article is shared with permission from our friends at foodmatters.tv.
the debate continuing to swirl around genetically modified foods (GMO’s),
consumers and shoppers are left confused about shopping for food and how
to best feed their families. While it may not be a possible to avoid
knowing the most common foods with GMO’s may help navigate the grocery
store aisles better.
unless a food is now labeled organic or non-GMO verified, then chances are
that it does contain genetically modified organisms.
are 10 of the most common genetically modified foods on our shelves
one of the larger genetically modified food sources, with the majority of
field corn in the US from genetically modified seeds. Recently,
sweet corn joined the fray of GMO’s as Monsanto introduced
its variety of this American favorite. The two most common varieties
of sweet corn that are genetically modified include Syngenta’s Attribute
sweet corn and Monsanto’s Performance series. If you want non- GMO
corn, look for the label, USDA certified organic, as the only guarantee
that your corn is not genetically modified.
of 2007, 91% of the soy planted in the United States is genetically
modified, making soy the largest genetically modified food source in the
US. The US is also one of the largest exporters of soy. Soy is
used in many ways- from soybeans as a protein source to ingredients like
soy lecithin and emulsifiers used to thicken and preserve food and soybean
oil for cooking. The health benefits of soy continue to be debated,
but the best soy is again labeled clearly that it is organic and is
fermented. Choose soy foods like tempeh or tofu and read your edamame
has also been subject to genetic modification, with a variety of different
genes overexpressed- some with the intent to make up for nutritional
deficiencies. Some varieties include overexpression of genes to
increase the iron content of rice while golden rice contains added vitamin
A to address this micronutrient deficiency through Africa and Asia.
The US again leads efforts on bio-engineered rice.
modified tomatoes were the first GMO food to hit the market in the early
’90s. These tomatoes did well initially but did not flourish as well as
was hoped. There are continued efforts to hybridize tomatoes, but
currently, very few tomatoes are genetically modified compared to just a
sugar beets and
sugar beet products are now genetically modified in the United States.
Sugar beet farmers voted to adopt GMO beets as a unanimous decision,
leaving no non- GMO beet options in the United States. Most beets
are grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This decision impacts
sugar as well since almost 50% of sugar in the United States comes from
sugar beets. We will all have to pay attention to labels and buy
certified organic sugar and stay away from beets!
modified potatoes hit
the market in 2015, with the Russet and Atlantic potatoes produced by
Simplot the most commonly available varieties. Many food
manufacturers are not using GMO potatoes, including Con Agra and McCain.
Pick your potatoes wisely, and look for supplier information from
your local grocery store.
93% of canola oil from canola seeds is genetically modified. Canola
oil is derived from the rapeseed plant, a plant whose health benefits are
contested. Canola oil is a processed oil, going through multiple
steps to be shelf stable. It is an oil that can easily become rancid,
attracting mold when in baked and processed goods. Avoid canola oil
and opt for healthier cooking oils like olive, grapeseed or coconut
cows injected with r-BGH, a compound that increases growth hormone
in cows, has been shown to be associated with a higher risk of cancers and
fraternal twin births than non r-BGH cows. Many schools are trying
to pull away from r-BGH milk, while as parents, the best we can do is to
continue reading labels. Companies like Organic Valley offer non-GMO
was disappointed to learn that papaya is genetically modified.
Genetically modified papaya trees were introduced to Hawaii in 1999.
This healthy fruit also needs to be screened in grocery stores for
appropriate labeling and sourcing.
are three main types of genetically modified squash produced by Monsanto’s brand
Seminis. These include yellow crookneck squash, yellow straightneck
squash, and green zucchini. There are non-GMO varieties of squash
available as well.
attention to these ten commonly genetically modified foods. For many
of us, we don’t want to risk the debate on the ramifications of
genetically modified foods. The many animal studies on GMO’s are
disturbing enough and motivation to know our grocer’s suppliers and