What is GMO?

17 Jul

When deciding what foods are healthy for your family, you most likely look at calories, fats, and vitamins.  But what about foods that we think are healthy and fresh–like tomatoes and corn on the cob?  Surely, nothing can be altered when it is picked right from the vine.  Think again, my friend.

What are GMOs?

Companies are now creating seeds that are genetically modified–GMO seeds– with herbicides and pesticides built in to make crops resistant to common environmental factors such a pests. Farmers are also injecting cows with hormones to make them produce more milk. The DNA of the food is changed. Any produce that is from a genetically modified crop or cow becomes a genetically modified food, or GMO.

For a more specific definition, check out TLC Cooking’s awesome definition.

I try to avoid GMO foods, but the more research I do, the more restricted my diet gets.  I will share some more of my specific product research later.  But for now, check out this awesome link to the TLC Cooking 5 Common GMO foods:

1. GMO Corn – Corn is everywhere, so don’t think just avoiding corn on the cob is the safe way to go! Corn syrup is a sweetener found in soda, candy and even bread! Check your labels. I was so happy to see Pepsi bring Pepsi Throwback on to the market–it is made with real sugar and no corn syrup or weird additives. However, I still did not yet check if Pepsi, Co. uses GMO free sugar.

2. GMO Soy – As a vegetarian, the idea of soy GMO worried me.  I eat alot of soy.  Lucky for me, Silk soymilk is GMO free, and so is the tofu that I bought the other day. I have a suspicion that the Morningstar brand foods (made by Kellogs) use GMO soy.

3. GMO Milk -  This isn’t just milk, but all milk products! Think butter, cheese, ice cream, etc.  Many dairy farmers and companies are getting smart and committing to no GMO milk (which means cows not injected with rGBH/rBST), but what about all those other dairy products?

4. GMO Canola Oil – This one shocked me the most. Oil for frying is commonly Canola Oil.  I need to find a good alternative for this when baking.  So far olive oil is the top runner.  Any suggestions?

5. GMO Aspartame – I have a reaction to this product, so I knew I didn’t need to worry about it since I have already eliminated it from all of my diet.  But diet coke drinkers, beware! There is a ton of this “fake” sugar in sugar free products.  I am still shocked that my mom’s doctor told her to eat sugar-free pudding (which has aspartame and rBGH milk!)

How do we know what foods have GMO in them and which do not?  The list above is definitely not exclusive–more GMOs are being introduced (most recently, GMO sugar, which has caused some controversy legally). Some companies and farmers will not even respond to questions if their products contain GMO ingredients because they are not legally inclined to do so.  Well, I will be asking them–and sharing the responses (or lack thereof).

Check out the products page to see the products that I have already researched.

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