GMO’s are one of the most controversial topics these days – at least in the arena of food.
Just a few days ago, USA Today reported that it’s “safe” to eat GMO’s – after a long study, it was determined that there are no health implications from eating food that has been genetically modified.
But are they really okay?
Should you avoid eating them? How can you possibly avoid them in store when you grocery shop weekly?
Is it actually possible to eat on a budget with a family and avoid GMO’s?
Why it’s Not a Big Deal (to them…)
Labeling is NOT going to happen – at least here in the U.S. It would be great if they did label items… but the fact is that right now, Organic food grocers have to literally jump through all kinds of hoops to be allowed to say their items are organic. At the same time, big business can wear large hazmat suits to spray glyphosate on crops that have been genetically modified, without even so much a mention to consumers.
It’s ironic to me that manufacturers are MORE than willing to slap Non-GMO Project Verified on their products on store shelves (touting and bragging about their accomplishment) but when it comes to labeling what’s IN their packages … they turn away.
Why is that?
Money is HUGE – money motivates, and when it comes to corporations, money runs the monopoly that they would like you to be blind to.
People and companies both like to poke fun at people who are against eating GMO’s … because in their eyes, science prevails. There are MANY studies that conclude that GMO’s are harmful – though unfortunately those studies are not sponsored by huge companies so they are buried and require research – they aren’t plastered all over the internet and Facebook feeds.
So what causes the harm? Is it the Roundup (Glyphosate), or, the genetic modification of food?
The World Health Organization classified Glyphosate as a probable cause of cancer. And we have mentioned before that Non-GMO does not necessarily mean absent of pesticides. You can avoid genetic modification and STILL yet spray glyphosate on food — most people may not realize that even conventionally grown wheat has glyphosate. The Healthy Home Economist has a great article HERE on why wheat is toxic (and no, it’s not the gluten!)
Spotting GMO Products
The two most likely GMO products to look for in store are Soy and Corn. As of the year 2012, more than 94% of Soy and 88% of corn are Genetically Modified.
In fact, if you are buying ANYTHING that is processed, more than likely Corn or Soy are on the ingredient list. And unless it’s Organic, then it’s likely GMO.
Even worse, both of these products are disguised under many names – the Corn Allergen list HERE can be a helpful reference.
In addition to the items on this list not including everything that contains corn,not everything on this list will contain corn. It is that they can contain corn, and therefore may need to be outright avoided or used cautiously. Read more about this on the Corn Allergens as Ingredients page.
Just like Corn, Soy is ALSO something that is disguised under MANY names – About.com has a list of ingredients that will help you recognize if a product has Soy:
- Hydrolyzed soy protein (HSP)
- Mono- and diglycerides
- MSG (monosodium glutamate)
- Soy (albumin, cheese, fiber, grits, milk, nuts, sprouts, yogurt, ice cream, pasta)
- Soy lecithin
- Soy protein (concentrate, hydrolyzed, isolate)
- Soybean oil
- Teriyaki sauce
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
The worst part is.. if you have food allergies, it’s nearly impossible to know what you are eating – because it’s disguised under so many things.
GMO Approved Crops in the U.S.
More than 60 crops in the U.S. are GMO approved – not just Corn and Soy, but MANY more.
- Corn (20 varieties)
- Oilseed Rape/Canola (11 varieties)
- Cotton (11 varieties)
- Tomato (6 varieties)
- Potato (4 varieties)
- Soybean (3 varieties)
- Sugar Beet (3 varieties)
- Squash (2 varieties)
Of these crops, only corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, squash, and papaya grown in Hawaii, are commercially produced. More than 85 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are transgenic, GM cotton is grown on more than 70 percent of cotton fields, and GM corn is grown on about 50 percent of corn acreage (Source: Organic Consumers Association)
How do you Avoid GMO’s?
It’s ironic that GMO’s are safe, yet right now…. companies opt not to disclose the inclusion of genetically modified ingredients. IF GMO’s were safe, wouldn’t companies be eager to label?
After all, they are eager to label when their items are Non-GMO – right?
In the end, it’s all a deception on their part. Big food companies know that consumers are trying to eat better and avoid modified ingredients, but yet they are against labeling their products. They try to trick you with labels on their food such as “All Natural”, “100% Natural”, or “No artificial colors or preservatives”.
In the end, if you shop at ANY grocery store, it’s impossible to aoid GMO’s. Although you can purchase organic itms at the grocery store that are Non-GMO, the number of people pushing up a cart of organic food to the register is probably limited. Right?
Grocery store prices on Organic items are actually MUCH higher than if you were to purchase from your local farmer or grow yourself.
In order to avoid GMO’s, you literally need to stop buying food with ingredients.
You need to stop shopping and relying on the grocery store.
You need to think more about where your food comes from – not just assume the grocery store has your best interest at heart – because face it, they don’t.
Change the Way you Shop
It’s possible to change the way you shop – entirely. Overhaul it. Break up with the grocery store, and grow your veggies in your backyard. What you can’t grow then invest in a CSA or local Co-op.
Order from online vendors for your pantry staples – sure, we could pick up these pantry staples at the grocery store, but there are many reasons we don’t:
- Walking into the Grocery store results in leaving with MORE than those pantry staples
- Pantry Staples can be sent to my door from Amazon or Vitacost
- I can always find the pantry staples in stock online without having to wait for a sale or rain check
For us, it’s a personal choice to NOT support the grocerys store industry – to help benefit small farms and small business first, then utilize companies like Amazon and Vitacost that make it relatively easy to avoid wasting our precious tme navigating through aisles and crammed into checkout lanes.
Love meat? Buy from your local farmer, or find your local farmer at a Farmers Market. Your pasture raised beef is raised better – without antibiotics, on pasture, is grass fed, and can be ordered to suit your needs (half a cow, quarter of a cow – and more).
Tips for Avoiding GMO’s:
When purchasing food … these tips might help.
- Avoid ANYTHING with Corn, Soy and Canola that is NOT labeled Organic
- Avoid anything with multiple ingredients that comes frozen or in a box
- Cook from scratch
- STOP shopping at the grocery store
- Learn how to can and preserve food
- Invest in a CSA – get to know your local farmer(s)
- ALWAYS look for the USDA Certified Organic label and know the difference between Organic and Non-GMO
- Do your OWN research – documentaries and books are a GREAT place to start
- Don’t be so willing to fall into the “GMO’s are Safe!” hype!
IF they were, then we wouldn’t be a nation with so many health challenges. If they were safe, there wouldn’t be any reason for companies NOT to label their products, and there wouldn’t be a need for hazmat suits for Glyphosate application.