GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. Sounds pretty scientific, huh? What if I told you that you've been eating GMOs daily, and have been for years, without even knowing what a GMO is. For the majority of us, that's the truth. These days I'm seeing more about saying No to GMOs in the media. It could be that I read up on health and food related topics for my own personal research, but I can spot the Non-GMO labels on more and more products these days.
NonGMOProject.Org is a wonderful research tool that will help educate and empower consumers to make intelligent decisions. Instead of trying to re-write the fantastic information on their site, I've included some FAQ's below. Get the full listing at http://www.nongmoproject.org/consumers/about-gmos/.
What are GMOs?
GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are organisms that have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This relatively new science allows DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a laboratory, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
Are GMOs safe?
In 30 other 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 of GMOs, because they are not considered proven safe. In the U.S. on the other hand, the FDA approved commercial production of GMOs based on studies conducted by the companies who created them and profit from their sale. Many health-conscious shoppers find the lack of rigorous, independent, scientific examination on the impact of consuming GM foods to be cause for concern.
How common are GMOs?
According to the USDA, in 2009, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of corn grown in the U.S. were GMO. It is estimated that over 90% of canola grown is GMO, and there are also commercially produced GM varieties of sugar beets, squash and Hawaiian Papaya. As a result, it is estimated that GMOs are now present in more than 80% of packaged products in the average U.S. or Canadian grocery store.
It's your right to choose Non-GMO. This brings a new meaning to "you are what you eat" if you're not really sure what you're eating. Right? Read the labels, ask questions, and look for the Non-GMO seal on products.
After the Retreat, Lauren went to the grocery store determined to find a canned tuna without the ingredient of soy. She had the stock boys helping her read labels and they were unsuccessful in the search for tuna without soy. As shown above 93% of all soy is GMO; unless the label says otherwise assume GMO.
I'm not saying to throw away every food product in your household, but start small and make better choices when you are replacing your staples. I don't know about you, but I enjoy eating food the way nature intended it to be eaten, in a whole unaltered state as much as possible. Look for Organic and Non-GMO labels on products; produce stickers that start with #9 are organically grown.
Non-GMO Shopping Guide: http://www.nongmoproject.org/consumers/search-participating-products/print-shopping-guide/
Non-GMO iPhone App: http://www.nongmoproject.org/consumers/search-participating-products/iphone-app-shopping-guide/
Pledge to choose Non-GMO Project Verified the producers, manufacturers and retailers: http://www.nongmoproject.org/consumers/consumer-pledge/
By voting with my dollars, I will do my part to help preserve a non-GMO food supply for generations to come!
Read your labels!