We’re sure all of you at one point or another over the past few years have heard of the acronym GMO. The question is, do you know what that means? Learning about and understanding what this was all about was another key factor in our decision to start eating healthy and paying attention to the labels in the supermarket! The information we’re about to provide is so important and extremely disturbing! Once we understood what was going on, we realized that about 70% of the items in our pantries contained GMOs! Again, another overwhelming feeling when most of what we have consumed are not GMO free, however with the supermarkets becoming more organic friendly, there are easy ways to replace your products with ones that won’t harm you from the inside out! So let’s dive in!
WHAT ARE GMOs?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
ARE GMOs SAFE?
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.
ARE GMOs LABELED?
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve. Always look for their label when purchasing food.
ARE MY KIDS EATING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD?
The sad truth is many of the foods that are most popular with children contain GMOs. Cereals, snack bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunch meats, and crackers all contain large amounts of high risk food ingredients. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs. If you are not buying foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified, most likely GMOs are present at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
WHAT IF I ONLY BUY ORGANIC?
Shopping organic is a great step towards ensuring that your family eats the healthiest foods possible. The challenge is that although GMOs are an excluded method under the National Organic Program, organic certification does not require GMO testing. Choosing products that are Certified Organic AND Non-GMO Project Verified is the best way to make sure you are getting the safest, healthiest, highest-quality food for your family.
Helpful Tip: When buying produce, look at the PLU sticker that is on the fruit/veggies.
- 4 numbers- Produce was grown with pesticides.
- 5 numbers and 1st number is a 9- Produce was grown organically
- 5 numbers and 1st number is a 8- Produce is GMO
HOW COMMON ARE GMOs AND WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON GMOs?
In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. To find a listing of products that contain GMOs, click the link below: The most common GMOs are soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini and yellow). Many of these items appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat. For instance, your family may not eat tofu or drink soy milk, but soy is most likely present in a large percentage of the foods in your pantry. GMOs may be hidden in common processed food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.
WHERE DOES THE NON-GMO PROJECT COME IN?
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization with a mission of protecting the non-GMO food supply and giving consumers an informed choice. They offer North America’s ONLY third-party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance (for more info, click here) http://www.nongmoproject.org Their strategy is to empower consumers to make change through the marketplace. If people stop buying GMOs, companies will stop using them and farmers will stop growing them.
Now that you have the facts, you need to know how you can avoid GMOs. Many products in the organic section of your grocer will be stamped as a NON-GMO certified product so that makes it easy, but you can also click below to find the most up to date info from the NON GMO PrOJECT! They provide excellent alternatives and it’s super comprehensive as it’s all broken down by category! http://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/search-participating-products/
So from now on when shopping, we want you to think in your head HELL NO GMO! Before we complete this post, we need to show you these disturbing photos–sometimes an image is more effective than text! A study was done and scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts of GMOs, developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males and seven months in females. The study, led by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, was the first ever study to examine the long-term (lifetime) effects of eating GMOs.
(info received from naturalness.com and http://www.nongmoproject.org)