It’s really a lot harder than you think to completely steer clear of these foods, but with some education, you can make better choices for yourself and your family. That said, it could be as simple as finding other sources than your big chain grocer, such as your local, sustainable family farmsteads.
If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, don’t discount the fabulous offerings of local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured the crops aren’t GMO.
Even better, start organic gardening and grow your own food!
1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption.
2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone
3. Sugar: Genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of it’s sugarbeets, being ordered to remove seeds from the soil due to illegal approval. There is even an movement within Jackson county to ban GMO crops that started around GMO sugar beets.
4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria. Yuck.
5. Papayas: This one may come as a surprise to all of you tropical-fruit lovers. GMO papayas have been grown in Hawaii for consumption since 1999. Though they can’t be sold to countries in the European Union, they are welcome with open arms in the U.S. and Canada.
6. Canola: One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.
7. Cotton: Found in cotton oil, cotton originating in India and China in particular has serious risks. Monsanto has gotten quite a lot of bad press recently over their failed cotton crops in India, resulting in farmers losing their homes and, in some cases, committing suicide over the catastrophic losses.
8. Dairy: Your dairy products contain growth hormones, with as many as one-fifth of all dairy cows in America are pumped with these hormones. In fact, Monasnto’s health-hazardous rBGH has been banned in 27 countries, but is still in most US cows. If you must drink milk, buy organic.
9 and 10. Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Closely related, these two squash varieties are modified to resist viruses.
The dangers of some of these foods are well-known. The Bt toxin being used in GMO corn, for example, was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies. Several European countries have conducted tests feeding rats nothing but GMO corn, resulting in epic tumor growth. But perhaps more frightening are the risks that are still unknown.
With little regulation and safety tests performed by the companies doing the genetic modifications themselves, we have no way of knowing for certain what risks these lab-created foods pose to us outside of what we already know.
The best advice: steer clear of them altogether.