It has been 20 years since a company owned by Monsano introduced the first genetically modified plant approved for consumption in the United States – the Flavr Savr tomato – and since then, scores of farmers have been producing more and more GM foods.
It is a controversial practice that has come under increasing scrutiny as many activities are worried about the potential effect of GMOS on human health as well as the environment. More people are now demanding, albeit in vain, that all foodstuff containing GMO ingredients be labelled as such.
Are you looking for a way to ensure that your diet is 100 percent GMO free? This guide will tell you how to shop for non-GMO products and what foods to avoid.
While companies are not compelled by law to label their products as GM or non-GM, you can simply refuse to buy products that are not labelled as non-GM or organic. Limiting your purchases to Certified Organic, 100 percent organic and USDA organic-labelled products is usually the easiest way of avoiding GM ingredients. Moreover, the use of non-organic pesticides or crops is not allowed in organic farming and this helps create a better ecosystem.
The Labeling Details
- 100 percent organic – these are products that contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients. This is the only label that certifies that a product is completely non-GM and completely organic.
- USDA organic/ Certified Organic – the contents must be 95 percent organic by weight. The remaining 5 percent may consist of substances approved on the USDA’s NOSB National list, which excludes GMO products.
- Non-GMO verified – this is a verification seal that indicates that the products have been taken through the Non-GMO Project’s verification process.
Do not trust the PLU codes and product stickers
There is a myth that the 5-digit coding sequence that begins with an 8 identifies products as GMO, however, this type of identification is completely options and as yet, no produce providers have complied.
You can however, trust the 5-digit code staring with a 9- that identifies organic fruits and vegetables as certified organic, which means they are GM-free.
Beware of artificial sweeteners
The most commonly used artificial sweetener, aspartame, is made using genetically modified bacterial strains of E. Coli. Moreover, Aspartame caries a whole lot of negative side effects you will do well to steer clear of.
Assume all non-organic soy, corn, canola and cottonseed ingredients are GMO
This is because these plants are mostly grown using GM seeds. Basically if a food is shelved in the centre aisles of a supermarket-v where most processed products are, then it is likely that it contains one or more of these ingredients. If you have a need for something made of soy of corn, be sure to seek it out from among the organic products, which do not contains GMO as per their certification.
Check you source of meat, pork and dairy
Cheese milk, eggs, beef, pork and chicken could all be made from animals that were given GM feed. To be safe, choose grass-fed, organic or non-GMO certified products.
In the United States, avoiding GM foods and ingredients in order to keep the family as healthy as possible takes a lot of dedication. These tips will go a long way in helping keep you shopping list free from GM products.