Feel Better By Eliminating These GMO Foods
Have you ever wondered how the genetically-altered food we eat is actually made and how safe they are for human consumption?
GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
For consumers, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date so a non-profit called the Non-GMO Project, is commited to informing consumers and helping them to make better choices.
Agricultural products are segmented into two groups: (1) those that are high-risk of being GMO because they are currently in commercial production, and (2) those that have a monitored risk because suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred and/or the crops have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible.
The following are High-Risk Crops:
- Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
- Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
- Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
- Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
- Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
- Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
Monitored Crops (those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible; are tested regularly to assess risk:
- Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
- Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
- Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
- Cucurbita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
If you’re not interested in reading lables carefully, maybe just skip the processed foods altogether!
HIGH RISK GMO FOODS
#1 – Alfalfa & Dairy
The primary use for alfalfa is as a livestock feed for dairy cattle. Once that GMO hay is chewed by the cow, it goes into the cow’s system and thus becomes part of the milk supply. So, stay away from commercially produced milk and milk products—and skip the sprouts, unless they’re organically grown.
#2 – Canola
Canola oil is actually derived from the less marketing-friendly rapeseed. Food grade Canola was genetically engineered to lower the erucic acid levels, and when you ingest the oil, you’re eating a highly concentrated form of this GMO plant. The thing that makes avoiding Canola hard is that it’s an ingredient in SO MANY FOODS-especially since it’s been touted as the healthier choice in oils. It’s in everything from the hot food bar at Whole foods to mayonnaise to cookies, so if you’re buying prepared foods you really need to read the labels carefully and also watch the label for the salad bar where you're pickin gup your foods.
#3 – Corn
I'm glad I never really was a fan of corn. It was always weird to me because it doesn't break down in the bowel and comes out whole. WHAT?! Gross. Almost 90% of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. If you’ve chosen to eat corn, be aware that unless it’s got that USDA Organic label, it’s probably GMO. Watch for corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, and corn flour in any packaged foods you might be buying.
#4 – Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil is in a lot of processed food. The thing is, not only is it probably GMO, but cotton is also a highly sprayed crop—so it’s full of toxic chemicals.
#5 – Papaya
Most of the Hawaiian grown papayas are engineered. You may not be buying fresh papaya, but keep an eye out for papaya enzymes and watch your cosmetics—papaya extract is a popular ingredient in lotions, creams, shampoo, conditioner, and other beauty products. Remember, you probably shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put on your mouth.
#6 – Soy
Almost all U.S. soy is genetically modified. I'm not just talking about tofu, either. This darn genetically motified creation is in all sorts of things, including: textured vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, mono and di-glycerides, soy sauce, teriyaki, MSG (monosodium glutamate), soybean oil. Sometimes soy can be hiding in these ingredients as well: guar gum, vegetable starch, thickener, mixed tocopherols, and natural flavoring.
#7 – Sugar Beets
Yep, sugar is so bad for you for all the obvious reasons—and now here’s another one. Most white sugar comes from sugar beets, and 95% of them are GMO. If you want to use sugar at all, use pure cane sugar… or preferably, coconut sugar. If you’re buying packaged foods and trying to avoid sugar, good luck. It’s in everything from pasta sauce to chips.
#8 – Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash
Be sure to buy your zucchini and summer squash organic to make sure you’re not getting GMO.
These are the top eight high-risk GMO ingredients that are abundant in our food supply. Monsanto has actually developed a GM wheat, but it never made it to market because of economics—other countries wouldn’t import it. Ha Ha Monsanto - take that!
While some countries have supported bans on GM crops of all kinds, the U.S. is among the few that have embraced them. It’s time for us to fight back with the one weapon that does the most damage—the almighty dollar. Don't buy it. It will rot on the shelves and you can tell them at the time of checkout, "I will buy more organic foods from you, not GMO." They want your money, so they will ditch the bad and sell the good if you demand it. The more demand creates better pricing, so start demanding the best.