The food world was buzzing last week with the announcement from General Mills that Original Cheerios are going GMO free. This is the only variety going GMO free, since original Cheerios are primarily made of oats, which are not genetically modified. The sugar and corn starches will be going GMO free.
The way that the media exploded with the announcement shows me that people are starting to demand GMO free foods, or at the very least, more transparency about what's IN their foods. This is positive progress.
But I can't help but feel that the hype can also distract from the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. GMOs in food or parabens and other chemicals in soaps or household cleaners are important to understand and good to avoid when possible. But limiting your exposure to these is a secondary priority. It doesn't matter if you eat GMOs in your breakfast cereal, if you're also addicted to soda and fast food and processed junk.
Sometimes it can be easy to grab on to the media's soundbites and think that those are the most important indicators of health, since it's what people are talking about. But the most important information is the most boring - that a healthy diet of clean foods, stress management and an active lifestyle are the largest contributing factors to your overall health and wellness. It's a lot easier to just start buying hand soap without parabens than it is to give up soda. (I know. I've been there.)
As you're thinking about setting priorities for your new year, focus on specific tasks that can help you hit those main priorities. Maybe it's avoiding fast food, cooking more often at home, drinking more water, or getting exercise 2 or 3 days a week. Choose small things to tackle, so they aren't so overwhelming. Take one step toward one goal, not 12 steps toward 10 goals. For example, if you want to cook at home more often, check out this post on where I get a lot of my clean recipes.