Remember the old saying “you are what you eat,” this comes to mind when discussing what exactly is being done to our food today. Many may not know what a “GMO” is or how to keep an eye out for them so we thought we’d share a few of the facts in order to better inform our readers, clients and community, making their grocery shopping that much healthier and less stressful…
So here it is:
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, they are “plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides….” In other words, they are not natural.
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So how does one avoid GMOs?
- Look for the labels. USDA Organic & The Non GMO Project are just a few examples. If you see “USDA organic” or “Non GMO” then your GMO safe for sure. It’s always good to go organic but USDA organic is a sure thing. They prohibited the use of GMOs in the production and handling of organic products in October of 2002.
- Eat more nuts, fruits & veggies. It’s much easier to find produce that is GMO free, just check the most recent GMO crop list and buy accordingly. If you need something on that list, just make sure it’s USDA organic. An excellent website and ap for confirming which foods are truly organic is: The non GMO Project and the Non GMO Project Shopping Guide ap. Wikipedia also keeps an updated list within their pages. We printed a few out and left them on our board for people to take. It’s always good to have a copy on hand for reference.
- Research your sources on meat. Meat can be tricky as the animals are often fed GMO products. Research must be done to find out which of your local farms raise GMO free meat and which stores support them. Make sure to cover all bases- milk, cheese, eggs, chicken, pork and beef.
- Know your additives. Corn, Canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets can all end up as additives within packaged food. Be aware of things like corn syrup, various oils, dyes, flavoring, etc. 70% of packaged foods contain GMOs. There are many companies who refuse to use GMOs. A few of them can be found at GMO Awareness.com.
- Keep updated on the GMO list (it grows longer & longer each year). Again, wikipedia is pretty good with the updates (see link above). Today the full list consists of: Alfalfa, Canola/Rapeseed, Corn, Cotton (cottonseed oil), Papaya (Hawaiian), Potato (food & starch), Peas, Rice, Soybeans, Squash (zucchini/courgette), Sugar Beet, Sugarcane, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Wheat and the newest addition- Arctic Apples.
- Grow your own food do the research, plant your own vegetables, and do it yourself.