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gmo-free

01
March

Written by
Travis Richardson

Top 7 GMO Foods To Avoid

You hear a lot about GMO’s these days.

What is the best way to avoid GMO’s? Eat whole foods! What exactly is a GMO? A GMO is very simply, a genetically modified food that has had foreign genes inserted into their genetic codes.

To begin, let’s not get normal genetic changes confused with manmade genetic changes…

Normal, natural changes occur every day by natural mutation and recombination, creating new biological variations. Humans have been exploiting this for centuries—shuffling genes in increasingly systematic ways and using extensive crossing and artificial selection—to create many combinations that would never otherwise have occurred. Just about everything we eat is derived from livestock, crops, and microorganisms bred specifically to provide food. Humans have also redistributed genes geographically: the soybean is native to Asia but is now grown throughout the Americas, and the potato, native to the American continent, is grown throughout the temperate world. DNA has never been “static,” neither naturally nor at the hand of people.

Genetic modification, however, is something different all together.

Unlike conventional breeding, in which new assortments of genes are created more or less at random, genetic modification allows specific genes to be identified, isolated, copied, and introduced into other organisms in much more direct and controlled ways (see boxes). The most obvious difference from conventional breeding is that genetic modification allows us to transfer genes between species.

Potential GMO risks include:

  • Modified plants or animals may have genetic changes that are unexpected and harmful.
  • Modified organisms may interbreed with natural organisms and out-compete them, leading to extinction of the original organism or to other unpredictable environmental effects.
  • Plants may be less resistant to some pests and more susceptible to others.
  • For a more complete list of potential health risks, please visit here….

Overall there can be a huge and detrimental impact upon our health by eating GMOs. So…what should we do?

  1. Remove processed foods from your diet and eat whole foods.
  2. Choose organic and GMO free whenever possible.
  3. Look for stickers and labels indicating GMO free.
  4. When possible avoid all corn, or soy products in particular.   (vast majority are GMOs)

According to the Huffington Post, here are the top 7 GMO foods:

  1. Corn: Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the U.S. and nearly all of it — 88 percent — is genetically modified. In addition to being added to innumerable processed foods, genetically modified corn is a staple of animal feed.
  2. Soy: 93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins.
  3. Cottonseed: According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cottonseeds are culled from cotton, and then used for vegetable oil, margarine or shortening production, or frying foods, such as potato chips.
  4. Alfalfa: Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk, butter, yogurt, meat and so much more. Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the U.S., behind corn, soybeans, and wheat (though there is no genetically engineered wheat on the market).
  5. Papaya: 75 percent of the Hawaiian papaya crop is genetically modified to withstand the papaya ringspot virus.
  6. Canola: About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as biofuels. In North Dakota, genetically modified canola has been found growing far from any planted fields, raising questions about what will happen when “escaped” GE canola competes with wild plants.
  7. Sugar Beets: More than half — 54 percent — of sugar sold in America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to increase after a USDA’s decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed.

It’s virtually impossible to provide a complete list of genetically modified food (GM food) in the United States because there aren’t any laws for genetically modified crops!

Some estimates say as many as 30,000 different products on grocery store shelves are “modified.”

Here are some other very common GMO foods:

Rapeseed – Resistance to certain pesticides and improved rapeseed cultivars to be free of erucic acid and glucosinolates. Gluconsinolates, which were found in rapeseed meal leftover from pressing, are toxic and had prevented the use of the meal in animal feed. In Canada, where “double-zero” rapeseed was developed, the crop was renamed “canola” (Canadian oil) to differentiate it from non-edible rapeseed.

Honey – Honey can be produced from GM crops. Some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar from GM canola plants. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe.

Rice – Genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Rice containing human genes is to be grown in the US. Rather than end up on dinner plates, the rice will make human proteins useful for treating infant diarrhea in the developing world.

Sugar cane – Made resistant to certain pesticides. A large percentage of sweeteners used in processed food actually come from corn, not sugar cane or beets. Genetically modified sugar cane is regarded so badly by consumers at the present time that it could not be marketed successfully.

Tomatoes – Made for a longer shelf life and to prevent a substance that causes tomatoes to rot and degrade.

Sweet Corn – Genetically modified to produces its own insecticide. Officials from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have said that thousands of tonnes of genetically engineered sweet corn have made their way into the human food supply chain, even though the produce has been approved only for use in animal feed. Recently Monsanto, a biotechnology food producer, said that about half of the USA’s sweet corn acreage has been planted with genetically modified seed this year.

Potatoes – (Atlantic, Russett Burbank, Russet Norkatah, and Shepody) – May include snack foods, processed potato products and other processed foods containing potatoes.

Flax – More and more food products contain flax oil and seed because of their excellent nutritional properties. No genetically modified flax is currently grown. Herbicide-resistant GM flax was introduced in 2001, but was soon taken off the market because European importers refused to buy it.

Squash – (yellow crookneck) – Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are not popular with farmers.

Red-hearted chicory – (radicchio) – Chicory (Cichorium intybus var. foliosum) is popular in some regions as a salad green, especially in France and Belgium. Scientists developed a genetically modified line of chicory containing a gene that makes it male sterile, simply facilitating the production of hybrid cultivars. Today there is no genetically modified chicory on the market.

Tobacco -The company Vector has a GMO tobacco being sold under the brand of Quest® cigarettes in the U.S. It is engineered to produce low or no nicotine.

Meat – Meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have eaten GM feed.

Peas – Genetically modified (GM) peas created immune responses in mice, suggesting that they may also create serious allergic reactions in people. The peas had been inserted with a gene from kidney beans, which creates a protein that acts as a pesticide.

Vegetable Oil – Most generic vegetable oils and margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed. Unless these oils specifically say “Non-GMO” or “Organic,” it is probably genetically modified.

Dairy Products – About 22 percent of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified) bovine growth hormone (rbGH).

Vitamins – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy. Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well as vitamin D and vitamin K may have “carriers” derived from GM corn sources, such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin.

Sources

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