Hopefully by now you are aware of what Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are. If not, here’s a quick explanation: GMO’s are organisms that have been genetically modified at the DNA level to possess a trait or set of traits that allow them to react in a desirable way. These traits are forced upon the crop, and are not naturally occurring. For example, corn, one of the most common genetically engineered crops, has been altered to be resistant to certain herbicides, thus reducing the need to spray as much. (Ironically, many herbicide resistant “superweeds” have become more common as a result, requiring more herbicides.) Other foods like tomatoes, have been genetically engineered to preserve freshness, allowing them to remain unspoiled longer than nature would’ve allowed. Sure, this sounds like an innovative way to control things like disease, pests, and shelflife of many common foods, but the ramifications of consuming GMO’s on a daily basis over a long period of time could be hazardous. Not only that, but the company controlling the bulk of these GMO’s is also poisoning the soil with dangerous herbicides, and trying to control seeds. See my article on Monsanto for more information.
There are GMO’s lingering in many foods, especially processed foods. It is difficult for consumers to distinguish between safe ingredients and questionable ones considering the lack of “GMO” labeling. Certified Organic and NonGMO products are the only ones that can be considered “safe” (even though certified organic refers to at least 95% of the ingredients being organic…meaning that the remaining 5% could be GMO.) So to help with the confusion, here is a list of the most common GMO’s to be aware of. If buying whole foods in this form, buy organic, and if buying processed food, read the label and make sure the ingredients used are organic as well, or certified nonGMO.
Most Common GMO’s:
Rice (Primarily Golden)
Soybeans (Including soy milk, soybean oil, tofu, tempeh, tamari and any other soy product)
Potatoes (Primarily Russet ad Shepode varieties)
Papaya (Engineered to resist bacteria)
Salmon (Engineered to mature quickly and grow larger than average)
Canola Oil (Engineered for pesticide resistance)
Squash (Zucchini and yellow)
Sugar Beets (This is the main source of white sugar)
Tomatoes (Often engineered to preserve freshness)