Genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) have been receiving a lot of attention lately, and that’s not exactly a good thing. Scientists and the public alike are beginning to realize just how many problems GMOs may pose to our health, from increased allergies to autoimmune disorders.
Most Common GMO Foods
Below you will find a list of the top 10 most common GMO foods, as well as tips on how to avoid them.
Corn is the single largest GMO culprit, especially considering how it seems to work its way into most of our foods and drinks in one form or another. The majority of the corn grown in the United States has been genetically engineered to resist certain strains of bugs and diseases. Because it is almost always genetically modified and snuck into so many of our groceries, corn should be #1 on your watch list. Look for it in the form of high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, or more, and then leave that bread/cereal/tortilla chips/sports drink right on that grocery store shelf. To avoid GMO corn, opt only for organic corn, including all products derived from corn.
Tomatoes get a lot of credit for being full of vitamins and nutrients that are good for your body, such as lycopene. This is all very true, but if you’re eating genetically modified tomatoes, you may be doing your body more harm than good. Be sure to opt for non-GMO or organic tomatoes as well as tomato products, such as pasta sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, and more.
The second largest crop grown in the United States is these handy little beans. Although many people don’t eat soybeans directly, soybeans in one form or another (e.g. soybean oil) can be found in much of our food. Try to avoid products containing soybean or a derivative, unless they are clearly marked as organic or non-GMO.
Chemicals are part of a genetically modified potato’s DNA, so the only way to avoid GMO potatoes is to opt for organic options. For your french fries, hash browns, tater tots, and more, check the label to find a non-GMO option.
Salmon that is raised on a fish farm is more often than not genetically modified in one way or another. Not to mention, this farm-raised salmon often lacks many of the nutritional benefits found in wild-caught salmon. These fish not only qualify as GMOs, but are often raised in grotesque conditions. Always look for fresh, wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
Squash, as well as zucchini, that you find in the store is most often genetically modified. Because these veggies are so susceptible to diseases that can eradicate an entire crop, farmers and scientists have worked together to modify the seeds in a way to increase their resistance to these viruses. Unfortunately, though, this genetically altered DNA from the vegetables enters into our own bodies. Organic or a clearly marked non-GMO squash/zucchini is the way to go.
7. Beef and Chicken
Many of the cows and chickens raised on feedlots these days are what make up a majority of our meat consumption. These feedlot animals, however, are often loaded with antibiotics and hormones, as well as fed a diet rich in GMOs, making them a top food you want to avoid. To protect yourself, you’ll need to opt for an organic and free-range or grass-fed options.
8. Processed Food
This may not come as much of a surprise that many of the freezer and boxed meals we buy are loaded with GMOs. Many fast-food chains and restaurants also buy frozen or processed items, so you’ll need to be careful of where you go and what you eat while dining out. These pre-packaged or pre-made meals should be avoided as much as possible, but if you can’t resist, then at least opt for organic. Your best bet, however, is to make your own options from scratch using fresh ingredients; if you want to save items or prepare meals for future use, invest in a good food saver and toss them in the freezer for the same convenience with no risks to your health.
Just like beef cows have hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs running through their bodies, so too do dairy cows fall victim to this lifestyle. At the very least, be sure that you are buying milk and dairy products labeled as not coming from cows injected with hormones (like rBGH). If you can afford it, organic options are the best.
The most common types of oils used, especially in restaurants, often come from GMO sources. The two main culprits being vegetables, canola, soybean, and corn oils. Not to mention, these oils also offer you the least amount of health benefits, as opposed to healthier options like olive or sesame seed oil. Whichever oil you do prefer, opt for a pure, natural, and organic option.
GMOs pose many risks to our health, and the reality is that scientists still don’t fully understand all of the risks associated with GMOs. To err on the side of caution and protect your health, avoid genetically modified organisms at all costs, and especially avoid these top 10 GMOs no matter what.