First of all, GMOs are NOT real food. GMOs are genetically modified organisms that are produced by taking the genes from one species (i.e. animals, plants, bacteria or viruses) and literally forcing those genes into the DNA of a food crop or an animal to introduce a new trait. Does that even sound like food to you? Sounds more like science fiction to me. GMOs were created by biotech companies in order to make a lot of money. But, the last time I checked there were no biotech companies necessary when growing vegetables or raising an animal, right? That used to be the responsibility of farmers alone. So how did biotech companies get involved in our food? It's a really long story. You can read that story in the fantastic book "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey Smith. But essentially, GMOs are the result of what happened when biotech companies got greedy, the government neglected to regulate and protect Americans (I use the word neglected very loosely as this was a purposeful oversight), and the American people were taken advantage of. I assure you this will not be the last you hear from me about GMOs, however, most importantly I want you to read this post and have an understanding of the follow things: (1) What are GMOs; (2) What are some the health risks associated with eating GMOs; and (3) How to avoid GMOs. The following information will help you in your every day life to avoid GMOs.
WHAT ARE GMOS?
There are currently five widespread GM Food Crops on the market: (1) Soy; (2) Corn; (3) Canola; (4) Cotton; and (5) Sugar Beets. GMOs have been engineered to be either herbicide resistant, pesticide producing, or both. Many dairy farms in the United states are also injecting the cows with a genetically engineered hormone called rbGH or rbST.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
Avoiding processed foods is one of the best ways to ensure that you will not eat GMOs. In America today at least 90% of all processed foods contain one or more GMO ingredient. We are completely unaware of this fact because there are NO laws requiring manufacturers to label a food as a GMO. For this reason it is very important to read the ingredient list when buying processed and packaged foods.
Best of luck to you if you are trying to find a packaged food in America without corn, soy, canola, or sugar. It is currently believed that 91% of soy crops are GMO, 88% of canola crops are GMO, 85% of corn crops are GMO, and at least 90% of sugar beets are GMO. See www.responsibletechnology.org
Unless the sugar is listed as cane sugar, it is almost certain that you are eating a GMO.
Be aware that GMO ingredients have aliases and they may be difficult to spot. Some hidden GMO ingredients include; aspartame, baking soda, caramel color, corn flour, corn sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, protein, lecithin, malt, maltodextrin, sorbitol, sugar, soy sauce, soy lecithin, vitamin E, vitamin B12, and xanthum gum. I challenge all of you to find a processed food on the market without at least one of those ingredients. Please go to www.NonGMOShoppingGuide.com for a complete list of hidden GMO ingredients and other tips for avoiding GMOs.
The USDA has a rule forbidding the use of GMOs in organic food products. So, if you are buying organic, you are avoiding GMOs. It is important to note there is a risk that the GMO crops have cross-pollinated with some of the Non GMO crops. But, at this point there is nothing we can do about the potential risk of cross-pollination until GMO crops are no longer planted.
Always buy organic meat. Animals raised at non organic factory farms are given GMO feed. If GMOs are making us sick, they are making the animals sick too. If you are going to eat animal protein, it should be from animals that were healthy. In addition, when buying dairy please remember that the statement "made from cows not treated with rbGH or rbST" does not mean that the cows were not fed GMO corn and soy. The dairy must be labeled organic to ensure that the cows were not fed GMOs. Farmers producing organic dairy and raising animals for organic meat are not permitted to use GMO feed.
If you want to be absolutely certain that your food does not contain GMOs, look for this label. The Non-GMO Project is a non profit organization that is dedicated to ensuring that foods are clearly labeled and are also independently verified as not containing GMOs. The Non-GMO project seal is the best way to ensure that your food does not contain any GMOs.
You may see other Non-GMO labels, but, I do not recommend taking those labels at face value. They are not regulated and different manufacturers use assorted testing methods and have varying thresholds as to what qualifies as Non-GMO. For instance, one manufacturer can decide that if the product contains less than .1 percent GMO then it can have their Non-GMO label, where as another manufacturer can decide that anything less than 2 percent GMO can be labeled Non-GMO.
THE FUTURE OF GMOS
My hope is that GMOs don't have a future. I honestly think GMOs are a scifi thriller movie in the making. I can already see the movie preview, 'genetically modified corn about to hit the markets but it contains genes of a bacteria that threaten to kill millions of Americans. Their only hope is the lone USDA whistle blower who is trying to expose the danger but is in danger himself of being killed by hitmen who were hired by the company that created the seed of this corn and is about to make a stealth profit from the sale of the genetically modified corn seed'. I hate to be the one to tell you, but this hypothetical scifi movie is actually not so far removed from reality.
Dow Chemical (a biotech company) currently has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deregulate a new GM corn that is resistant to an herbicide made from 2,4-D. 2,4-D is the chemical component that made up half of the Agent Orange chemical weapon that was sprayed on villages and crops during the Vietnam War. 2,4-D has been banned since the 1970's. How is it even possible that a company would think it was a good idea to bring back a chemical that had such devastating affects? If Dow is permitted to sell GM corn that is resistant to an herbicide made from 2,4-D, you can see why real life isn't so different from the hypothetical scifi thriller above. As Americans we seem to have lost our voices along the way. Please let your voice be heard. Sign a petition (link below) to show you are against 2,4-D being introduced into our food supply and prevent Dow Chemical from selling GM corn that is resistent to 2,4-D. http://www.cornucopia.org/2011/12/action-alert-say-no-to-dow-chemicals-ge-corn-petition/
Remember, my approach with everything is to implement changes into your life slowly so that the changes stick and you do not overwhelm yourself. If the prospect of completely eliminating GMOs from your diet right now feels too overwhelming, take a step back and evaluate what smaller steps you can take to begin replacing GMOs with non GMO foods. For a start, try replacing your Tostito corn chips with an organic or NON GMO Project brand of tortilla chips. Eliminating GMOs from your diet is possible, one change at a time.