Genetically modified foods and ingredients lurk everywhere. While the health consequences of these processed foods is still in question, the general consensus is that any food that has been modified and created using a cocktail of poisons and chemicals should be avoided.
For those lucky enough to live in Australia, the Food Labelling Laws there mandate that all foods containing GMOs must be labelled. In the US, this is not the case (at least until 2018 when Whole Foods Market have pledged to begin labelling GMOs).
So you know what to avoid in your local supermarket, here is a list of the most commonly genetically modified foods:
I have previously written about the dangers of soy (here). Soy is now known to be the most heavily genetically modified food in the US. And don’t think that you are soy free just because you don’t drink soy milk. Soy is also found in soy sauce, (including tamari, Shoyu and teriyaki), edamame, tofu, tempeh, faux meats, miso and soy nuts, as well as the whole soy beans.
Canola is primarily used as canola oil, a highly processed, hydrogenated form of vegetable oil, which is much cheaper to produce and buy than the higher quality olive oil. This is the oil most restaurants generally use to fry in, or just to generally cook in. According to this paper, around 90 per cent of US canola crops are genetically modified.
Yellow squash and zucchini
This veggie is definitely one to look out for at your local farmers’ market. While the numbers of GMO squash and zucchini are comparatively small, the modified versions are found in two different species in the US and due to the high level of artificial protein genes, it is virtually impossible to tll the difference between non-GMO and GMO zucchini.
I generally avoid dairy milk and this is one of the reasons why. On top of feeding cows a “vegetarian” (read – grain based) diet, which they were not raised to digest, US farmers give cows an artificial growth hormone. To get an idea of how bad this is, this chemical is banned in the European Union, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
This one is a biggie. I have written about the dangers of eating corn here and here previously. According to this article, around 85 per cent of corn grown in the US is genetically modified. The reason why? Farmers modified corn crops to ensure they are resistant to herbicides. Eat corn (in the US), and you are eating a cocktail of chemicals.
Be a smart shopper and look out for these foods and ingredients. Don’t forget – many of these foods, particularly soy and corn, can be found hidden amongst a list of many ingredients, so be sure to read labels. In line with my mantra, being an informed consumer is the keystone to good health, so get educated.