As an eco-friendly mom, you want to ensure that you’re avoiding genetically modified (GM) foods as much as possible so that your family isn’t consuming them. However, this can be difficult to do when three-quarters of what’s available at the store contains GM foods.
GM foods can pose health risks to humans, such as immune system problems, accelerated aging, infertility and changes in major organs, according to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public about the side effects including allergies, toxins and nutritional problems that can result from consuming them. 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 percent 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.
Tips for avoiding GMOs
Here are tips on how to keep GM foods out of your 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, some products only state that ingredients are “at-risk.”
- Stay away from at-risk ingredients: These at-risk ingredients include corn, beet sugar, soy, canola and cotton – also known as the Big Five. 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: The best way to ensure that you’re not consuming any GMOs is to buy 100 percent organic food. In order for food to be labeled as organic, it must not be produced from any GM products. If you’re out eating dinner, keep in mind that dishes labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70 percent of ingredients to be organic.
- Avoid aspartame: This type of sweetener is derived from GM products. It’s also 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.