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Mother Nature is a pretty smart gal. When she is respected and cared for, she will give us some amazing foods that not only nourish our bodies, but also allow them to thrive. Now, the problem is that there are these other foods in the supermarket, created by corporations who think they know better than Mother Nature. They have taken corn, canola, flax, soy, rice, papaya, sugar beets, alfalfa, and zucchini and altered their genetic makeup by inserting foreign genes into their DNA. In fact, 80% of the processed foods in the United States contain these genetically modified organisms, called GMO’s for short.
Should You Be Concerned?
First, let’s go over a few things. You may have heard people praising the creation of GM crops because of the possibility to create crops with added nutrients, energy efficiency, greater yield potentials, and the ability to thrive in harsh environments. In actuality, GM crops are doing more harm than good.
From a health standpoint, safety testing is done through a process called voluntary self-regulation, meaning that it is the responsibility of the corporation to prove to the FDA that their GM crop is safe. This leads to the possibility of biased results and reporting. This is also a problem because of the subjective measurements used for defining a safe GMO. The FDA uses the idea of “substantial equivalence” to decide if a GM crop is safe for consumption, which is the idea that a GM crop can be considered equivalent to its non-GM counterpart if their fundamental components (i.e. fat, protein, and carbohydrate) are similar. However, independent research has found significant differences in the nutrient, vitamin, and protein compositions of many GM crops.
How Can You Find GMO-free products?
You might also be saying to yourself, “If GMO crops are so harmful, wouldn’t the FDA outlaw them?” The fact is that the laws for regulating these crops are very lenient. While more than 50 countries have restrictions or bans on the production and sale of GMO’s, the United States does not even require labeling. The FDA states that labeling would imply potential health risks, and they state that there is no evidence suggesting any need for concern.
Perhaps they are right. However, if you’re not convinced and still want to be careful, here are 5 easy ways to avoid GMO Foods.
1. Buy Organic
Buying organic is a great way to avoid GMO foods, since organic products cannot contain GMO’s. However, there is no testing to ensure that organic products are GMO free and cross-contamination can occur. Here are 5 tips that will help you buy organic food and these are the 12 foods that you MUST buy organic.
2. Look for Labels
Another option is to look for a label that says “Non-GMO Project Verified.” The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit that labels products that they have verified as having less than 0.9% GMO products (because of cross-contamination, it is nearly impossible to find completely GMO-free foods).
3. Choose GMO-free Soy Products
One of the most ubiquitous GMO crops on the market, as well as an integral component of many meat-free diets, is soy. This is a list of a few GMO-free soy products.
4. Avoid Processed Snacks with GMOs
Most processed snacks are full of GMO products from the sweeteners, fillers, preservatives, and flavorings added to them. Snacks are an important part of any diet, so next, so take a look at these GMO-free savory snacks and sweet treats products.
5. Buy GMO-free Breakfast cereal
Most cereals contain GM corn and most animal products, including dairy, come from animals fed GM corn and soy. To keep your breakfast foods clean of GMO’s, here are lists of GMO-free cereals and non-dairy products.
Stay safe, stay healthy and good luck on your GMO-free journey!
Image Source: John Serrao/Flickr