Friday, July 25, 2014

IOTUT: The 6 Ingredients Most Likely to be Genetically Modified

On this week's Instead of This Use This, we're talking GMOs.

Trying to avoid GMOs, but not sure which ingredients to look out for? Well, since the US is keeping us in the dark with their Monsanto-in-the-back-pocket labeling laws, or lack thereof, I thought I'd help you out. Here's a list of the worst offenders:

Public Domain Image by Amedee Masclef

1.  95% -- Sugar Beets. Check the ingredients. If non-organic foods list sugar, but it is not specified as "pure cane sugar," most likely, this is sugar made from GM sugar beets.

2.  93% -- Soy. Look out. In addition to the obvious -- soybean oil, soy milk, tofu, and tempeh, soy is lurking in many products you might not be aware of like vitamin E, lecithin, and more.

3.  90% -- Corn. Wow... what doesn't contain corn?! Look for corn oil, corn starch, and high-fructose corn syrup, just for starters.

4.  90% -- Cottonseed. Of course, you want to stay away from non-organic cottonseed oil. But you also want to look for it in salad dressings, margarines, and fried snack foods, like potato chips.

5.  90% -- Canola Oil. This is simply not a good choice when shopping for oils.

6.  80% -- Papaya. Does that one surprise you? It did me. According to the USDA, all US-grown papaya is most likely GM or contaminated with GMOs. Yummy. Think I'll steer clear.

Photo by Mark Yang

One more thing to keep in mind when shopping for dairy products. Cows on non-organic farms are generally fed alfalfa. The problem with that is that a large portion of the alfalfa crop in the US is genetically modified from cross-contamination. Does that mean your non-organic milks and cheeses are affected? That's a matter of opinion and I guess it just depends on who you believe.

Naturally, the only option we have if we want to avoid genetically modified foods that have any of the above ingredients is to shop for organic or Non GMO Project Verified foods. As I've said in the past, just because something is Non GMO Project Verified does not mean it's organic. However, all organic foods are free of GMOs. Also, don't trust the word "natural," as many products labeled as such are full of genetically engineered ingredients. 

So, instead of GM foods, opt for organic. You may pay more initially, but think of all the doctor bills you just may avoid! After all, keeping our families safe and healthy is our #1 priority, right?

Keeping it healthy with alternatives,

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