Helpful Tips for Avoiding GMOs
Since mandatory labeling of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the food supply is still just a cause worth fighting for in the United States, avoiding these toxic poisons can be difficult and confusing for many people. But once you know which crops tend to be GM, and learn how to identify the ingredients derived from them in foods, the process becomes a lot simpler.
The big three GMOs - corn, soy, and cotton
According to the latest data available from theU.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA)Economic Research Service(ERS), up to 86 percent of all corn; 90 percent of all soybeans; and 93 percent of all cotton planted in the U.S. is of GM origin. This means that virtually all food products containing corn-, soy-, or cotton-derived ingredients that are not certified organic are also of GM origin.
Paying attention to avoid just these "big three," which are prevalent throughout the food supply, is a great first step to eliminating GMOs from your diet. But in order to do this effectively, you need to be aware of the various ingredients and additivesderivedfrom these crops that are also commonly added to foods.
Besides the obvious culprits like corn chips or soy milk, many foods that may not necessarily appear to be derived from corn, soy, or cotton actually contain one or more of their derivatives. Corn meal, soy flour, corn starch, cottonseed oil, and soy lecithin are just a few of the GM ingredients you will find in many food products on store shelves today.
According to an information page created bySeeds of Deception, the following soy, corn, and cotton ingredients and additives are most likely of GM origin when not certified organic:
• vegetable oil, vegetable fat, or margarine• soy flour• soy protein• soy isolates• soy isoflavones• soy lecithin• vegetable proteins• textured vegetable protein (TVP)• tofu• tamari• tempeh• corn flour• corn gluten• corn masa• corn starch• corn syrup• high fructose corn syrup• corn meal
Be sure to check out theSeeds of Deceptionpage for complete information about GMO ingredients and additives, and what to look out for here.
Canola oil, sugar beets, conventional meat and dairy
Canola oil, also known as rapeseed oil in some countries, is another major GM product found in many salad dressings, dips, snack products, and practically anything that contains oil additives. Nearly all of the canola grown in the U.S. is grown in North Dakota, and at least 90 percent of it is said to be of GM origin.
Conventional products that do not specifically list sugar additives as "cane sugar" may be using beet sugar, the vast majority of which is of GM origin as well. At its peak, GM sugar beets represented a whopping 95 percent of all domestically-grown sugar beets.
Then we have conventional meat and dairy products, which typically contain GMOs due to the feed given to animals at conventional, factory farming operations. Unless certified organic or pasture-based, conventional meat and dairy products likely contain GMOs that made their way into the final product through the food chain.
Buy local and organic as much as possible
When in doubt about whether a product contains GMOs, just ask. Manufacturers that refuse to disclose whether or not their products contain GMOs are likely using them, so just avoid them. And always buy local and organic whenever possible to avoid GMOs.