Lighten Your Toxic Load: Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
What do Frankenstein and genetically modified (GM) foods have in common?
They're both monstrous creations that could ruin their creator!
Have you ever thought about how soybeans grow?
They grow in fields. And do you know what grows alongside them?
Farmers like to kill the weeds, but not the soybeans. Imagine how great it would be if there was an herbicide that could be sprayed over the beans and weeds at the same time, but would kill only the weeds while leaving the soybeans unharmed.
Well, there is no effective herbicide that won't kill natural soybeans. So some company got a bright idea. What about unnatural soybeans?
A company has figured out how to genetically modify soybeans so that they're resistant to the herbicide. Now Farmer Bob can kill the weeds and not the soybeans!
But what has that genetic modification done to the soybeans???
Welcome to the world of genetically modified foods (GM foods). Soybeans are just one example of how crops are genetically modified. Food crops can also be modified in the laboratory (Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory?) to enhance desired traits such as
While this scenario may be great for the farmer, how good is it for you? Can genetically modified foods be part of a healthy diet?
The truth is: No one knows
Genetically modified soybeans make their way into your diet in the form of the soybean oil that's found in many processed foods, or in more obvious forms such as soymilk, tofu, edamame, or the soybeans themselves.
The widespread use of soybean derivatives as food additives in the American diet virtually ensures you've been exposed to GM food product(s)!
The prevalence of GM foods in U.S. grocery stores is more widespread than is commonly thought. Highly processed foods, such as vegetable oils and breakfast cereals, most likely contain some percentage of genetically-modified ingredients.
And guess what? The food label isn't even required to disclose you're eating something that's been altered! Yikes!
The genetically modified "Frankenfoods" most likely to appear in either whole or derivative form in your diet are:
If you want to avoid genetically modified foods altogether, buy 100% organic foods, as they are not permitted to contain any GM ingredients.
If you don't want (or can't afford) to buy all organic, but you still want to minimize exposure to GM foods, then limit your organic purchases to soy, corn, canola oil, and potato products.
That means organic soymilk, tofu, edamame, corn chips, corn tortillas and taco shells, as well as organic potatoes (and potato chips) and canola oil.
If you eat processed foods, you'll want to read ingredient lists carefully! I'd recommend avoiding any packaged food that contains soybean oil, corn oil or canola oil if it's not organic.
Maybe you're not worried about GM foods. Maybe you think, "Hey, our government wouldn't allow it if it weren't safe."
The problem with food regulation in the US is that foods don't have to be proven safe to reach the market. They have to be proven unsafe to be pulled off the market.
Yes, genetic modification can be a boon for some growers, and definitely for the companies selling genetically modified seed. And it is not clear that genetically modified foods are necessarily dangerous.
You can read more on the pros and cons of genetically modified foods.
But if you don't want to wait until the jury is in over the controversy, start avoiding genetically modified foods today!
More on healthy eating.
Back to Personal Nutrition Guide Home.