Should you be worried about Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) especially when they’re in 80% of processed foods…

Just go ahead and try to keep up with what we should or shouldn’t eat. It’s a full time job… I’m here to tell you I read all the articles, listen to Dr. Oz, The Doctors, friends and neighbors and I feel like I’m swirling around in a circle. I know how to eat healthy… but with the advent of GMO (genetic modified organisms), and with the FDA not requiring any type of labeling so that YOU, the consumer can choose whether or not you want to eat GMO. It’s frustrating. We all need to stand up and let them know we need to know WHAT’S IN OUR FOOD as well as if it has been altered IN ANY WAY. Fair is fair. If we start dropping like flies but we knew the consequences, then so be it. However, to make us think we’re consuming something healthy (in a few cases) only to have it NOT be healthy, is WRONG.

I’ve read a lot about GMO over the past year or two. I have signed a petition to require labeling on those products, currently is not mandatory. HEAVY sigh… There is a fabulous article by PREVENTION MAGAZINE that helps to explain what this is all about. I urge you to read it. As always Prevention is chock full of great health information you can trust. The article was in the April 2012 issue of Prevention “As Nature Made Them”. Click the link to read the story… (Thank you Prevention for the article and for the above image)!

Let’s start with WHAT IS A GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM. First of all, organism, ewwww. I don’t like that word used in describing food I’m buying. But here are some excerpts from the magazine article, again, I urge you to read it in it’s entirety:

They’re called genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and they’re in 80% of the processed food on grocery store shelves—and a handful of whole foods as well, with perhaps more on the way soon.

A genetically modified food is one that has had lab-replicated genes from other plants, animals, and even viruses added to it in order to give it new characteristics—a resistance to insects, say, or to extreme heat and drought–that provide it an advantage in terms of hardy growth. Today, 91% of soy produced in the United States is genetically modified, as is 85% of corn and 88% of cottonseed, to name a few examples. Most GM crops are grown on large industrial farms and then processed into hundreds of other ingredients that show up in our food as corn syrup, soy lecithin, canola oil, cottonseed oil, or the sweeteners used in soups, spreads, and sauces–even infant formula. So ubiquitous have GMOs become, in fact, that unless a packaged food is certified organic or specifically labeled non-GMO, chances are it contains modified ingredients.

And it’s not just processed foods. Hawaiian papaya, certain varieties of summer squash, and, as recently as last December, drought-resistant corn on the cob have also joined the list of crops that the Food and Drug Administration has reviewed for genetic modification in the United States. Pushing the envelope even further, the agency is now considering green-lighting genetically altered salmon, which would be bred with DNA that makes it grow to full size twice as fast as wild salmon.

The controversy over GM food safety has swirled since the first altered foods were introduced in the early 1990s. Many scientists insist there’s no proof that genetically modified food can harm human health; their opponents counter that such claims cannot be responsibly made because there simply hasn’t been enough research conducted—and there ought to be before consumers can buy them. Such arguments have persuaded 30 countries—including Japan, Australia, and the entire European Union—to ban or severely restrict GM crops. But the United States hasn’t been persuaded.

Obligatory labeling that indicates the presence of GMOs by food manufacturers strikes many as a prudent first step. Last fall, a coalition that now includes more than 480 groups—including Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Ocean Conservancy—launched the Just Label It campaign, asking the federal government to require labeling of GM foods. The FDA has until mid-April to respond to the petition, which has so far amassed 560,000 signatures. In a separate effort, California is working to collect enough signatures to put the question of GM food labeling on its ballot in November.

And some final great thoughts from Prevention…

How To Avoid GM Foods:

Stay Away From The Top 8
The eight GM food crops are corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, and some zucchini and yellow squash.

Go Organic
Certified organic food cannot intentionally include GM ingredients.

Look For The “Non-GMO Project” Seal
This means the products have been independently tested and verified by the Non-GMO Project.

Use The Non-GMO Shopping Guide
This easy-to-use online guide and free phone app takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping.

Shop With GM-Free Retailers
Two large chains, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s, have banned GM ingredients from their house brands.

One note… locally, EarthFare can be added to the list of no GMO foods… thankfully!

Well, whaddyathink about that? Exhausting, eh? To keep up with things you can join the NON GMO PROJECT Facebook page…

If you would like to see food labeled so that you know if it’s GMO, sign the petition, this one is going to the White House…

Let me know what YOU think. Google GMO. There is so much to read…

Catch you back here tomorrow!

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2 thoughts on “Should you be worried about Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) especially when they’re in 80% of processed foods…

  1. I’ve never been good with healthy eating habits. I feel so in the dark about it I don’t even know where to begin. While this totally grosses me out it also makes me feel overwhelmed with the whole subject. I’d like to find a beginners course on healthy eating for the hopelessly lost.

    • Hey Lori! Isn’t that the truth… I suggest subscribing to Prevention magazine, it’s cheap and it’s small so it fits in your purse, perfect for a waiting room or reading a few pages before falling asleep… I get so much information from it. And it’s ALWAYS changing which can make you feel like you’re going in circles trying to figure things out!! I subscribe to Prevention, Health and Cooking Light… between those I hope to catch the latest on what’s going on! It’s disgusting what’s being done with food, isn’t it?? We need to all become farmers, ha ha… a farmer afraid of bugs, oh my! ha ha

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