Last week I talked about what are GMO’s, click here to read that post; now let’s look at what we can do to avoid them. It may seem like its impossible to avoid GM foods, however most foods are not genetically modified. The most common GMO crops are soy (89-91%), cotton (83-88%), canola (75%) and corn (60-75%). Choosing organic soy and corn will have you avoid these GMO’s. Also avoid any processed foods with cottonseed oil, canola oil or high fructose corn syrup (AKA corn sugar).
There are other genetically modified foods, but they are not as common. These include non-organic dairy products which contain GMO hormones, Hawaiian papayas, sugar beets, aspartame (nutrisweet), some alfalfa, zucchini, yellow squash, tobacco; and soon we will see them in farm-raised salmon.
When purchasing produce look for a sticker with a number on it. If the 5-digit number begins with an “8” it is a GMO and should not be purchased. If the 5-digit number begins with a “9” it is organic. Anything else is conventionally grown with pesticides, but is not GMO. Every purchase you make is a vote for or against healthier foods.
In Europe, it is mandatory to label products that contain GMO’s. Unfortunately in the U.S. GMO foods are not labeled yet, but there is some political pressure to start labeling. Once these Genetically altered structures are in our environment, we have no control over their natural crossbreeding and contamination of other crops; this is called “outcrossing”. Supporting labeling and avoiding consumption of GMO’s will help limit (or even stop) production and further exposure. Next week the FDA will be responding to a petition to label GMO’s. If you’re interested in supporting this movement for labeling please sign the petition here or just go to http://www.JustLabelIt.org/take-action?track=taf. I strongly believe if more people knew about what’s going with our foods and took actions to change it, this would stop.