As an eco-friendly mom, I want to ensure that I’m avoiding genetically modified (GM) foods whenever possible possible. This can be difficult because most of the food on today’s grocery shelves contains GMOs. These foods can potentially pose health risks to humans, such as decreased immunity, accelerated aging, infertility, and changes in major organs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public about possible side effects. These include allergies, toxins, and nutritional problems that can result from their consumption. Instead, these warnings have gone largely ignored.
Scientists at the FDA performed long-term safety studies and found that mice who ate GM corn over a long period of time had fewer and smaller babies. In the U.K., soy allergies increased by 50% after the GM version was introduced. Studies also found that GM foods caused lesions on organs and even changed enzyme levels in the liver and pancreas. How, then, do we go about avoiding GMOs?
Tips For Avoiding GMOs
Here are tips that I’ve found helpful to keep GM foods out of my diet, according to the Center for Food Safety:
- Look for “non-GMO” labels: When companies opt to label their products as “non-GMO” or “Made Without Genetically Modified Ingredients,” it can be easy to tell what’s good to buy and what isn’t. However, “at risk” ingredients are only labeled on some products. Choose brands that openly advertise that they are “non-GMO,” such as Pop Art Snacks, featured in our Ecocentric Mom December 2016 Boxes.
- Stay away from at-risk ingredients: The Big Five are the worst culprits and include corn, beet sugar, soy, canola and cotton. These are frequently used in processed food and can also include derivatives such as corn flour, corn oil, starch, gluten and syrup. Canola oil, cottonseed oil, and soy flour are also derivatives of at-risk ingredients.
- Buy organic: Purchasing only organic food is the only true way to ensure that you’re not consuming GMOs. However, this isn’t always possible! Opt for organic as your budget and lifestyle allow. Fun fact: in order for food to be labeled as organic, it must not be produced from any GM products. If you’re eating out, keep in mind that dishes labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of ingredients to be organic.
- Avoid aspartame: Aspartame is derived from GM products. It is found in more than 6,000 products including candy, desserts, yogurt, sugar packages and soda. Aspartame can also be found in some pharmacy products such as sugar-free cough drops and vitamins.
What do you think, moms? Do you avoid GMOs?