One of my sons and I have been chronically ill for years. No answers seemed forthcoming from conventional medicine. I decided that I would need to do something myself. God gave me a good mind, and He expected me to use it. I had to find some way to heal our bodies, or at least give them what they needed to heal themselves.
Six months ago I watched a documentary called, The Future of Food. I sit through the entire film and am shocked. Why have I never even heard of genetically modified crops and food? I start researching, looking for groups of people who know what GMOs are and whether they are safe or not. After reading, researching, discussing and considering I decided that I want to eliminate GMOs from my family’s diet.
I discovered that there are only a handful of GMO crops grown in the United States. This is going to change very quickly as many new GMO crops are slated for approval this year. Enough that the possibility of foreign DNA contaminating the entire food supply is a definite possibility. Biotech and chemical companies would control the world’s food supply through patents. When a non-GMO crop becomes contaminated with pollen from a GMO crop, Monsanto sues the farmer and wins royalties from the non-GMO farmer. Yes, this is a common practice.
So now I start reading labels looking for GMOs in the foods that we have eaten for years. In the 90’s we changed our eating habits under the tutelage of the Feingold Association, The Feingold Diet eliminates artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, msg, and salycilates. A child is then re-introduced to foods one at a time to determine whether there are sensitivities. I had learned to read labels. My children even knew how to read labels. But looking for GMOs was an entirely different animal. No GMOs are labeled in the US. They are hidden. So how in the world does one determine whether a food contains GMOs or not?
There are several ways:
- Buy certified organic. Certified organic foods cannot contain genetically modified ingredients of any kind. When tested, organic foods contain less than 0.5% GMOs.
- Look for Non-GMO Verified. Many companies are submitting their products to the Non-GMO Project so that they can label their foods Non-GMO. Look for this symbol on the package.
- Avoid ingredients that are 65-95% GMO such as:
- Corn: corn oil, corn starch, corn syrup, corn meal
- Canola: canola oil
- Cotton: cottonseed oil
- Soy, soybean: soybean oil, soy oil
- Sugar Beets: labeled “sugar”
- Summer squash
What most of us don’t know, though, is that most GMOs are hidden ingredients.
- high-fructose corn syrup
- corn syrup
- corn starch
- maltodextrin (hidden MSG usually made from corn)
- soy lecithin
- partially hydrogenated soybean oil
- sugar (yes, if it doesn’t say “cane sugar” it is most likely GMO beet sugar)
- vegetable oil
- natural flavors
- papaya enzyme
- soy protein
- soy isolates
- soy isoflavones
- textured vegetable protein (TVP)
The bottom line is that you will need to avoid most packaged and processed foods if you are to truly avoid GMOs. For us, it meant a lifestyle change. Was it a lot of work? Absolutely! What it difficult? Definitely! What it worth it? Oh yeah!!! On the rare occasions when I eat fast food it makes me sick. I get dizzy, weak, and almost always end up with a headache. It is a reminder that I lived day after day feeling awful and sick.
Here are some tools to aid you in avoiding GMOs while shopping:
- Non-GMO Shopping Guide
- Non-GMO Project
- Institute for Responsible Technology
- Food Consumer: GMO’s in Food
In my next blog post I will share some of the foods I buy regularly.