Yesterday I talked about GMOs and why there is some controversy surrounding them. I also provided some tips for avoiding GMOs in the food you purchase and consume. Today, I will go into more detail around which foods are safe, and which ones may contain GMOs.
According to one source, most fruits and vegetables that are grown in the United States are NOT genetically modified. Even products such as seedless watermelon are considered non-GMO. Some zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet corn may be GM, as well as about half of the papaya that comes from Hawaii.
However, I find it difficult to believe that most fruits and veggies are non-GMO. I know at one point tomatoes were often GM and could be altered to stay fresh about 6 weeks from when they were picked, which is about a month longer than regular tomatoes. And sometimes you see fruits or vegetables in the grocery store that just look too enormous to NOT be GM – or at least that’s what I think. But, my source says most fruits and veggies are safe, so let's stick with that!
In the meat, fish and eggs department, it gets kind of complicated. There are no genetically modified meat, fish or eggs that are approved for human consumption, so in theory they are all safe. However, many of the foods we consume come from animals who were raised on genetically modified grains. Therefore, the negative affects of eating GMOs are passed through to the meat, fish or eggs. Some tips for avoiding animal products that were fed GM grains include the following: consume wild – not farmed – fish, because farmed fish are often raised on GM feed; and consume animals and animal products that are 100% grass-fed. Some non-GMO meat and fish brands include Organic Prairie, Tropical Traditions, and Vital Choice. Some non-GMO egg brands include Egg Innovations Organic, Eggland’s Best Organic, Horizon Organic, Land O’Lakes Organic, Nest Fresh Organic and Organic Valley.
Since soy is one of the biggest ingredients to watch out for in terms of GMOs, “alternative” meat products made from soy often contain GMOs. Brands like Boca (owned by Kraft), Gardenburger, and Morningstar Farms (owned by Kellogg) may contain GMO ingredients, unless you purchase the organic line. Non-GMO alternative meat product brands that are safe include Whole Foods’ 365 brand, Amy’s, EcoVegan, Small Planet Tofu, and Vitasoy.
In the dairy department, basically anything that is certified organic is considered safe. Even if the label says that the product was produced without rbGH or rbST, the cows could still have been fed GM feed, so look for that certified organic label.
I think the baby foods and infant formulas are particularly important to watch out for, because we want to be extra careful about what we put into those growing little bodies! Milk or soy protein is the basis of most infant formulas, and some brands even contain GMO-derived corn syrup, corn syrup solids or soy lecithin. Non-GMO baby brands include: Baby’s Only Organic, Bella Baby, Earth’s Best, Gerber, HAPPYBABY, Mom Made Meals, Organic Baby, PediaSmart, Plum Organics, and Tastybaby. The baby brands that may include GMO ingredients include Beech-Nut, Enfamil, Good Start, Nestle, and Similac/Isomil. Stay away from these if possible.
For those of you that have an iphone, there is now an app that helps you shop GMO-free. It’s called ShopNoGMO, and it’s FREE! I just downloaded it and it seems like they have a lot of brands in their database, so it will be helpful. There is also a website you can utilize: www.nongmoshoppingguide.com. Good luck!