When you go to the supermarket or grocery store, do you know how to recognize genetically modified food products? The main rule to remember is to read food labels. Sometimes we buy products in a hurry and we forget about those labels. However, if you want to be healthy you should make a habit of looking on the labels of products you are buying. Here are a few ways to avoid buying GM foods.
1. Added sugars
Do you know that more than 90 percent of the sugar beet crop farmed in the US has a GM origin? That’s terrible, so one of the best ways to avoid genetically modified foods is to consume as much unprocessed food as possible. There are several good sugars used in processed foods, so when checking food labels watch for xylitol, cane sugar juice, cane sugar, stevia extract, stevia and raw agave nectar.
2. Artificial sweeteners
Many artificial sweeteners are made from GM bacterial strains of E.coli, including aspartame, one of the world’s most commonly used artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is marketed under the names NutraSweet, AminoSweet and Equal and it’s a common ingredient in most readily available processed foods. If you see products that contain aspartame, avoid buying them.
3. Dairy products
Many of us buy organic milk and think that it’s healthy for us. However, just because something is called organic, doesn’t mean GM free. Make sure that your dairy products are labeled as certified organic. When you see this label you can be sure that the dairy product is free from Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). Like aspartame, rBGH is based upon GMO – E. Coli. Although not all cattle are treated with Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, non-organic cattle are usually reared on feed that contain some kind of genetically modified product. When you purchase dairy products, always choose products that are labeled “no rBGH” or certified organic.
4. Avoid the middle aisle of the grocery store
The middle aisle of the grocery store is a safe harbor for all processed foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, including soy, canola and cottonseed. This means that everything from cookies to breakfast cereals could contain genetically modified ingredients. The list of ingredients to look for includes textured vegetable protein, canola oil, soybean oil, soy protein, soy lecithin, and high-fructose corn syrup.
5. Know PLU Codes
One of the things to watch out for is a 5-digit PLU code on fruit and veggies that begin with the number 9, as this means that they’re certified organic. While fresh produce with 4-digit codes don’t imply genetic modification, they may have been subject to different types of pesticides and many other toxins. Be sure to avoid 5-digit codes beginning with the number 8, as these are certainly GM foods.
6. Food additives
Food additives are made to enhance taste of food, fortify it with additional nutrients and preserve it, so it’s no wonder that additives are most susceptible to science and food manufacturers are always looking for some better ways to “improve” food production and, of course, longevity. That’s why you should definitely avoid buying GM foods that contain food additives. I know the number of additives is so vast that it seems impossible to remember them. Plus, they all have scientific names. But try to remember some of the most common ones, which are really prevalent: maltodextrin, citric acid, xanthan gum, sorbitol, baking powder, malt syrup, stearic acid and caramel syrup.
7. Keep up to date
Since there’s always something happening in the world of GM food science, it’s important to keep up to date. This will give you some knowledge and help you avoid buying genetically modified foods. Just be sure to find some great websites where you can read all about GM foods.
It’s so easy to buy genetically modified foods these days, so it’s important to know some useful ways to avoid it. By the way, are you concerned about GMOs and all GM foods? Do you have any tips to stop buying GM foods? Please share.