Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you have probably heard of the term “genetically modified organisms,” more commonly known as GMOs. GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been modified in a laboratory through genetic engineering. This often results in a product that does not naturally occur in nature, but does offer great sales on the shelves.
Most of the food products today are GMO products. Unless you buy organic and read every label, you most likely are purchasing and consuming a non-natural product.
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In fact, more than 60 countries around the world have placed significant restrictions on the production and sales of GMOs. In the United States, however, the government has approved GMOs based on the research conducted by the same corporations that created the studies and profit from their sales.
Most GMOs aren’t even labeled, furthering the risk of consumption by the majority of our population. In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed foods. Check out this list for the current crops at risk of GMOs.
While our grocery stores are ridden with GMO products, here are some ways to shop smart and avoid those unnatural products:
- Buy Organic. Certified organic products cannot include an GMO ingredients. You can be doubly sure if the product also has a Non-GMO Project Verified Seal on it. Check out the USDA’s website to learn more about the organic standards.
- Look for Non–GMO Product Seals. The products with these seals are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance. The Non-GMO Project is committed to providing consumer with clearly labeled Non-GMO choices, so you can be sure of the product you are purchasing.
- Avoid at–risk ingredients. The 8 GM food crops are Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed, Sugar Beets, Hawaiian Papaya, and a small amount of zucchini and Yellow Squash. If a non-organic product made in North America lists sugar as an ingredient (not pure cane sugar) then it is probably a combination of sugar from sugar cane and GM sugar beets. Also for dairy, look for labels stating N rBGH, rBST, or artificial hormones.
Consuming a GMO product every once in a while will probably not hurt you. But to keep yourself healthy and happy, always be cautious and aware of what you are consuming. For more tips on how to purchase non-GMO, check out this shopping guide.