Here are a few places where you might not think you’d find Genetically Modified ingredients, so be aware.
Breakfast cereals. Almost all of the corn and soy crops in the USA are now GMOs; unless your cereal sports the Non-GMO Project or Certified Organic seals, be certain that, by default, they contain GMO corn or soy.
Soda pop. If it contains high fructose corn syrup, you can bet it’s full of concentrated modified/mutated DNA. I’m pretty sure that there is not a GMO-free version of high fructose corn syrup, but let me know if I’m mistaken.
Chewing gum. If it contains Aspartame, it contains GMOs. Same goes for Diet sodas.
Chicken. Yep, those chicken nuggets, chicken fajitas, chicken sandwiches, chicken burritos… Even that plain grilled chicken breast on rice served at the luncheon and that roasted half-breast-and-leg portion offered at some fancy restaurants. All of that comes from chickens fed a feed made up of corn and soy. Yep, you guessed, it: unless it’s specifically labeled as Organic of GMO-free, it’s most assuredly chock-full of GMOs. So the chickens eat the feed and now they incorporate the GMOs into their flesh.
Eggs. See above. Always choose organic eggs.
Beef. Cows, too, are fed a feed made of GMO corn and GMO soy. The mutated DNA remains in the meat of the animal, which means that your hamburger is likely brimming with tinkered DNA.
Milk. See above. Studies have shown that GMOs pass into the flesh, milk, and eggs of animals fed GMO-contaminated feed. This goes for non-organic yogurts, too.
In a recent cooking class, a student raised his hand and asked: “What is so bad about genetically modified foods?”
Everywhere I go I hear variations on this question, and in some ways, it has become one of my missions to open our eyes about the dangers of GMOs.
Why are GMOs so bad?
Let’s just start by pointing out that we have been unwittingly made part of the largest experiment on the public health in the history of this planet. Twenty years ago, when the FDA approved the first genetically modified seeds for planting and introduction into the American food supply, all of the scientific research was presented by staff scientists for the chemical companies applying for the permission: Monsanto, Cargill, and others. Research had been limited to experiments of weeks and done on rodents, not humans. Despite these companies’ track records of assuring public safety with products like Agent Orange and DDT (Monsanto), the FDA took a “safe until proven otherwise” stance.
Did anyone ask you if you wanted to opt out of this experiment?
Current studies are linking GMOs to tumors and infertility, but the truth is that we really don’t know how bad they are for us. GMOs have infiltrated our food supply to the point that, unless you are very careful, every time you cook with canola oil or eat a corn chip or drink milk or have a soda with high fructose corn syrup, you are ingesting GMOs.
Genetically modified corn is designed to burst open the bellies of insects as a pest control method; our society is riddled with chronic ailments stemming from inflamed, leaky guts like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, chronic fatigue, migraines, and more. Could there be a link? Maybe.
The FDA says the jury is still out about the health effects of GMOs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to wait for them to make up their minds when it comes to my health. My goal is to avoid GMO foods whenever possible by buying organic and looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal on packaged goods.
At the Seeds of Doubt conference recently, Jeffery Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and GMO expert, assured us that even though almost 90% of the corn grown and eaten in this country is GMO corn, popcorn comes from a different seed and has not been genetically modified.
So, while you should assume that your Doritos brand corn chips and those sweet corn cobs on sale at the grocery store are Genetically Modified even though they are not labeled as such, you’ll never have to worry about your popcorn being GMO. Makes you feel a little bit better about ordering that large tub at the movie theater!