I have been getting asked this question lately so thought it would be a good topic to write about! So…here we go! (if you don’t feel like reading it all- just go towards the bottom and check out the most common GMO foods & the foods to buy organic)
What are Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO Foods?
Definition: Genetically modified (GM) foods are food items that have had their DNA changed through genetic engineering. Unlike conventional genetic modification that is carried out through time-tested conventional breeding of plants and animals. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology, and the resulting organism is said to be “genetically modified,” “genetically engineered,” or “transgenic.” GM products include medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, feeds, and fibers.
For centuries, food crops and animals have been altered through selective breeding. While genes can be transferred during selective breeding, the scope for exchanging genetic material is much wider using genetic engineering. In theory, genetic engineering allows genetic material to be transferred between any organism, including between plants and animals. For example, the gene from a fish that lives in very cold seas has been inserted into a strawberry, allowing the fruit to be frost-tolerant.
What are the dangers of GMO Foods?
Well….various feeding studies in animals have resulted in potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped cell nuclei and other unexplained anomalies, false pregnancies and higher death rates.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) recently released its position paper on Genetically Modified foods stating that “… GM foods pose a serious health risk”. The AAEM called for a moratorium on GM food, with implementation of immediate long-term safety testing and labeling of GM food. The AAEM is just one of many organizations worldwide calling for these steps to be taken.
By far the most common genetically modified (GM) organisms are crop plants.
It’s virtually impossible to provide a complete list of genetically modified food (GM food) in the United States because there aren’t any laws for genetically modified crops!
Some estimates say as many as 30,000 different products on grocery store shelves are “modified.” That’s largely because many processed foods contain soy. Half of North America’s soy crop is genetically engineered!
Solution…play it safe & buy organic and foods listed GMO free! If you can’t buy all organic due to budgeting, only buy organic from the list of foods most commonly genetically modified.
This is a short list of the genetically modified food crops that are grown in the US today:
• Soy bean
• Sugar cane
• Sweet peppers
• Cocoa beans
• Yellow squash
The scary thing is that each week more and more GMO foods are being created!
Following is a short list of processed foods made with genetically modified organisms:
• Canola Oil
• Cottonseed Oil
• Soy Sauce
• Frozen Pizza
• Frozen Dinners
• Dry Cereal
• Baby Formula
• Canned Soups
• Ice Cream
• Aspartame Sweetener
How to Eliminate Toxins from Genetically Modified Foods…
• Whenever possible, eat all natural foods. Shop at your local farmers market for fresh foods which supports your local economy.
• Use only organically grown fruit and vegetables. Organic crops are grown using no genetic modification or toxic pesticides and herbicides.
• Your zucchini and yellow squash may be genetically modified too. Use only locally grown or organic produce.
• Be careful to eat only organic varieties of popcorn and corn. They are very often genetically modified.
• Start your own organic garden. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your family. I LOVE growing my own herbs and veggies!! Even though Louisianan heat makes it tough during the summer
• When you’re shopping for meat and dairy products, be sure to look for the hormone and antibiotic-free, organic, range fed information on the label. (this includes protein powders- if you like whey protein try Blue Bonnet Whey Isolate OR my favorite Dale’s Protein powder, greens & bars..buy it here
• Avoid canola oil and cottonseed oil. Use instead, organic sources of grape seed oil, virgin coconut oil, hempseed oil and olive oil which are available at many grocery stores & your local health food store.
• Check your condiments – one of the most common ingredients is cottonseed oil (this ingredient is actually a very common food allergy that many people don’t know they have! It is founds in many snack foods such as peanut butter, chips, ect- so check your ingredients!)
• Aspartame is genetically modified and is very toxic, it’s best to avoid all products that contain this substance. Try some organic stevia! It is very sweet so you don’t need much of it & it will last you a good while
Keep a look out for:
Corn: corn oil, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn meal
Soy: soy protein, soy lecithin, soy oil, soy sauce, soy isolates
Canola: canola oil
Cotton: cottonseed oil
To sum it all up, just check the ingredients list of the products you buy often & stick with natural/organic foods as much as possible Hope this helps!
Have a great week, xoxo