and patented.  Then transferred into corn or soy becoming genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Then sprayed with glyphosate to kill weeds around the GMO crops.

Of course, then the weeds became resistant to it as well.

I do just want to say that GMOs that don’t use poison as a selective pressure are actually pretty incredible, in my opinion.  Adding vitamins to rice or internally stopping viral infections in fruit is very useful.

So Many Questions?

And now glyphosate is being used on non-GMO plants, too for desiccation.  Like wheat. And oats.

Is everything contaminated with glyphosate now?  Is glyphosate killing off the microbes in the soil?  In our gut? 

How similar or diverse is EPSPS among a wide variety of microbes, good versus bad bugs?  Especially, between pathogens and beneficial bacteria.

Is it in Our Food?

So for a long time, I have wondered if glyphosate in the environment and even in our food supply was killing off microorganisms in mass.

If it is in our food, how much?  And how is it metabolized in our bodies? Is it harmful not only to our gut bacteria but what else does it do?

Is it triggering people genetically predisposed to Celiac disease?  Other diseases?  And at what dosage?  There are a few studies trying to understand this.

We shop for non-GMO foods to mainly avoid glyphosate but that label isn’t really an assurance.

Especially, as brands like Triscuit put the label on their wheat crackers.  Wheat isn’t a GMO, but are they free from glyphosate?

So I’m very excited about The Detox Project and testing products for glyphosate residues.  Then they will label glyphosate residue free.  It is a much clearer label.

Anyway, these are the things I think about.  And week by week, we try to keep it our food “free from” and as clean it as possible.  We are always learning and evolving.

Personally, I’ve noticed remarkable improvement in my health and reduced my inflammation significantly since we avoiding glyphosate in our food.

The Weekly Menu Sept. 11, 2017

It’s mostly non-GMO or organic, and totally “free from” gluten, dairy/casein (except goat cheese or Parmesan), xanthan gum, and more…

Meatless Monday –  Roasted Cauliflower tossed in Buffalo Sauce and  Fried Artichoke Hearts, Celery and Vegan Ranch Dressing

Tuesday – Chicken Tortilla Soup

Wednesday – Greek Salad

Thursday –  Spiced Roasted Chicken (we’ve started using organic air-chilled chicken) & Roasted Seasonal Organic Veggies

Friday – Dinner Out

Saturday –  Italian Turkey Meatballs (using Little Northern Bakehouse bread ends to make bread crumbs and locally sourced ground turkey) with Organic GF Pasta & Red Sauce

Sunday – Homemade Beef Stew

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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