GMO-free Super Bowl 50: Snacks

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Continuing from the series on food and beverages for Super Bowl 50, this post will focus on chips and other simple snacks.

Chips and Popcorn

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Potato and popcorn crops grown in the U.S. are not GMO, though GMO potatoes are grown in other countries.

Potato chips and popcorn are simple: avoid brands with canola, soybean, vegetable, corn and cottonseed oils. These are all GMO.

This “Natural” caramel popcorn (photo on right) ingredients looks promising with Sunflower and/or Safflower oil, popcorn and salt. The problem with this product is that it contains “sugar” which is code for GMO sugar beet sugar. Remember to look for “cane sugar” on labels, or purchase an organic product. If it was Non GMO Project Verified that would be good as well.

Peanut, safflower, sunflower, olive and organic canola, soybean, and corn oils are all non-GMO.

It gets a little more complicated when you want flavored chips. Most are coated with additives.

Organic snacks are non-GMO. Simple.

Chips that have the Non GMO Project Verified label on the packaging are free of GMOs.

Tortilla chips are made from corn which means GMOs in the U.S. unless organic or sourced non-GMO.

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Garden of Eatin’ chips are made with organic corn meal AND are Non GMO Project Verified.

Why are the chips on the right also labeled Non GMO Project Verified when they state they are made with organic blue corn? Because the oil and other ingredients are not necessarily organic. This is an issue with many products.

Deep River Chips produced right here in Connecticut make the claim that their chips are made from GMO-free potatoes on the package. All potato chips made in the U.S. are made from GMO-free potatoes. The label is deceptive.

Another problem with Deep River products are the other ingredients such as maltodextrin which is made from GMO corn unless specified otherwise.

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Popchips contain GMO ingredients.

Popchips (photo on right) are not organic or Non GMO Project Verified, and they contain GMO ingredients:

Maltodextrine and Dextrose are made from corn which is GMO unless organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

Canola oil, of course, is GMO unless organic or Non GMO Project Verified.

Natural flavor is a mystery ingredient that could be derived from meat, vegetable, spice or even fish bladder or beaver scent.

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Late July makes delicious organic tortilla chips. Great texture.

Utz recently started selling organic chips as well. I purchased two bags, one blue corn and one white corn tortilla chips. They are made with non-GMO corn flour instead of corn meal, and they aren’t very good. They are kind of mushy. When I place a chip in my mouth it started dissolving within a few seconds, requiring little chewing. I need my tortilla chips to have plenty of crunch, thank you very much.

I appreciate the effort mainstream snack producers make to delve into the organic food business, but they tend to be poor substitutes for the organic brands that have been around for a long time and have loyal customers.

One exception is the Simply Balanced organic brand of chips and snacks that Target Stores sells. They are quite good. They even have organic white cheddar cheese puffs (oh yeah).

Nuts

Avoid nuts that have GMO oils (canola, soybean, cottonseed, vegetable and corn) and you should be fine. There are no GMO nuts.

Dry roasted nuts oftentimes have sugar added. Unless otherwise stated, this sugar is GMO.

I am fortunate that my local grocery store carries raw nuts that have no preservatives. That way I can eat them raw or roast them myself.

To be continued…

The next post will discuss dips for the delicious, non-GMO chips discussed in this post. Stay tuned. Your Superbowl 50 food can be healthy and delicious.

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