The Top 13 GMO Foods And Ones To Avoid That You May Not Know About!
GMOs are omnipresent in our food supply today. They are the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species (bacteria, viruses, animals, plants, humans) are extracted and artificially implanted into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. Despite the fact that there are currently 9 major GMO crops (soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, corn, papaya, zucchini ,alfalfa), it is estimated that they are found in over 70-80% of the foods in the United States due to their many derivatives.
Despite the fact that biotech companies will tell you that GMOs are safe, there is much evidence to the contrary. In fact, animal studies associate GMO consumption with an increased risk of infertility, digestive distress, immune suppression, accelerated aging and notable changes in certain major organs. Since GMOs were introduced into our food supply in 1996, rates of disease (like food allergies, autism, inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive disorders) have also risen significantly. In addition, there have been NO long term human studies on the safety of GMOs.
Just in case you hadn’t heard the latest in GMO shenanigans, Glyphosate (the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) has been deemed a “probable carcinogen" (cancer-causing agent) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization. New evidence also suggests that corn-destroying rootworms have evolved to be resistant to the Bt corn (Monsanto’s other major GMO crop) engineered to kill them. In other words, GMOs can put your health at risk and at the same time harm the environment.
Here are the top 13 GMO foods and ingredients to avoid from an article entitled, "The Top 20 GMO Foods And Ingredients To Avoid" from the Global Healing Center. Read the full article and references here.
According to the EPA, aspartame is a chemical that causes neurotoxicity. Keep in mind that that’s the United States Environmental Protection Agency — a government agency. Regardless, the FDA continues to rubber stamp its use.
Aspartame is made from aspartate, methanol and phenylaline. Once ingested, the body breaks aspartame down into these constituent parts. Most notably, methanol is converted into formaldehyde. The US Department of Labor considers formaldehyde a toxic and hazardous substance that should not be ingested.
Recent research has demonstrated highly carcinogenic affects from aspartame consumption. Additional research could not dismiss aspartame’s role in leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphomas. Entire books have been written about the dangers of aspartame. In the quest for healthy living, this toxic, lab-created chemical tops any list of foods and ingredients to avoid!
2. HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)
First, HFCS is made from corn which is likely to be a GMO strain. It then goes through a process that converts corn into corn starch…which then is converted into corn syrup in a process involving bacterial enzymes and fungus. Finally, another bacterial enzyme is added to the process to produce fructose. This is not a natural process and does not yield a natural product.
Mercury has been found in HFCS as a result of the manufacturing process. Does HFCS lead to health problems? Possibly, researchers from Princeton and Oxford have linked HFCS to weight gain and Type II diabetes. To summarize, HFCS starts as a GMO, contains mercury, and has been linked to weight gain and Type II diabetes. Just avoid it!
3. Soy (lecithin)
Soy beans are perhaps one of the most prevalent GMO products in fields today. Soy has been associated with a wide range of health problems and GMO soy has been linked to pancreatic problems.
Soy lecithin isn’t even a choice soybean product, it’s a waste product from the processing of crude soy oil. It typically contains solvents and pesticides. Researchers have also found soy lecithin to contain allergens that have wide ranging health impacts. As a rule, avoid soy unless it is organic and fermented (such as in miso or natto). And make sure to avoid anything containing soy lecithin, the soy product constructed from the sludgy glop created during the creation of soy oil.
4. Corn Starch
Corn starch is a highly processed corn product made from corn – genetically modified (GM) corn. It offers no nutritional value and carries all the dangers associated with GMO foods. It is used as an additive in many products and as a processed food, it creates digestive problems. The problems with corn starch have been known about since the 1970s. With the introduction of GMO corn, the problems have only increased.
When tested, genetically modified tomatoes have been found to have less antioxidant activity than their natural counterparts. As is the case with GMOs, the genetic modifications result in overall reduced nutritional value.
Most sausage contains corn syrup or corn syrup solids, in addition to the other preservatives. That’s right, the hot dog or Italian sausage you enjoy – even just once in a while – likely contains a GMO. If you choose to eat sausage of any type, avoid the pre-packaged kind. Your best bet is to purchase from a local butcher who specializes in locally grown, organic, free-range meats.
7. Ice Cream
This delicious summer-time treat typically features a range of HFCS, corn syrup and corn starch, plus rGBH. Unless the brand you buy is organic or home-made from organic ingredients, each spoonful of ice cream likely contains plenty of genetically-modified DNA and bovine growth hormones.
8. Non-organic and Synthetic Vitamins
Many vitamins, including top children’s vitamins, use ‘vegetable’ products as a base for the vitamin. Many of these ‘vegetables’ come from corn and soy products; many also contain aspartame and hydrogenated oils. Look for vitamins that are specifically organic or non-GMO.
9. Infant Formula
Milk that contains rGBH and genetically modified soy constitute the foundation for most infant formulas, unless they specifically state they are organic. Research has found that infant diets including formulas that contain these GMOs contribute to chronic, long-term health conditions.
Beef feed may contain GMO alfalfa, corn and soy. When cows eat GMOs, they get into their system and become part of the meat. If you’re going to eat beef, only consume organic, grass-fed beef.
Why let nature do things naturally when Monsanto’s recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rGBH) can be injected right cows to increase milk output. Never mind that hormones associated with rBGH have been found present in milk distributed for human consumption. Or that studies have also found milk from cows injected with rGBH contain reduced amounts of healthy fatty acids. Or that these cows are more likely to have mastitis, an utter infection that can lead to blood and pus in the milk. Yuck.
You can buy organic milk or goat milk and avoid bovine growth hormones. However, to keep all bovine growth hormones out of the diet, you also need to watch out for foods that contain milk products, as these may come from hormone-injected cows.
12. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable Oil typically comes from corn, soybean, cotton, or canola oils. All of these crops have been genetically modified to withstand being doused by Roundup. Unless the vegetable oil states it is organic, assume it may contain some degree GMOs.
13. Canola Oil
Canola oil gets its own category due to its prevalent use. Aside from questions about an oil made from a plant toxic to human consumption, the rapeseed has been genetically altered. As of 2009, 90% of Canada’s rapeseed crop was ‘herbicide-tolerant’. When it comes to cooking oils, the best option is to find products specifically designated non-GMO.
GMO flax has been grown (illegally, for what it’s worth) in Canada. The extent of Canadian contamination has not yet been determined. Reports also indicate that the GM flax has been exported around the world where contamination has occurred. Because of the environmental catastrophe of this rogue GM strain, identify the source of the flax used before you buy. Flax from Canada may be infected, as well as from many areas of the EU.
My take on this:
Avoiding GMOs is paramount to attaining vibrant health! As you can see from the list above, this isn’t always as easy as you’d hope. Eliminating the 9 major GMO crops (corn, soy, cottonseed, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, zucchini, squash and papaya) isn't enough. In order to keep GMOs out of your diet, it is important to become familiar with any and all GMO derivatives as they are just as likely to wreak havoc on your health.
Because our country does not yet require GMO labeling, opting for organic foods is the best way to avoid them completely! GMO project verified foods are also a great option. Whatever you do, just stay vigilant and avoid GMOs at all costs. It’s also a great idea to communicate this avoidance of GMOs to those from whom you purchase your food. Making GMO foods a liability is one important step that could lead to dramatic changes in our food supply. You have more power than you think.
Be proud to buy organic. Protect yourself, your friends and your family from GMOs!