sharing knowledge; enhancing wellbeing.
We have our well-known dirty dozen (non-organic fruits and veggies) from EWG. However, it is also critical that we know about the top ten genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are sold here in the U.S. (and should be avoided like the plague, literally). GMOs are banned for consumption in most parts of the world (see image), as researchers have yet to conclude that these products are safe for human consumption – in fact, they have found quite the contrary, in addition to detrimental environmental effects. Monsanto, the patent-holder of most things GMO, has done their best to stop the consumer from knowing that their food is genetically modified (and has even gone so far as to threaten to sue states that try to require labeling!). Since there are no current labeling laws, it is (at least for now) up to the consumer to educate themselves on these organisms that are sold as food (rather than the poison that they are). We will list those to avoid here at RH, and if you want more information, click on the link here and here to learn why these should be avoided at all costs… and, go organic to ensure the lowest levels of GMO consumption possible!
1. Corn – 88% of the non-organic corn in the U.S. is GM – and we wonder why corn allergies are sprouting up out of nowhere…?
2. Soy – 94% of soy grown in the U.S. is GM. It is found in everything from drugs to food to flooring, and is known to cause issues with fertility, cancer, and allergies.
3. Cotton – 90% is GM. It is found in edible oil, clothing, and even feminine products.
4. Papaya – if your papaya isn’t organic, it’s GM – watch out for papaya from Hawaii, which is almost all GM.
5. Rice – despite the fact that GM rice was never even approved in the U.S. (which really says something…) it has contaminated our domestic rice crops. Non-organic rice from South East Asia is also not recommended. If you are gluten-free, be especially mindful! GF products might seem like they are “healthier,” but they are typically packed with poisonous GMOs if they’re not organic. UPDATE (5/2/12): GM rice CONTAINING HUMAN GENES approved to be planted in the U.S.
6. Alfalfa – known for a high level of cross-pollination with it’s non-GM counterpart, this crop is problematic. For all of those who eat “grass-fed” beef that isn’t organic, this is what your cow ate.
7. Canola (originally known as “rapeseed”) – this is in pretty much everything. Last night I avoided buying “all natural” tortilla chips “made with organic blue corn” because the product actually wasn’t organic – it was cooked with canola oil, which is a GM product – yuck. A lesson to really read the labels!
8. Dairy products with rbGH (bovine growth hormone) – the dairy industry fought to remove labels touting “made without rbGH” because they found “no difference” between milk with and without this GM hormone; however, we know that this just isn’t the case. Something of importance to note – goat dairy never uses rbGH because it doesn’t help to increase milk production in these animals, so as of now, goat dairy is safe, and typically allergy-friendly!
9. Sugar beets - Any time you see “sugar” or “sugar beets” on the label, there is a 95% chance that you are getting GM sugar beets. Organic products now list “cane sugar” when the sugar comes from actual cane, the way we all expect it to. Read more here and here to learn about the dangers of consuming GM sugar products, including mercury poisoning!
10. Zucchini and Summer Squash - Like all of the GM crops listed above, these should be avoided at all costs.
11. Salmon – salmon from farms is pre-approved and unless the public does something to drastically shift the mind of the current administration, we will see farmed salmon as GM. Time will tell how this will affect wild populations and the consumers. Read more about farmed salmon here. And click here to stop GM salmon!
12. Aspartamte (and other fake sugar) – is neuroexcitatory (think brain damage), and actually breaks down into formaldehyde after consumed, and is linked with serious health issues like cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and seizures… this will make you think twice before choosing that diet soda, right?
13. - chard, beets, rutabaga, kale, bok choy, mizuna, chinese cabbage, turnips, rapini, tatsoi, squash, flax, honey, and all animal products including eggs and dairy.
Shop smart to eat smart, friends!