Which Foods are GMOs, Anyway?

by Sandy Swegel

We read a lot about GMO foods, but a recent reader question made me think about how little I know about which foods are genetically modified when I go shopping. I know I can avoid GMOs by eating only organic foods, but once I stray from the organic aisle, I’m going to run into the approximately 30,000 genetically modified products that are on grocery shelves. Where are those GMOs hiding?

Most of the GMO foods in the US are foods that are ingredients in other foods.  The top GMOs are corn, soy, cottonseed, milk, sugar beets and aspartame.

The bottom line is:

If your food is sweet, there’s likely a GMO involved. Sugar beets are common GMO products and the source for most granular sugar in the USA. Liquid sugar like high fructose corn syrup is made from corn and is often GMO.  Even if you go the artificial sweetener route, aspartame is often GMO. If your food is sweetened, whether, soda, juice, cookies or candy, GMOs probably are ingredients.

If your food is a protein, there’s a good chance GMOs are involved. Soy proteins are everywhere boosting protein content and 95% of US soy is GMO.  If you are eating beef or eggs, it’s likely the animals were fed GMO corn.  I paid extra for nice local eggs until I found out that standard chicken feed from the feed store was made of GMO corn.  GMO corn and alfalfa also fatten up your cows and pigs that produce beef and pork. And now that most fish are “farmed,” the most common food they live on is corn.  All those protein drinks and “smoothies” we love are GMO soy based.

If your food has a thick texture, GMOs could be helping.  The ubiquitous lecithin is made from GMO soy. Lecithin and beet sugar are prime ingredients in favorites like yogurt and ice cream.  GMO cottonseed oil and canola oil are common ingredients used in margarine, salad dressing or for frying potato chips and processed food. GM synthetic hormone rBGH is found in milk products unless they are labeled “no rBGH.”

The bottom line?  Eat like your great-grandparents.  Grow your own food when you can.  Buy organic vegetables and fruits when you shop. Get grass fed meats and wild caught fish.  And don’t waste your money on all those processed foods that aren’t real food anyway.

Sources: http://action.greenamerica.org/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=7608&gclid=CPm7q7Giy7oCFU1gMgod0DkArQ

Photo Credit: http://paleodesserts.com/avoiding-gmos-heres-how/

 
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