While perusing the news at work I stumbled across an interesting article by Monica Eng of the Chicago Tribune titled “With No Labeling, Few Realize They Are Eating Genetically Modified Foods.”
The article discussed a recent happening where a group of activists boycotted Whole Foods after discovering they carried products containing GMOs. Surprisingly, the GMOs were found in well-known products with healthy reps, such as Tofutti, Kashi and Boca Burgers. Eng also covered how few Americans even realize they are eating GMOs, and the relevent controversy over labeling foods containing GMO ingredients.
Here is a quick list Eng provided in the article for those looking to avoid GMOs:
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If You Want to Avoid GMOs
Several shopping guides have been published in recent years offering vetted lists of products that do or don’t contain biotech ingredients. They include the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, the Greenpeace Shoppers Guide and an iPhone app from the Non GMO Project.
They also include general guidance on avoiding GMO foods, including:
- Look for the Non GMO Project Verified seal, which is the only third-party-tested verification program in theU.S.
- Choose certified organic foods, which cannot contain genetically modified ingredients or feed (for animals) as part of their certification.
- The most common GM crops are field corn (not sweet corn; the kind used for grain, processed food ingredients and animal feed), soy, canola, wheat, cotton, alfalfa, rice, sugar beets and flax.
- These crops often are added to processed foods as oils, sweeteners and soy proteins but also can be part of amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, vitamin C, citric acid, sodium citrate, ethanol, flavorings (natural and artificial), hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrins, microbial growth media, molasses, monosodium glutamate, sucrose, textured vegetable protein, xantham gum, vitamins and yeast products, according to the Non GMO Project.
- Unless sugar is labeled as pure cane or organic, it likely contains sugar from GM sugar beets.
- Most fresh produce is GMO free except Hawaiian papaya, crookneck squash, zucchini and a small percentage of sweet corn.