If You’re like me, you have been following the debate over Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Foods. You’re wondering just what this means for your family and your grocery cart, and what you can do to avoid purchasing GMO products.
So what does Genetically Modified Organism mean? “A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food.( 1) ” Learn more from Wikipedia. Ingredients that are genetically modified include:
GMO foods are grown from modified seeds designed to ward off pests, fight disease, produce their own insecticides, and grow larger more plentiful crops. Sounds good right? This sounds great for companies. Farmers are able to produce more crops at less expense and energy. So what’s wrong with that? The problem lies in the questionable impact GMO foods have on their test subjects, or us. Reports of adverse reactions in rats have me wondering just what these products will do to humans and I don’t want to feed them to my family. Learn more about the process of genetically engineering here.
So how do we avoid GMOs? Purchasing organically certified and whole food ingredients can assist in ensuring that GMOs stay out of our diets. The excuse I hear for not shopping this way is that the higher expense of organic foods impacts our wallets. Bottom line is it takes work. Weather you’re growing your own garden, cooking more from scratch, or e-mailing Organic companies for coupons to help with your grocery bill, this lifestyle change is work. Until non-GMO foods become the norm in the United States, each household will be fighting it’s own battle to keep GMO foods out of our cupboards. (Photo belor right: Organic greens from our garden, Organic Wegmans brand eggs, Organic Driscolls Strawberries)
Tips for avoiding non-GMO foods:
1. Buy Certified Organic (foods labeled natural are not Organic, A list of companies committed to using non-GMO ingredients can be found here.)
2. Cook from scratch (using ingredients like non-GMO flour and sugar)
3. Grow your own produce at home (Any food you can produce at home helps. Use organic or hybrid instead of GMO seeds, Grow Food not Lawns on FB)
4. Perimeter shop (avoid pre-packaged and processed foods by shopping the outer aisles of the store)
5. Look for companies who proudly announce the exclusion of GMO ingredients from their products. (More and more companies are marketing this way)
6. Take home-made food with you. (Skip the drive-through and pre-packaged meals)
7. If you’re preparing for baby, Breastfeed. (not only is this better for your baby, it’s better for you!)
So how willing are you to make the transition to non-GMO foods? Would you turn off your cable and switch to antenna to save money for groceries? Are you willing to do the research and spend more time cooking and less time heating up processed foods? If you are, you’ll join many who not only feel better about what they’re eating, but eating better directly increases your overall health. Who doesn’t want to be healthier?
(Right) First Crop of the Season, Lettuce!