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How to Avoid GMOs: Food Poison

It seems that everyone is talking about GMOs today. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, have been artificially manipulated in a lab through genetic engineering. It is estimated that 70% of the foods you eat directly or indirectly contain GMOs. The really scary part is that GMOs are being linked more and more to health issues including intestinal damage, development of allergies, fertility problems, accelerated aging, immune problems, and changes in major organs.

With all of this uncertainty surrounding genetically modified organisms, it is becoming increasingly important, yet difficult, to avoid these products. Below are some helpful tips on how to avoid GMOs.

Tips to Avoid GMOs

  • Buy organic. If a product is certified organic, it cannot contain any GMO ingredients.
  • Look for “non-GMO” product seals. The Non-GMO Project sponsors these labels and is a nonprofit that seeks to help consumers make smarter choices and find non-GMO products.
  • Avoid at-risk ingredients. The eight GMO crops are: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar, and beets. Some papaya, zucchini, and squash can also be genetically modified, but are not as commonly done so. There is a more complete list of grocery store items that fall into the risk category.

Shop Carefully

Below is a list of foods that are often genetically modified. Be sure to carefully check the label before making your selection at the store.

  1. Dairy/eggs. Make sure you purchase milk and all other dairy items that are labeled organic or at least rBST-free. rBST is a genetically modified hormone that increases milk production in cows. Be careful with the eggs you choose as well, as many chickens are fed corn and soybeans that were genetically modified.
  2. Meat. Much livestock is fed corn and/or soybeans that are GMOs. Look for a grass-fed option instead.
  3. Fresh produce. Most produce is GMO-free, aside from the usual suspect: corn.
  4. Cereals. Since so many cereals are made up of sugar, corn, and/or a related genetically modified ingredient, choose your cereal carefully. Opt for an organic option to be safe.
  5. Cookies/snacks/chips. Almost all snack items contain high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified sugar, soy, and/or any of their derivatives. Again, your best bet is to choose an organic option. Or, make your own home-made snacks from GMO-free ingredients.
  6. Frozen/pre-prepared meals. These are usually full of GMO ingredients. Stay away, unless organic.
  7. Oils. Stay away from vegetable, corn, soybean, and canola oils, as well as any solid shortenings (which are just a hydrogenated oil). Opt for olive oil instead which is sure to be GMO-free.
  8. Bread/crackers. Almost all breads and crackers contain high fructose corn syrup, sugar, or any other genetically modified organism(s). Again, choose organic or opt to make your own at home.
  9. Condiments. Almost all condiments contain GMOs unless labeled organic. Be sure to read the label carefully before choosing one.

GMOs are extremely unhealthy for the individual and the environment, and the research is constantly supporting this. To protect your own health, avoid GMOs as much as possible. Use the tips above to shop smart and eat smart, and you can avoid the numerous negative side effects of consuming genetically modified organisms.

Image source: illuminating9_11/Flickr

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