GMO foods have been among us for decades, and it seems as if they are only growing in number. There are certain foods that you should definitely avoid if you’re trying to get GMOs out of your life. Here are some of the top offenders that unless otherwise labeled, will most likely contain genetically modified organisms of some sort.
Pick up an ear of conventional corn and chances are it’s going to contain at least some GMOs in it. Corn is the largest crop grown in America, and some of the biggest providers of corn have altered them so they’ll grow better.
GMO corn has been engineered to that it will ward off insects and battle back against herbicides. These are not the kind of chemicals you’d want to knowingly put in your body, yet there’s no way to avoid them if you’re eating corn that has been modified to inherently contain them.
It would be easy enough to avoid GMOs from corn, but so many products are derived from corn, and corn is used to make High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is found in hundreds of items throughout the supermarket, that this is easily the one GMO food to put your target on and eliminate from your diet first.
Ways to Avoid It: Opt for organic corn to avoid GMOs. Corn chips and other items made from corn at fast food or chain restaurants are most assuredly going to contain. Even Chipotle, which makes its menu ingredients known, has acknowledged that it’s a challenge to find non-GMO corn priced low enough to serve in its restaurants.
Tomatoes often make health news headlines for their healthy benefits, but they are also a food you’ll want to watch out for if you’re trying to sidestep the consumption of GMOs. You’ll have to seek out organic tomatoes, because most of the tomatoes on store shelves are not organic. The price may be a bit higher, but it’s worth it to get the good things tomatoes contain, without the bad.
Yes, tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, containing lycopene that benefits the body in a number of ways, perhaps most importantly by preventing cancer. However, these benefits are compromised when the tomato also contains herbicides and pesticides built right into it.
Ways to Avoid It: Organic or non-GMO tomatoes should be eaten. Often you’ll find tomatoes as an ingredient in packaged foods or other items, and you’ll want to check to see if it’s listed as a non-GMO product or not.
Potatoes are grown in abundance in the United States, as they are used by fast food companies and prepared food companies to make French fries, hash browns, and more. Potatoes are also grown to be fed to livestock, which in turn ends up on our plate in the form of meat.
You may be thinking that because potatoes grown underground they will contain fewer pesticides and herbicides. Unfortunately, when these chemicals are placed right into the seed itself there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. Such is the case with GMO potatoes.
Ways to Avoid It: Stick with organically grown potatoes, or check for non-GMO labeled potatoes. This includes potato chips and other snacks made from potatoes. All fast food French fries will be made from GMO potatoes, so it’s recommended to make your own at home.
While it’s possible for many of the conventionally grown vegetables you see in the produce section to contain GMOs, there’s an even higher likelihood that squash will contain them.
The reason these are so frequently treated with GMOs is because they’re especially susceptible to viruses that can wipe out an entire crop. To give them more of a fighting chance, food conglomerates have made it so that the seeds contain antiviral elements to them so they can be more resilient once planted. The end result is that medications, for lack of a better word, enter into our bodies.
Ways to Avoid It: Organic squash is the way to go if you still want to enjoy some squash without worrying what’s in it. Look for squash in prepared soups and other foods to make sure that it isn’t in the food you’re about to eat.
Soybeans are the second-largest crop grown in America, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when a food is grown in such large quantities, it has probably been tinkered with genetically. However, the use of GMOs in soybeans is greater than in other crops, which makes it especially tricky to find non-GMO soybeans.
Perhaps you don’t eat soybeans directly, but you may find that you’re using soybean oil, or other soy-derived products. Unless these are labeled differently, they will likely be conventional and have a high chance of being a GMO food.
Ways to Avoid It: Many other products are made from soybeans, like tofu and tempeh, so see if these are organic or non-GMO before buying. You may have to pay more for them than their conventional counterparts, but it will be worth it for the way you feel.
6. Sugar Beets
You’ve probably never purchased sugar beets directly from the produce aisle, but they find their way into all sorts of products, and most of the time they will have been genetically modified.
Sugar beets are often used to produce sugar, which may look innocent enough on a food label, but you always have to consider how the sugar was made. Unless it says that it was made with pure cane sugar, or that it is 100% organic, it is suspect for being a GMO food.
Ways to Avoid It: Don’t eat products that contain sugar in the ingredients label, as many times it will come from sugar beets that have been genetically modified, from sugar cane, or a combination of them both. Use organic cane sugar to sweeten your foods, which can be purchased at health food stores, chains like Whole Foods, or Amazon.
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