One of the most important issues of our day, an issue that directly affects the health and well-being of everyone on our planet, is an issue most people have never heard about – genetically modified organisms (GMO) in our food supply. The ‘why’ is a topic we encourage everyone to research. Start here, then do some Google searches. Research both sides, then decide for your family if foods containing GMO are something you feel comfortable with your children consuming on a regular basis.
We strongly believe that removing genetically modified organisms (GMO) from our diet is one of the most important things we can do for our health. Here are a few steps our family has taken to do just that. Sure, it’s impossible to completely eliminate GMO, but we can minimize it, educate others, and fight the contamination of our food supply. Voting with our wallet is a great first step!
1.) Can the corn – One of the most widely produced and used franken-engineered crops, GMO corn is in everything from processed foods to ethanol (watch Food Inc. to see just how many products corn is used in, as well as the tactics of Monsanto and their ilk). The geniuses at Monsanto altered the DNA of corn to be resistant to pests (hey, why spray the pesticide ON the corn when you can grow it IN the corn!) as well as resistant to their herbicide, Round-UP. Who needs weeding when you can dust your entire field, corn and weeds alike, with a deadly herbicide?
One ‘small’ detail, the fact that humans actually EAT the pesticide and herbicide laced corn that’s in almost every mainline food item they buy, is doubtless not lost on the psychopaths at the franken-engineering firms. What’s collateral damage when you can make a few extra bucks? Folks, you don’t need a pressure-canner to CAN this toxin-filled corn!
However, avoiding GMO corn isn’t easy because there are no labeling laws and, as stated before, corn is in SO many things. We found a frozen brand at Sam’s that is voluntarily advertised on the package as non-GMO. The other day we passed a farmer’s roadside stand with a sign that said ‘organic corn.’ Buy in bulk, eat a ton, freeze or can the rest. Making connections with local farmers is huge. Talk to them about GMO. Many of the smaller farmers you meet will be very aware. Don’t buy from the ones who aren’t. As always, avoiding non-organic processed foods is important. Read the labels – if it has corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, corn oil, corn starch, malt, maltodextrin, maltose, maltol, ethyl maltol, mannitol, malt syrup, dextrose, dextrin, polydextrose, etc., don’t buy it or at least minimize consumption of these products.
2.) Sink soy – Processed, non-fermented soy is not only GMO, but has lots of other health ramifications as well. Like corn, soy is in almost every non-organic processed food. Textured soy protein (TSP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), textured vegetable protein (TVP), textured soy flour (TSF), lecithin, meat analogs, structured protein fiber (SPF), and soy protein concentrate are few of the GMO soy based ingredients you will find lurking in processed food. Avoiding soy isn’t quite as difficult as corn since corn is a widely used ingredient AND a vegetable most people love to eat (although some people eat soy burgers, soy milk, etc. – because of the health issues above this is not recommended). It really just comes down to avoiding non-organic processed foods.
3.) Shake the sugar – These days more than half of non-organic white sugar isn’t from beautiful green sugar cane fields somewhere in the Caribbean, but from franken-engineered sugar beets developed in a lab somewhere by mad scientists who get high off thinking of ways to poison the food supply so farmers won’t have to weed.
The best all-around advice (although we don’t follow nearly enough!) is to avoid sugar altogether. No need to make a case here – we all know it’s not good for us. However, the Morefields like a sugar fix as much as anybody, so when we do, we like to buy organic cane sugar produced from those green sugar cane fields and sold at EarthFare. It’s a little more work to scoop it from the bin into bags, label it, and haul it home, but the peace of mind is well worth it. And, of course, sugar is in most non-organic processed foods and drinks, so avoiding those is a must as well.
4.) Replace canola oil with peanut, olive, and coconut oils – Sorry folks, no catchy phrase here, unless you can ‘crush’ canola oil. Canola oil is not only used in most households to cook, but is also found in many processed foods you find at the grocery store. Completely replacing such a major GMO product with non-GMO has lots of positive ramifications, especially for a family that cooks from scratch as much as ours. Virtually every dish has some sort of oil in it, so getting the GMO out of the oils we use, if we are careful in other areas, will get it out of lots of the dishes we cook and consume.
For everyday baking, we buy bulk peanut oil at Sam’s, refilling a smaller, handier container in our kitchen from it. It’s a little more work, but quite cost-effective. Organic virgin and extra virgin olive oils can be found at health food stores like EarthFare, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, although occasionally you can find them at closeout stores like Big Lots for a fraction of their original price, and even at discount retailers like Ross and TJ Max. Note: Be careful what oil you use because not all olive oil is olive oil.
Coconut oil is harder to find, but can be found online or at health food stores. Although Trader Joe’s is probably the least expensive, coconut oil is still more expensive than the other oils. There’s a reason for that – it’s also the best for you! We can’t afford to use coconut oil for everything we cook, but if we could we probably would.
Does anyone see a pattern here? Almost all GMO ingredients can be ‘conveniently’ found all in one place, the middle aisles of mainstream grocery stores! These are the convenience items, for families that just don’t have the time to cook from scratch, ‘conveniently’ laced with potentially deadly GMO ingredients for young and old alike. When shopping at mainline grocery stores, stay on the edges and avoid the center aisles. If you must buy processed foods, it’s worth a few more dollars to buy organic. (Just be sure it’s labeled ‘USDA Organic,’ or you might not be getting what you paid for.) The Non-GMO shopping guide is a great place to start!