Clever Ways to Avoid GMO Foods
There’s little doubt that genetically modified plants have helped to feed millions of people, drive the price of food down, and help to lift people out of poverty.
However, is all of this a good thing?
You could argue that it is. And you certainly wouldn’t be wrong.
But, there are plenty of arguments that have scientific basis that show genetically modified foods could have a negative effect on our health.
And it’s not just the genetically modified foods you have to worry about…
It’s all the pesticides these foods require to stay alive too.
What I’d like to do today is help you understand why GMOs can be a problem, and then provide you with resources that allow you to avoid GMOs (if you want).
Let’s get into this.
So, What’s the Problem with GMOs?
GMO stands for genetically modified organism.
A common argument for the safety of GMOs is that for centuries we’ve been selectively breeding plants. Proponents of GMOs insist that this is in and of itself - genetically engineering plants. Breeding plants that exhibit certain traits over those that don’t.
However, what they don’t tell you is that many of this is how nature technically manipulates us to help certain plants thrive.
What I mean by that is nature’s design is that it wants everything to thrive.
So if a banana with a lot of seeds and a bitter taste doesn’t get eaten frequently by animals that excrete the seeds in their feces… but one with small seeds and a sweeter taste is a preferred source of food - and gets the job done of depositing seeds across the landscape…
Well then the sweeter, less seedy version is going to win out in nature’s lottery.
Our version of hybridizing plants is completely unnatural, in the sense that there is a very, very tiny chance that the plants we breed as GMOs would ever occur in nature.
To create a GMO, bio-engineers take gene sequences from other organisms, entirely unrelated to the plant in question, and splice that gene and insert it into the genetic sequence of the plant they wish to thrive.
There are two distinct GMO varieties.
GMOs quite literally “have a little bit of insecticide [and herbicides] inside every bite and those that resist (i.e. don’t die from) repeated applications of herbicides such as Roundup weed killer”.
Why the focus on insecticides and herbicides?
Simple, because when we figured out how to make plants resist herbicides and insecticides it allowed food makers to increase crop yields, drive down prices, and increase supply.
I don’t think the quest to make plants more resistant to insecticides and herbicides is a bad thing, necessarily.
If you’ve ever had a garden and watched as a prized plant slowly got eaten away by a bug, or a fungus, you know how frustrating that can be.
And when you enlarge that at the macro, and realize entire populations of people could be killed if crops were wiped out by a swarm of bugs… you realize how it’s critically important to the wellbeing of people to have plants that can survive in harsh climates.
But here’s the rub.
GMOs are an entirely unregulated industry - and the FDA has never once conducted safety studies on GMOs to find out if they’re acceptable for human consumption.
Now ask yourself… Does that seem like a perfectly reasonable way to approach a science that could physically alter a person’s health forever?
My thought, and the consensus among a growing number of alternative health practitioners is that this really isn’t the best way to pursue better health at a global level.
Which is why it’s a good thing that the burgeoning organic food industry provides us with alternatives.
Heck, you don’t even have to shop organic to avoid GMOs.
And that’s what the remainder of this email is going to help you do. Figure out how to avoid GMOs, even when the label doesn’t tell you what kind of food you’re eating.
4 Ways to Avoid GMO Foods:
1 - Look for 100% Organic labeling:
A surefire way to avoid GMOs is to look for a USDA certified organic label, or another third-party organic label.
Now, you ought to know a product can say “organic” on it and still have GMOs.
Yes, it’s true.
For instance, a salsa can be made with organic tomatoes in it, but contain GMO corn.
The 100% USDA organic label means that no ingredient in there can lawfully be GMO.
2- Shop Non-GMO project verified foods:
This new label/seal, with a butterfly on it, means that no ingredient in the food contains GMOs.
In this case, a food can have a Non-GMO project verified seal, and not be 100% organic.
These foods “are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance, including testing of at-risk ingredients.”
3 - Know what foods are commonly GMO produced:
There are a number of foods that you can buy that aren’t GMO.
However, some of the most prominent foods on store shelves are typically the ones that are most likely to be GMO.
This list which comes from Natural Grocers, is a list of some of the most commonly sourced GMO products.
Typically products that have the ingredients in them unless explicitly said to be Non-Gmo project verified or USDA organic will be GMO.
Corn (sweet corn, corn oil, cornmeal, cornstarch, high fructose corn syrup, hominy, polenta, and other corn-based ingredients)
Canola (canola oil)
Cottonseed (cottonseed oil)
Sugar Beets (when you see “sugar” listed as an ingredient, it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and genetically modified sugar beets)
Soybeans (soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, soy milk, tofu, and other soy-based ingredients)
Alfalfa (fed to livestock)
Papaya (from Hawaii and China)
Yellow Squash and Zucchini
Aspartame (in diet soft drinks and NutraSweet artificial sweetener)
Dairy from cows given rBGH
The purpose of this article isn’t to make you feel guilty about your food choices.
In truth, I hope that all of my fears about GMOs are unfounded.
But, until we see safety studies, my advice is to avoid GMOs as best you can, and with these tips, I think you’re going to be able to steer clear of them most of the time.