More and more of us are beginning to wake up to the dangers of GMO foods. But let’s face it, there’s a lot to wrap your head around, and there’s a steep learning curve.
For example, most folks have no idea what name brand foods they should be concerned about, or even be avoiding altogether. And that’s just how Big Food likes it.
Food manufacturers don’t want you looking too closely at their products. That’s why they slap meaningless labels like “natural” and “farm fresh ingredients” on their packaging to distract you from what’s REALLY inside. And that is products that are loaded full of GMO ingredients.
Here’s what you need to know…
Why YOU should be concerned about GMO
First, let’s take a closer look at why you should worry about GMO foods in the first place.
As you might already know, GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. And in theory at least, GMOs are a good thing. They were developed to help make foods more resistant to disease and in some cases pesticides, so crops are heartier and more sustainable.
Sounds great, right?
But in reality it’s just the opposite of great, because we have no idea what we’ve actually gotten ourselves into, or what the long term effects of our genetic tinkering may be. Playing around with the DNA of our food supply could be creating completely unintended consequences, such as raising the risk for certain diseases such as cancer, or creating new toxins and allergens right along with those heartier crops.
When they’re dreaming up a new Frankenfood in the lab they’re—quite literally—digging around in the DNA of produce and combining it with the DNA of bacteria and viruses in order to create the desired disease or pesticide resistance.
In other words, when you’re eating GMO produce, corn for example, you’re no longer just eating corn. You’re eating corn with the DNA of bacteria and viruses spliced in. Yummy, right?
But worse than just the stomach-churning thought of eating foods that incorporate the DNA of other organisms is the fact that there are no long term studies to tell us what those engineered genes are doing to us.
They’ve tinkered with some of our most common foods
The worst part is that GMO foods are some of the most common crops grown here in the USA. And avoiding them is really tough to do.
Not only is it possible that the corn on the cob you’ve bought from the big box grocery store is GMO, corn is used in a huge number of other products—from hamburgers to yogurt—and that corn could be GMO, as well. Corn and corn products (think high fructose corn syrup) is so widely used in other products that avoiding this one is particularly difficult.
If you’re eating tomatoes for their antioxidant power, but not choosing organic you could be selling yourself short. The GMO process can decrease the amount of antioxidants in each bite.
The cows your beef comes from haven’t been genetically modified, but their feed may have been. And if a cow is eating GMO grains, like corn, you’re eating it too.
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, or rGBH, is a genetically modified hormone created by Monsanto that’s often injected into dairy cows here in the United States. Because of health concerns, rGBH is banned in many other industrialized nations. But it’s still widely used here to increase milk production
The GMO artificial hormone reportedly causes the milk to have fewer healthy fats, and can cause infections that leave blood and pus in the milk. And, like corn, milk is used in so many other products it’s difficult to avoid.
A summertime staple, many squash crops have been genetically modified.
It turns out it’s not just crops grown here on our soil that we need to be concerned about. Reportedly, GMO has been crossing the border from Canada into the states. Although the genetically modified flax coming to us from Canada is illegal, they have not managed to crack down on it completely yet. Some GMO flax is also reaching us from places in the EU, so check your labels for country of origin.
Other common food products that are frequently GMO are: aspartame, sugar beets, and soy (lecithin).
Your favorite “healthy products” may NOT be so healthy
Dining on fresh, unprocessed foods is… of course… the healthiest way to eat. But when life gets in the way of those plans, you may be grateful there are healthier, prepackaged options you can pull out of the freezer or pantry.
Many of these foods are being marketed as healthy and good for you and your family. The trouble is a number of those “healthier” choices are hiding GMO ingredients and could be doing more damage than you realized.
Following is just a partial list of some of the most popular, and surprising, GMO-containing brand name foods:
|Popular “Healthy” Food Products that Contain GMO Ingredients|
|Pepperidge Farm 7-Grain and 9-Grain breads|
|Kellogg’s corn flakes|
|Ortega taco sauce|
|Snackwell’s Devil Food cookies|
|Many Healthy Choice frozen meals|
|Many Lean Cuisine frozen meals|
|Many Weight Watchers frozen meals|
|Morningstar veggie burgers|
|Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice|
|Healthy Choice microwave popcorn|
|Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop|
|Healthy Choice soups|
|Most jarred spaghetti sauces|
We know, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Need a shortcut to cut back on the GMO foods you’re putting into your grocery cart?
A great way to start is by avoiding products made by these six major brands:
- General Mills
Every single product these six sell may not contain GMO food ingredients, but we do know they’re all selling a number of products that are GMO.
Even worse, they’re fighting hard to be allowed to continue to do so without telling you about it. In fact, each of these brands has spent a considerable amount of cash trying to keep GMO disclosure off their labels.
The best way to avoid GMO foods
Luckily, the push back against GMO foods is growing every day. There are a growing number of companies that are embracing non-GMO foods and organizations monitoring their integrity.
Choose organic foods and products and be on the lookout for the “Non-GMO Verified” seal, which more and more companies are beginning to use.
Don’t be manipulated into eating GMO foods. And believe us when we tell you making a statement with your wallet can help these changes move along even faster. If we refuse to buy it, they won’t be able to sell it.