Food With No Gmo

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Food With No Gmo is a community of people who are committed to eating food from nature, and in the most natural way possible. We believe that “natural” or “organic” labeling does not adequately describe how food is grown or made, so we have created our own system for reviewing the healthiness of food.

Food With No Gmo

Health and environmental concerns about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have many people looking for non-GMO foods to enjoy. Learn how to spot organic foods if you want to stick to a non-GMO diet.

Although the debate about the effects of GMOs rages on, many people choose to limit their consumption of these foods. In fact, the International Food Information Council Foundation found in a June 2018 survey that 41 percent of consumers consider whether foods have GMOs before making a purchase.

If you want to avoid any possible risks and side effects of GMOs, you should first learn how to read food labels. The farmers’ group Illinois Farm Families reports that the United States government changed labeling standards for GMOs with the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard in 2016. This law aims to make it easier to identify GMO and non-GMO foods.

The law requires the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to set legal standards regarding labeling for GMO foods. The USDA’s standards go into effect in January 2020, but manufacturers do not need to change their labels until 2022. At that point, people who want to avoid GMOs can look for a symbol that indicates that the product uses GMO ingredients.

Read more: Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Food

Finding Non-GMO Foods

Until the new GMO labeling laws go into place, consumers need to rely on third-party organizations to easily identify non-GMO foods. One such organization, the Non-GMO Project Verified, keeps a list of thousands of non-GMO foods that they independently verify, including specific types of:

  • Alternative dairy products
  • Drinks
  • Desserts
  • Baked goods
  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Spices
  • Pasta
  • Baby products
  • Pet products

If you’re looking for non-GMO grocery stores, the Non-GMO Project Verified also has a list for that. Search by location, name or even the level of support the retailer gives. No matter what store you shop in, you can likely find non-GMO vegetables and fruits. While the term “organic” is broader than “non-GMO,” most organic produce is good for a non-GMO diet, according to the Center for Food Safety.

Read more: 21 Foods to Always Buy Organic (Even If You’re On a Budget!)

Another way to avoid GMOs is to know which foods are most commonly genetically modified. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that corn, soybeans and cotton are the most common GMOs in the country. This means that anything with ingredients derived from these crops, such as:

  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrups
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil

The FDA also allows crops such as papayas, potatoes, squash varieties and apples to undergo genetic modification. The agency monitors these ingredients for safety, but it does not require GMO labeling yet.

Non GMO foods: How to Avoid GMOs (for real)

  • Buy food labeled “100% organic” or labeled by the 3rd party non-GMO project. These are the ONLY labels that legally guarantee food is 100% non GMO.
    non gmo verified
  • Buy meat that say the animals were fed 100% organic fed or grass-fed/finished. Or better yet, find a local farmer here and buy your products closer to the source. Be sure to ask them if they’re committed to producing non GMO products.
  • Buy 100% organic eggs that state “from 100% organic feed.” Safe grocery store brands include Organic Valley, Eggland’s Best, and Land O’ Lakes Organic eggs.
  • Buy 100% organic dairy products (grass-fed is even better) or European products from Switzerland and Greece (100% non GMO) and France (mostly non GMO). You can see a global GMO-free map here. Kalona Farms, Organic Valley, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods’ 365 Brand are safe brands.
  • Shop at farmer’s markets and remember that most produce is safe non GMO, even conventional varieties, with the exception of corn, radicchio, beets, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini and yellow summer squash.
  • Organic whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are safe. One caveat… conventional RICE which has been contaminated with GMOs. Buy organic rice only… safe brands include Lotus and Lundberg.
  • Keep eating out to a minimum.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods/beverages that are not non GMO

10 ways to keep your diet GMO-free

By Julie Taylor, upwave.com

Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT) March 31, 2014

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – GM labeling initiatives are being debated in a number of states. Here is genetically modified corn.

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Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – A number of countries have questioned the potential benefits of GM crops. Here, GM wheat fields grow in Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – A sign, “Danger, GMO contamination,” is posted by almost an acre of nearly mature GM corn that earlier had been trampled by anti-GMO activists, near Pordenone, northern Italy, in 2010.

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There is no consensus in the scientific community that GMOs are safe, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/opinion/schubert-gmo-labeling/">says David Schubert at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies</a>. Seen here are  soybean seeds from a Monsanto lab.

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – There is no consensus in the scientific community that GMOs are safe, says David Schubert at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Seen here are soybean seeds from a Monsanto lab.

Hide Caption

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Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, tests genetically engineered variants of soybean seeds that would tolerate the company’s Roundup herbicide and provide protection from insects.

Hide Caption

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Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – GM labeling initiatives are being debated in a number of states. Here is genetically modified corn.

Hide Caption

3 of 5

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – A number of countries have questioned the potential benefits of GM crops. Here, GM wheat fields grow in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Hide Caption

4 of 5

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – A sign, “Danger, GMO contamination,” is posted by almost an acre of nearly mature GM corn that earlier had been trampled by anti-GMO activists, near Pordenone, northern Italy, in 2010.

Hide Caption

5 of 5

There is no consensus in the scientific community that GMOs are safe, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/opinion/schubert-gmo-labeling/">says David Schubert at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies</a>. Seen here are  soybean seeds from a Monsanto lab.

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – There is no consensus in the scientific community that GMOs are safe, says David Schubert at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Seen here are soybean seeds from a Monsanto lab.

Hide Caption

1 of 5

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, tests genetically engineered variants of soybean seeds that would tolerate the company’s Roundup herbicide and provide protection from insects.

Hide Caption

2 of 5

Photos: The debate over GMOs

The debate over GMOs – GM labeling initiatives are being debated in a number of states. Here is genetically modified corn.

Hide Caption

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Story highlights

  • GMOs result when genes from one species are inserted into genes of another
  • Several animal studies suggest health risks from genetically modified food
  • Buying organic is one way to cut GMOs out of your diet

It seems like everyone is talking about the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these days. But what are GMOs exactly?

They’re the result of a laboratory process that inserts genes from one species into the genes of another to obtain a desired trait or characteristic (e.g., fast-growing salmon).

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of “Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives” and founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology, a leading source of GMO-health-risk information, says several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified food, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.

Despite FDA approval, many distrust GMOs

In fact, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid genetically modified foods altogether.

Ready to go GMO free? Here are 10 ways to shop smarter:

1. Go organic. The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs, so shopping organic is a great way to avoid them. “Plus, organic foods have (fewer) or no pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and have a higher vitamin and mineral content as well,” says health and wellness expert Kathy Gruver.

2. Load up on fruits and veggies. Most fresh produce is non-GMO, says Smith, but zucchini, yellow summer squash, edamame, sweet corn and papaya from Hawaii or China are considered high risk and are best avoided. Only buy those high-risk fruits and vegetables if they are labeled “organic” or “non-GMO,” he advises.

3. Look for the non-GMO-verified seal. Since GMOs require no labeling, this seal is one of the best ways to tell when foods are free of genetic modification. “Most companies won’t tell us what foods do have GMOs, so these seals help you seek out foods that don’t have them,” says Gruver.

4. Join the Tipping Point Campaign. This network of local activists is working to educate communities on the dangers of GMOs. “The concept is that by consumers avoiding GMOs, these ingredients will become a marketing liability, and companies will remove them,” says Smith, whose organization launched the grass-roots movement.

“If being non-GMO increases market share, this could cause a tipping point for food companies.” He says we’re at a critical, unprecedented moment to drive GMOs out of our food supply, so check out the program to educate yourself and get involved.

5. Beware of additives. The five most common GMOs — corn, canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets — often end up as additives (in the form of corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents or thickeners) in packaged foods, says Gruver, so check ingredient labels carefully.

6. Choose wild-caught seafood. Some farm-raised fish eat GMO feed, says Smith.

7. Just say no to at-risk ingredients. Skip soybeans, canola, cottonseed, corn and sugar from sugar beets, which are at highest risk of being genetically modified, says Smith.

8. Call ahead before eating out. The next time you plan a nice dinner out, beware of “invisible ingredients” like soy sauce, cooking oil and salad dressing, which might contain genetically modified ingredients, says Smith. But don’t be afraid to make special requests. “You could call in advance to ask if the chef can cook your fish in olive oil versus canola oil, for instance,” he says.

9. Focus on fiber. Most grains, seeds, nuts and beans are non-GMO, says Gruver.

10. Avoid aspartame. An ingredient in diet sodas and low-calorie “sweets,” aspartame is indeed sometimes made from genetically modified microorganisms. (It can also be produced through a chemical process.) And that’s anything but sweet.

Does all this GMO talk stress you out? Take a deep breath, and just start with baby steps. “Don’t feel overwhelmed — just do the best you can,” says Smith. “Start by eliminating GMOs for just a couple of weeks and pay close attention to your health, weight, energy and mood. If you have kids, take note of their attention spans. See what positive changes you notice by being on a non-GMO diet, and go from there.”

Ways to Avoid Genetically Modified Food

GMO: Genetically Modified

Much of the food in the supermarket today is made with genetically modified ingredients or GMOs. As a consumer you can avoid GM food in several ways:

  1. Buy foods labeled “100% Organic.” U.S. law prohibits genetically engineered food or ingredients in products labeled 100% organic. However, if processed or packaged food is simply labeled “organic” then it can contain up to 30% genetically modified (GM) food. “Organic” is fine for single food items such as produce.
  2. Look for “Non-GMO Project Verified” label on product packaging. Down to Earth strongly promotes the organic industry, whose products are produced without GMOs. Until recently, selecting foods labeled Organic has been the only way customers could avoid non-GMO foods. However, organic certification covers how a food is grown, not the content of the food itself. And, since food production has become increasingly compromised by cross pollination and cross contamination in processing and handling, even organic certification does not guarantee that a product is GMO free.
    If a non-organic product contains corn, soy, canola oil, or even sugar (as a significant amount of sugar is now produced from GMO sugar beets) it may contain GMOs unless the manufacturer makes a specific claim that their product is GMO free. However, even if a manufacturer makes such a claim there is no way to know whether such claims are actually valid because they generally are not backed by third-party testing or adherence to independent standards of transportation and processing, etc.
    The natural products industry, along with many concerned consumers and others, have long pressed for and supported efforts to require mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs. Consumers have repeatedly stated they do not want GMOs in their foods. If such products were labeled, their sales would likely plummet resulting in their economic failure. Sadly, for various reasons, mandatory labeling efforts have not succeeded.
    As a result of these issues Down to Earth, along with the natural products industry, has strongly supported the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project provides manufacturers with a “Non-GMO Project Verified” logo backed by independent testing. The “Non-GMO Project Verified” logo means that GMO contamination has been avoided throughout the growth and harvesting of crops, their processing, storage and packaging. Over 1,000 products have been verified to date, with thousands more in the process.
    As manufacturers begin to include the “Non-GMO Project Verified” logo on their packaging, you will see more and more of the verified products on Down to Earth’s shelves. Consumers have the right to choose what foods to eat and feed their families. This Non-GMO logo enables consumers to exercise this right!
    For more information visit The Non-GMO Project
  3. Eat locally grown food. Since most genetically engineered food comes from large industrial farms, you are more likely to find non-GMO food grown by small local farms. You can also contact your local farmers and ask them directly about how the food is grown.
  4. Identify how produce is grown by reading its label or sticker number.
    • 4-digit number means food was conventionally grown.
    • 5-digit number that begins with a 9 means produce is organic.
    • 5-digit number that begins with an 8 means it is genetically modified. (PLU labeling is optional so not all genetically modified produce can be identified)
  5. Know which foods and their derivatives are most likely genetically engineered. Such as:
    • Soybeans and soy products such as soy lecithin, soy protein, isolated soy, soy flour, etc. Soy is the most heavily modified food and is also commonly used as an additive. So in the U.S., if your label says it contains soy, then it contains GMO. If you consume soy products such as tofu or soymilk, make sure the labeling states that the tofu or soy beans are organic. You will find that many of the soy products at Down to Earth are organic.
    • Corn and corn-based products. Corn is also a heavily modified food (with the exception of popcorn). Best to look for products that say “100% organic.” Corn derivatives include corn starch, high-fructose corn syrup, modified food/corn starch, corn oil, etc.
    • Canola oil. Virtually all canola oil (or rapeseed oil) grown in the world (except in the EU) is from genetically engineered crops.
    • Dairy products. Many dairy farms give cows the genetically modified growth hormone rBGH or rBST to increase milk production. Look for dairy products labeled as r-BGH/rBST-free. Better yet, buy organic milk and dairy products to also avoid GMOs and pesticides.
    • Sugar beets. Product labels containing “sugar” can be from either cane sugar or sugar beets. So to avoid beet sugar, look for products with ingredients that say evaporated cane sugar, organic sugar or cane sugar.
    • Aspartame. Aside from being an unnatural, unhealthy artificial sweetener, it is made from GMOs. Aspartame is found in products such as “Equal”, “NutraSweet,” sugar-free gum, and diet sodas and beverages.

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