GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. The most frequent use of the term GMO is in relation to the food that we eat, in that many crops and factory-made foods are created from genetically modified ingredients. Genes from other plants, viruses, bacteria, animals, etc. are inserted into the genes of certain products such as corn to make them more stable and resistant to drought, disease and pesticides. However, because of this cross-breeding, the safety of such foods has not been able to have been proven and other countries (and some counties in the U.S.) have banned the modified foods from being imported and/or grown.
Now on to the health aspects of GMO’s. Though the goal of GMO crops is to make them less susceptible to pests, more resistant to drought and stronger overall, the actual result is that stronger pesticides will be needed for the stronger weeds and disease, just as overuse of antibiotics has created stronger strains of disease in humans. Do we really want stronger pesticides to be used on the food that we eat? I sure don’t, and that’s why I try to do as much shopping as possible at my local farmer’s market here in Red Bank, NJ. Even though the items are still not 100% organic, at least they aren't grown conventionally (with possibility of GMOs and harmful conventional pesticides). But still there are boxed foods in the grocery store that also have GMO ingredients in them, and as of today there are no rules that say that they must be labeled as such.
More and more consumers are becoming concerned about GMOs, yet most people don't know how to avoid them because the United States doesn't require GMOs to be labeled. Check out these 4 simple tips to avoiding GMOs, from the informative Non-GMO Shopping Guide.
How to Avoid GMOs:
Buy Organic. The USDA Organic certification prohibits GMOs. All the more reason to buy organic food!
Look for "Non-GMO" Labels. But remember: You won't just be looking for one. There are dozens of labels out there, be a food detective!
Avoid At-Risk Ingredients. These include corn (corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrups; sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose; and modified food starch), soybeans (soy flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone, vegetable oil, and vegetable protein), canola oil (also called rapaseed oil), cottonseed, and sugar (avoid anything not listed as 100 percent cane sugar, as well as aspartame).
Buy Products Listed in the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. Check out the downloadable guide here. They even have an app for your phone/iPod.
Keep it Fresh!
Information adapted from www.the goodhuman.com, www.deliciousliving.com, and www.nongmoshoppingguide.com