Much of the food that we all are consuming today is GMO food. Genetically modified organism (GMO) refers to animals and plants that have been genetically re-engineered (their DNA altered) in the laboratory to make them more disease resistant or pesticide intolerant. Their DNA is altered through the genes of other animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses.
Although more than sixty to seventy percent of food that we consume contains GMO, it is still impossible to know the percentage of it in the foods that we consume. This is because there is no requirement for labels to disclose that information as yet to consumers. The US Food and Drug Administration also does not require safety testing for GMOs, although researchers are concerned and are linking GMO to allergies, toxic effects on bodily organs, and other health issues.
GMOs are heavily present in processed foods so unless you make all your food from scratch it may be very difficult to completely stay away from GM foods.
Here are the top 5 GMO Foods:
- Corn: The number one most grown crop in the US is corn and almost 88 percent of it is genetically modified. GM corn is added to animal feed as well as used in processed foods. GM corn has also been linked to weight gain and other organ problems according to study in the International Journal of Biological Sciences.
- Soy: More than 90 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is found in a number of products such as tofu, soybean oil, soy flour, vegetarian products, emulsifiers, proteins and tocopherol.
- Cottonseed: Ninety four percent of cottonseed grown around the world is genetically modified. Cottonseed is used for the production of various other products such as margarine, vegetable oil, and used to fry foods such as potato chips.
- Alfalfa : After corn, soybeans and wheat, the three most grown crops in US, Alfalfa lands on number four and is also genetically modified for the most part. It is a good source of nitrogen for the soil and is also found to increase fertility. GM alfalfa is fed to dairy cows, meaning it could be present in the butter, yogurt, meat and milk we consume.
- Sugar: GM sugar beets were introduced in the US market in 2009 and are said to pose risks to the environment as well as crops. They have been modified to resist herbicides and almost 85 percent of sugar beets are GMOs.
While there are countless other foods that contain GMOs, these are the top 5 most grown crops in the US, and all over the world, which are genetically modified. These crops are a source of several other foods that are today present in food stores, making it hard to steer clear of GMOs even if they want to.
What Can You Do
One way to limit consumption of GMO foods is to switch to organic foods, or better yet grow your own vegetables and fruits. While it is impossible to completely eliminate GMO foods from our diet, one can certainly limit its intake. I have a garden in the summer and although I usually have plenty of cucumbers and tomatoes it’s not enough to really feed our family. However, it is nice having the fresh organic produce while it lasts.
David and I always drink a shake in the morning for breakfast. We’ve chosen to use Isagenix IsaLean protein because all their ingredients are GMO free, the whey is from grass fed cows in Newzeland (they have much higher standards than the US) and tested for heavy metals and toxins. Since we often give our girls a shake for a snack we made sure the ingredients met our standard for being toxic free.
Until all foods are labeled it will be hard to know what is GMO free or not. Start doing some research on your own. Here are a few sites to get you started:
Institute for Responsible Technolgy
Just do your best, control what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t.