Sunday, November 23, 2014

How to Avoid Eating Genetically Engineered Ingredients

The easiest way to avoid GMOs is to purchase  products labeled "Non GMO Project Verified."  However many of these products, although not GMO, are still sprayed with glyphosate, to dry them out right before harvest. Three of the biggest culprits are wheat, sugar cane, and tea.  If you want to avoid GMOs AND glyphosate (as well as dicamba and 2,4-D (1/2 of Agent Orange) ) choose USDA ORGANIC.

Below is more specific information on avoiding GMOs:

Meat:  Organic meat is expensive.  Serve much smaller portions of meat and increase the vegetables significantly.

“Vegetarian fed” meat means the cows were fed GMO corn, soy, and alfalfa.   The healthiest beef is 100% grass fed, AND organic. (Organic cows can’t be fed GMO alfalfa, 100% grass fed cows can.)  Grass-fed animal protein is higher in CLA – conjugated linoleic acid- that may help prevent cancer.

It is possible to find grass fed meat of all kinds, but make sure you ask for 100% grass fed/organic and avoid “vegetarian fed.”

Poultry:  The healthiest poultry is allowed to graze on pasture eating bugs and getting sun.  Chicken that is “cooped up” in tiny cages, and fed GM corn and soy should be avoided.

Organic free range chicken is the next best choice.

Fish: Buy wild caught fish, not farmed fish.

Eggs:  The best eggs come from chickens that are pastured.  Local farmers may sell them, but you must ask them if their feed is organic.  If it is not organic, the chickens are getting GM corn and soy as their food.  Organic, cage free eggs from the store are the next best choice.

Peanut Butter:  Luckily, peanuts are not yet GMO.  But the oils mixed into peanut butter may be.  It is best to buy organic peanut butter to avoid the trans fat that is a component of typical peanut butter. Also, since peanuts are rotated with cotton, which is gmo and sprayed with glyphosate, it is best to avoid non-organic peanut butter, in case the soil they were grown in contains glyphosate from the previous year’s cotton spraying.  Make sure that the only ingredients are peanuts and salt.

Other nut butters:  It is best to buy organic nut butters. It is easy to make; soak nuts first to increase the nutrient content. Then roast, and puree.

Cheese:  Make sure the label states “from cows not injected with bovine growth hormone” (RBST)   Also, if the cheese is organic, this means the cows were not given GM feed.  Cheeses from Europe that are not organic are less likely to be from GM fed animals, but in April 2013 many UK supermarkets abandoned their long-standing non-GM feed policies. Europe does accept imported GMO animal feed.   American-made cheese will most likely come from GM fed animals, unless it is organic. Also, the rennet used to coagulate the cheese is usually genetically modified. (Although European cheese makers don't use the type of rennet that is GMO for domestic use, they do use it for cheese to be shipped to America, because it is cheaper.)  Bottom line, buy organic cheese whenever possible. 

Fats:  Healthy fats include organic butter, (pasture butter is even better), olive oil, (the regulation in this industry is very poor and often olive oil is cut with cheaper oils such as corn, soy or canola, so to be sure use organic olive oil, or purchase from a quality vendor. Many olive oils are now labeled “non- gmo project verified.” See the book, Extra Virginity,  by Tom Mueller, for more information.) Other healthy oils include grape seed oil, sesame oil, avocado oil,  organic peanut oil, coconut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil.

A very healthy oil to saute with is called “Mary’s oil Blend.”  It is made by combining 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 coconut oil, and 1/3 sesame oil.  It was developed by a lipid chemist named Mary Enig, PhD, an authority on fats and fat metabolism.  For great information on fat, google her.  If you’re concerned about eating saturated fats, google: “The Oiling of America, by Mary Enig.”

Avoid margarine, vegetable oil, and vegetable shortening.  These are all heavily pesticided, genetically modified, processed oils, and usually contain trans fat.

Breads Choose organic whole grain bread.  Most whole wheat bread that is not organic contains high fructose corn syrup. Sprouted wheat bread is another excellent choice. Avoid white bleached flour that injures the pancreas, and often contains unnecessary additives that are GMO.  Organic cereal is a must to avoid GM corn.

Fruits and Vegetables: Currently the only fruits and vegetables that are genetically modified include some zucchini, crookneck squash, Hawaiian papaya, and sugar beets. (“Sugar” on a label, is usually 50% GMO sugar beets.  Insist on 100% organic cane sugar, since conventional cane sugar is sprayed with glyphosate to dry it out before harvesting.  The same is true for wheat and tea. ) 

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