5 Ways to Avoid GMOs

California was obviously duped…who would willingly give up their right to know what’s in their food? 

California’s Prop 37, which was up for voting last month, called for food producers to simply label their products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Genetically modified foods have had their genes altered by scientists in order to produce higher yields, increase pest resistance, grow in different colors, or hell, even to create completely new crops!

Hey, you in the lab coat…Mother Nature called, she wants her job back!

GMOs have not been proven safe, and no long-term studies have been conducted, despite the urging of the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association.

A number of shorter-term studies have shown a link between GMOs and allergies, organ toxicity, and other health problems. 

Unfortunately, corporate giants like Monsanto and DuPont, two of the biggest producers of genetically modified seeds and pesticides, and their cohorts spent $44 million dollars on ad campaigns that persuaded more Californians to vote against Prop 37, than for it.

If Prop 37 passed in California, it was assumed the rest of the country would follow suit, and America would have joined the 50 other countries, including all of Europe and Australia, which require labeling of genetically modified foods.

While the failure to pass Prop 37 means that genetically modified foods don’t legally have to be labeled, it doesn’t mean you have to ingest them. 

If you’d prefer your veggies without a side of possible illness, here are 5 tips to avoid GMOs on your plate. 

1. Look at the Price Look Up Number. 

Ever notice the little sticker on your apple? That’s the Price Look Up number, or PLU code…Avoid any food that has a code that starts with the number 8. That indicates it’s genetically modified. If it starts with a 3 or 4, that means it was grown “conventionally.”

2. Buy Organic. Organic foods can’t be genetically modified. 

Look for the USDA organic seal on packaged products, which should also ideally also say “100% organic.” On fresh produce, make sure the PLU code starts with a 9, which indicates it’s organic.

3. Look for the Non GMO-Project Label. 

This label verifies that the product was tested by a third-party and that it doesn’t contain any genetically modified ingredients.

4. Avoid the most common GMO foods. 

Corn, soy, canola, papaya, squash, zucchini, and sugar beets (which most sugar comes from) are the most common genetically modified foods. If you don’t see the organic or Non-GMO Project seal on one of these items, avoid it.

5. Read the Ingredient List for Hidden GMOs. 

The majority of packaged goods have some form of soy or corn in them hiding behind innocuous sounding ingredient names. The following is a partial list of sneaky ingredients you may not realize can be corn or soy derivatives:

From corn: citric acid, lactic acid, fructose, glucose, maltodextrin, dextrin, dextrose, and xanthan gum.

From soy: guar gum, tocopherols, natural flavors, and vegetable proteins and isolates.

If a packaged good contains one of these ingredients and isn’t labeled 100% organic, it’s likely genetically modified.    

Unless you want to become a science experiment, say no to GMO! 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Maria Marlowe (formerly Maria Guadagno) is the author of Detox without the Deprivation and is a Certified Health Coach. She has made it her mission to help America get healthy through better nutrition. Maria coaches clients to get healthy through both one-on-one and group programs. She hosts monthly nutrition workshops in NYC, and publishes a weekly newsletter and blog with nutrition tips and recipes that make healthy food taste good. Kickstart your wellness with her free Healthy, Happy, & Glowing Guide.

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