Top 10 GMO Offenders
It’s a smart idea to avoid any and all genetically modified foods, which can be tricky with no GM labeling requirements in place.
One thing you can do is buy organic as much as possible. By its current definition, any produce with the USDA-Organic label cannot be genetically modified. An even better route is to buy food from farmers you know and trust. Ask some questions about their farming practices and get to know your food. A farmer might not have organic certification (it’s a cost-prohibitive process), but that doesn’t mean he or she is not growing their crops organically.
In a recent article for Natural Society, Elizabeth Renter lists out the top 10 genetically modified fruits and vegetables you should do your best to avoid. The percentages of crops like corn, zucchini and canola that are genetically modified are staggeringly high. These foods have been modified to create their own insecticide, resist viruses (or Monsanto’s Round-Up), or to create more yield at a faster rate. The impact of GM food on our health and the environment has yet to be proven safe, and we are already seeing distressing indicators pointing to the contrary.
The list, in no particular order is:
- Sugar Beets
- Yellow Squash
Renter gives a brief overview of the genetic modification history of each item.
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, there was 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate sprayed on soybeans alone.
Dairy: Your dairy products may contain growth hormones, since 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.
Yet again, dear consumer, it’s up to you to be as informed as possible when it comes to food shopping. There are several great online resources to help you navigate the murky waters of GM food, like Just Label It and the Non-GMO Project. I also recently found a useful infographic from ReuseThisBag.com.
Photo Credit: Nicole's Nutrition
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