How to Avoid GMO Foods

farmers market foodWhile many might praise the development of GMO foods as a way for farmers to get higher crop yields, and claim that GMOs are completely safe for human consumption, the jury is still out on whether that is actually true or not.

As for me and my family, we are rather skeptical about the claims of there being no health effects from eating GMO foods, because there is a significant lack of long-term studies being done by independent scientific organizations about the possible health risks of GMOs.

In fact, the US government requires much stricter safety evaluations of new pharmaceuticals (which may only be taken by a small portion of the population) than it does for new varieties of crops that will enter the food system (and consequently be eaten by a large percentage of the population), and does not require GMO foods to be tested for carcinogenicity before allowing them to reach the consumer. And there is absolutely no labeling requirement for GMO foods in the US, as there is in many other countries, including Germany, the UK, Russia, Japan, Australia, and China.

With an estimated 75% of the food on the grocery store shelves containing genetically modified ingredients, chances are that if you’re not actively trying to avoid GMO foods, then you’re probably consuming them on a regular basis. And if you’re like me, and would rather not take the chance of feeding your family something that may end up being harmful to them in the long run, you may want to take a serious look at the food you’re buying.

But if there’s no labeling requirement for them, how can you avoid eating GMO foods?

The easiest way to avoid GMOs is to always buy food that’s Certified Organically Grown, and that doesn’t include any other non-organic ingredients (which may be genetically engineered). But if that’s not feasible, either because of lack of access or lack of money, then there are a couple of other methods for avoiding GMO foods, which are presented in an updated guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The 2014 version of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide To Avoiding GE Food, which not only gives consumers valid reasons for avoiding GMO foods, and points out the four most common GMO ingredients found in processed foods, also offers tips on reading food labels, so you’re making the most informed decisions possible about the foods you buy and feed to your family.

Check out the EWG’s 2014 Shopper’s Guide To Avoiding GE Food for more information.

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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