5 WAYS TO AVOID GMO FOODS
Probably you have heard of GMOs and are at least somewhat concerned. Genetic modification (GM), more correctly genetic engineering (GE) of foods, actually has to do with splicing so as to artificially insert genes into the DNA of food plants and animals. Such genetically modified organisms (GMO) involve genes from bacteria, insects, animals, viruses, and would you believe, even from humans.
While most Americans know little about GE, they know they don't want this kind of tampering with their foods. They also say they would not knowingly eat foods labeled GMOs; yet labeling is legally optional in the United States. What are we to do to avoid these foods? There are some important, simple steps you can take to very significantly reduce the chances that your food is genetically engineered. Here are five:
1. BUY ORGANIC
Certified organically grown foods cannot legally contain GMOs.
2. BUY FRESH, WHOLE FOODS
Limit purchases of packaged foods. Of course organic, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, sea salt, butter, yeast for baking bread, raw apple cider vinegar, and the like must be packaged. But be aware that only 70% of ingredients are required by law to be organic in products labeled "made with organic ingredients."
If you purchase a packaged product make sure each ingredient is listed individually as organic; otherwise they are not. Some organic products may list many ingredients with one or two not shown as organic that may be GMO. If a non-organic packaged product has a list of ingredients, you can likely count on at least one of the ingredients being GE.
Be aware also that there are countless hidden GMOs in processed foods not certified organic or labeled non-GMO. Again, it is best to consume certified organic, fresh, whole foods as they were created and designed for our bodies for maximum utilization. Best is to grow as much as possible in your own organic garden, flower bed, or containers.
3. "THE BIG 4"
Most processed, fabricated foods (packaged) contain corn, soy, canola, or cottonseed oil, or ingredients made from The Big 4. (Many nutritional supplements contain non-organic soy oil.) Look for corn oil and corn syrup; modified corn starch, and sugars dextrose, fructose, and glucose. Soy products may contain soy lecithin, isoflavones, oil, protein, and isolates. Canola oil may sometimes be labeled as rapeseed oil.
4. CHECK PLU STICKERS AND LABELS ON FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Stickers and labels on fruit and some vegetables can be difficult to remove. A paring knife gently slipped under the plastic labels with the side of your thumb on top of the label and overlapping the knife, then lifted gently so as not to tear the peel away before a brief soak in grapefruit seed extract water solution and rinse, works well. But before purchasing fresh plant foods with these stickers, be sure to read the numbers.
The stickers are not there just for the grocers' convenience at the cash register. Before you get home from the store, and even before you make the selection, be sure and take advantage of the very valuable information on the stickers. They can tell you if the fruit is genetically engineered, if it was organically grown in nourishing, naturally fertilized soils with none of the harmful toxins, or if it was subjected to soil-depleting chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides. Here's how to read the stickers for the helpful details:
Four numbers in the PLU informs us that the fruit or vegetable was grown conventionally with pesticide applications, etc..
Five numbers in the code with a beginning number of 8 alerts us that this is a GMO fruit or vegetable.
Five numbers beginning with 9 in the PLU code is what we are looking for – assurance that the food is organic, and is not GE.
Most fresh produce is not GMO, or is fruit awaiting government approval of a GMO. However, just because a food is not GMO doesn't mean it is the best to consume. Consider also pesticides and other toxic sprays, especially if you care about your liver, or your children. If your health is not a top priority and you do not eat organic, you may be interested to know that two of the most nutritious fruits are kiwis and avocados, neither of which requires much spraying. (See Why Go Organic?" at this website.)
5. AVOID SUGAR
At least 50 percent of white sugar sold in the US comes from sugar beets. If you consume this very health-damaging substance, you can be fairly certain that unless the package clearly states it is certified organic or "100 percent cane sugar," it comes from GMO crops since 95% of US sugar beets are Monsanto GMO. However, GE is only part of this frightening picture---Nancy Appleton, PhD (UCLA) found 150 different diseases linked to sugar of various kinds. For the list, see our book, Eatin' After Eden. (Dr. Appleton's book, Lick the Sugar Habit, is available from this website through firstname.lastname@example.org.)
A word of caution: A couple of years ago we visited a local farmer's market where a young grower first told us her eggs were organic, "all natural," from pastured hens, eating nothing else but grass, bugs and worms. When it was mentioned that hens do not lay regularly without supplementing such as non-organic grain, laying mash, corn, or soy (the minimum sale to these farmers of such feeds may be a ton, and the cost is prohibitive), the farmer confessed that indeed the eggs were not organic. We have since found a knowledgeable farmer who uses other organic supplemental feeding but it's important to know your source since otherwise the non-grass feeds likely are not organic. To Your Health has a wide variety of grains for humans that are certified organic; and sprouted with proof of assay to contain low phytates, including non-gluten oats.
1 To learn what's wrong with GMOs, check out http://www.saynotogmos.org/ or Google "What's wrong with GMOs?" Also, Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey M. Smith.
2 See Chap. 7, "Why Not Soy?" in Eatin' After Eden.