How to Escape The GMO Trap
So, how can we really identify organic foods from the non-organic ones or as the scientists call them the genetically-engineered foods (also known as foods with genetically modified organisms or GMOs)? Well, in order to help us reduce our likelihood of consuming non-organic foods or foods with GMOs, we have here a list of things that we, shoppers, can do:
- Buy foods with labels specifying the product is “GMO-FREE” or “NON-GM”. Though this type of labelling is not yet common, as public support for labelling grows, you will likely find it more often as manufacturers try to appeal to those consumers who want to know that their food is free of GMOs.
- Buy foods with a “100% organic” label. Laws in the US and Canada require that if label states that the product is “100% organic”, it must not contain any ingredient that has been genetically engineered which includes meat from animals that have eaten feeds that is genetically modified. However, we should keep in mind that if the food label states only “organic” without the “100%”, this food may still contain up to 30% of genetically engineered ingredients.
- Avoid aspartame. Many artificial sweeteners such as NutraSweet (r) and Equal (r) both use aspartame, which is created from genetically engineered microorganisms. So, you might want to avoid them as much as possible.
- Learn what the numbers indicate on the stickers found on produce.
- A number with 4 digits indicates that the food was grown conventionally.
- A number with 5 digits which begins with 8 are the ones that are genetically engineered
- A number with 5 digits that begins with 9 are foods that are organic.
- Learn which products are most likely to contain genetically modified ingredients.
- Most of these foods are the following:
- Corn. This is one product that is difficult to avoid as it is one of the key ingredients of most processed foods in the market.
- Soy beans. This includes more than soy milk, tofu and edamame, other soy products such as soy protein, soy flour, soy lecithin, etc may also be genetically engineered unless labelled as “100% organic”.
- Canola (Rapeseed). If you live in EU, 95% of the canola oils sold comes from genetically engineered rapeseed. So, it is better to use sunflower oil or grape-seed oil for cooking as they are unlikely to be from genetically modified crops.
- Dairy. Make sure to buy dairy products that are 100% organic and labelled as rBST or rBGH-free. Most of the cows on industrial farms are commonly injected with genetically engineered hormones in order to boost milk production. They also eat genetically modified feed.
With the list compiled above, we may now be able to identify organic foods from GMO foods in the supermarket. If you have other ways to identify GMO-Free foods from that of the genetically engineered ones, please do share them in the comments section below. We would love to share them to our readers as well. Thank you and Cheers to a Healthy Lifestyle!
Source: How to identify genetically engineered foods by Keith Murray