Avoiding GMOs

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As the GMO (genetically-modified organism) conversation begins to heat up, and more states introduce bills that would require the labeling of GMOs, I wanted to throw together a quick reference for those of us looking to avoid them in our diet more promptly.

So what exactly are genetically-modified organisms? The Non-GMO Project defines them as “plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals.” They continue, “In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.

Seems legit.

So, how can we avoid GMOs? I was recently speaking to a doctor (read: dentist) about my intent to tackle the issue, and his immediate response was an astounding, “Oh, that’s impossible here!” Well, while it is certainly harder here in the States than in other, perhaps less corrupt, regions of the world, I assure you that it’s possible! Let’s take a look at some of the things we can do…

Buy Organic

Easy enough, right? USDA National Organic Standards prohibit the use of genetically-modified organisms, so this is a great way to identify foods without them. They say, “To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.”

Be Mindful of Additives

Many common additives are gleaned from GMO, and should be avoided when trying to maintain an organic diet. Here are some substances you’ll want to be wary of:

  • Baking Powder
  • Malt Syrup
  • Caramel Color
  • Sorbitol
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Stearic Acid
  • Modified Food Starch
  • Citric Acid
  • Triglycerides
  • Mono and Diglycerides
  • Maltodextrin
  • Lactic Acid

 

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