Last time we talked a little about the good and bad of GMOs, If you missed the article or would like to re-read it, check here. In the final part we will be talking about How to know if your food is GMO free, Countries that ban or have regulations on GMOs, and the common foods you will find that are genetically modified.
How to Know if your food is GMO free.
The best way to avoid foods that are genetically modified is to buy 100% organic. The U.S and Canada do not allow a manufacture to add a 100% organic label if the food has been modified. If you are out buying food, and you notice a label that says Organic, there could be up to 30% genetically modified foods in that product. Make sure if you want to avoid the GMOs, you are buying products that say 100% Organic.
Another good way to find out if you food is Genetically modified or not is to learn label codes. On the label if there is a four digit number, the food is conventionally produced. if the number is a five digit starting with an 8, it is Genetically modified. If there is a 5 digit number starting with a 9, the food is organic.
Fairly simple. If you are still not sure, contact the company if you are not able to find any signs on the label stating 100% organic.
Well, what about seeds?
If you buy seeds, how will you know if they are genetically modified or not? While doing research for this post, I stumbled across Urban Organic Gardener. He has found a few places that sell non-gmo seeds, and are not owned by Monsanto. To me, I do not mind giving money to Monsanto for seeds that are not genetically modified. Some people do. I fell that my dollar buying the non-gmo seed could send a message. Another great option to get non-gmo seeds is Burpee. I’m sure you see them in your local super market all of the time. There have been a few rumors that they sell GMO seeds and are owned by Monsanto. However straight from their site, they say other wise. Check it out here. I usually buy my seeds from Burpees when I need some new ones.
Countries that have bans or restrictions on GMOs.
Organic Consumers Association has a great list with the countries. They seem to have the most up to date list that I have been able to find. Here are a few countries and what they have done thus far against GMOs. There are loads more, but check out the Organic Consumers Association for more details.
Brazil: Planting GE seeds is prohibited by federal law in Brazil
for the time being, the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso
do Sul have declared their intentions to remain GM-free, 18 States
called upon the Central government to block commercial GE crop
UK: The Church of England has refused permission for GE crop trials
on 60,000 hectares of its land, dozens of local authorities supply GE
free school lunches, the House of Commons banned GE foods for its
catering. The vote of the Welsh Assembly to keep Wales GE free was
counteracted by the ministry of Agriculture approving a GE maize variety.
The Island of Jersey banned GE crops.
Australia: The State of Tasmania banned GE rapeseed as weed,
Western Australia has banned commercial GE planting. Australian
States are given the right to declare themselves GE free. Some
communities (e.g. Bondi/Sydney, West Wimmera Shire) declared
themselves GE free.
The most common foods that are Genetically Modified.
Okay, so we know some ways to check for food being a Genetically Modified Organism, but what if there is no label, or we are in a different country that has a different system. How can we keep track of all of it. Well a lot of work, that is for sure. However if you are not able to keep a large 3 ring binder with you when you travel or go shopping, try these tips. Buy from farmers that you know, or buy from sources that you trust. When all else fails you can just be more alert about these foods.
Corn, Soy, Yellow Crooked neck squash, Alfalfa, Zucchini, Canola, Milk, and Papaya are the most common GMO foods. This does not mean that this list is complete. After all, I did not mention processed foods, or animals that eat the GMOs. If I did that, we would be going on for hours! So here is the take away from all of this. Should be checking every label and living if fear of eating a Genetically Modified piece of cake. Does there need to be more research, you bet. Should you be cautious of eating Genetically Modified Organisms, don’t make that your whole diet, but to date, the tests say they are fine. Ultimately, people need to use their best judgement when it comes to what they put in their bodies. If you feel strongly about Genetically Modified Organisms, then limit or avoid them altogether. For the Average American, make sure you do your research. After all medical bills are expensive. So if nothing else will get you to find what is in your food, think of the cost of medical bills.
Thank you for reading. I hope that we all learned a few things. Feel free to let me know how you feel in the comments below. After all, we all have something to learn from each other, and make the world a better place with every conversation.
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