In light of Non-GMO Month being upon us, we thought it would be great to discuss this highly controversial topic. While there are many debates around GMOs, if you’ve done your homework, you know that GMOs are probably not great for your health. So what to do about it? Here at GURU we try to avoid GMOs, at least as best we can!
The reality is, there are probably legions of GMOs hanging out in your fridge and pantry right now. The issue is labeling. We should have the right to know which food contains GMOs. Despite advances in legislation around this topic, unclear package labeling remains an issue. So until they fully get their act together and make it easy for the masses, here are some pointers on how to eat GMO-free.
What labels can I trust?
While we do recommend sticking to products labelled USDA Organic, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is GMO-free. These products are still allowed to contain small amounts of GMOs. The best thing to look for in addition to the USDA Organic certification is the Non GMO Project Verified certification. For a product to qualify for the Non GMO Project it must meet strict standards. Prior to approval the project’s strenuous Product Verification Program will assess the ingredients, the products, and the manufacturing facilities to make sure nothing is left up to chance.
What foods should I flat out avoid?
The blanket statement that most people give is ‘avoid processed foods’. According to the USDA’s definition of processed foods, this could mean anything from a box of cereal to sliced fruits. The truth is not all processed foods contain GMOs. The main culprits to steer clear of are corn and soy. Over 90% of the corn and soy in America is genetically modified and some 75% of processed foods in our stores typically contain at least one ingredient made with genetically modified crops, such as high-fructose corn syrup or soy lecithin. These two manage to sneak their way into many processed food items, so be on the lookout for them!
What about meat, eggs and dairy?
While we prefer to avoid it altogether, if you are shopping for meat look for 100% organic fed or grass-fed. For eggs, look for packets that say 100% organic from 100% organic feed. As for dairy, buy 100% organic or grass-fed products, or products from Greece or Switzerland where GMOs are completely banned. France is mostly non-GMO if you happen to spot a nice cheese you like.
Which foods are the safest bets?
Organic nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains are generally safe and really good for you. Pretty much anything you can buy at farmer’s markets should also be safe. You could even strike up a conversation with a local farmer and buy produce directly from them. Then there’s the totally obvious answer…grow your own!
So join the well-informed and try to go non-GMO. By doing this you will be personally contributing to that all important tipping point of consumer rejection, which will hopefully bring about much needed changes in the food industry.