What is a GMO? According to the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, "GMOs are genetically modified organisms made by forcing genes from one species, such as bacteria, viruses, animals, or humans, into the DNA of a food crop or animal in order to introduce a new trait." Sounds positively scrumptious.
Not-so-fun facts: As stated by the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, here are just a few of many combinations that have been tried...
* Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA with the hope that goats' milk would contain the spider web protein. This protein would be used in bullet proof vests.
* Jelly fish genes lit up pigs' noses in the dark
* When potatoes needed watering, they glowed in the dark
* Cow genes turned pigskin into cowhides
Health risks associated with GM food:
- Immune problems
- Accelerated aging
- Faulty insulin regulation
- Changes in major organs and gastrointestinal system.
1. Look for that beautiful USDA certified organic stamp of approval I love so much. 100% organic products cannot intentionally contain any GMO ingredients. You may also buy products that say "organic" or "made with organic ingredients" but in my opinion, it's best to look for the USDA certified label.
2. Look for the Non-GMO Project Seals. The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit dedicated to providing consumers with explicitly labeled and verified Non-GMO products. They also test those at-risk ingredients. The Non-GMO Project verifies for individual products, not an entire brand.
Well, unless a product is both organic and Non-GMO verified, products may be made with with ingredients that are derived from GMOs. There are 8 GM food crops: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, papaya from China or Hawaii (most) and a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash. Also be aware that GM alfalfa is fed to livestock.
Here's some food for thought- literally:
If a non-organic product made in the USA lists "sugar" as one of the ingredients and NOT "pure cane sugar," you can bet that it is almost always a combo of sugar from sugar cane and GM sugar beets. Also, dairy products may be from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone. rbGH is manufactured by those bastards, Monsanto, and sold to dairy farmers. The hormone is injected into the cows to boost milk production by 10%. As a result, the cows are put at increased risk for mastitis, lameness, and reproductive complications. If your dairy products are not labeled "organic" or have that Non-GMO Project Seal on them, be sure to look for labels that state "No rbGH, rbST, or artificial hormones."
Baby Foods and Infant Formulas: Earth's Best, Happy Baby Retort Pouches, HAPPYBABY Pouches, HAPPYTOT, Little Duck Organics, NurturMe, Oh Baby Foods, Organic Baby, Plum Organics
Beverages: 365, Ayala's Herbal Water, Bhakti Chai, Blue Diamond, Botan, Bragg, C+Swiss hemp ice tea, Cadia, Califia Farms, Choice Organic Teas, Coco Hydro, Cocozia, Cuties Juice, Earth Balance, Eco Teas, Essential Living Foods, Inc., Ex Drinks, Field Day, Flax USA, Froovie, Garden of Life, Golazo, Good Karma, Guayaki, Haiku, Harvest Bay, Hemp Oil Canada, High Country Kombucha, It Tastes Raaw, Kiju, Mamma Chia, Meijer Naturals, North Coast, Numi Organic Tea, Nutivia, One Natural Experience, One World, Pacific Natural Foods, Paisley Tea Co, Palo Root Tea, Righteously Raw, Sambazon, SANS All Natural, Soda, Silk, So Delicious Dairy Free, Stash Tea, Suja Juice, Superberries, Tempt, The Republic of Tea, Traditional Medicinals, Tree of Life, Two Leaves Tea Company, WingFoot, Wisdom of the Ancients, Zevia
Breads and Baked Goods: 365, Alvarado Street Bakery, Annies, Barbara's, Berlin Natural Bakery, Boulangerie Nantaise, Buenatural, CaveChick, Country Choice Organic, EatPastry, Emmy's Organics, Ener-G Foods, Enjoy Life Foods, Gabbi's, Genius by Glutino, Ginnybakes, Gluten Free Pantry by Glutino, Glutino, Hodgson Mill, Hol-Grain, HomeFree, LLC, Immaculate Baking, Ines Rosales, Lillabee Allergy Friendly Baking, Lucy's, Mac-n-Mo's, Marge's Bakery, Maria & Ricardo, Martha's All Natural, Mary's Gone Crackers, Meijer Naturals, Mighty-O Donuts, Mt Vikos, One Degree Organic Foods, Ozery Bakery, Plum Organics, Purely Elizabeth, Q.bel, Rudi's Organic Bakery, Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery, Skinny Dipper, Smart Grain, Sweet Earth Natural Foods, Tasty Brand, The Pure Wraps, Tree of Life, Tumaro's, Wholesome Chow
Candy, Chocolate & Sweeteners: 365, AH!LASKA, Alter Eco, Annie's, Ciao Bella Gelato, Ciranda, Coconut Republic, Coconut Secret, Crispy Cat, Endangered Species Chocolate, Ener-G Foods, Enjoy Life Foods, Essential Living Foods, Inc, Gin Gins, GoOrganic/GoNaturally, Grain Place Foods, Hail Merry, Himalania, Immaculate Baking, Kur Organic Superfoods, Let's Do..., Licious Organics, Lily's Sweets, Lundberg Family Farms, Madhava, Meijer Naturals, Multiple Organics, Naked Coconuts, NATVIA, NibMor, NOW Foods, NOW Real Food, NuGo, Pyure Brands, Rapunzel, Righteously Raw, Rigoni di Asiago Honey, Stretch Island Fruit Co, Sun Cups, Sunfood Superfoods, SunRidge Farms, Surf Sweets, SweetLeaf, Tempt, Theo Chocolate, Tree of Life, Tru Joy Sweets, Two Moms in the Raw, Vega, VerMints, Vivapura, Wholesome Chow, Wholesome Sweeteners, Woodstock
Condiments, Oils, Dressings, & Spreads: 365, Annie's, Atlantic Organic, Aura Cacia, Bainter Extra Virgin Sunflower Oil, Barney Butter, Bragg, Bridgewell Resources, Bubbies, Cadia, California Olive Ranch, Casa Martinez, Cedar's, Chosen Foods, CHS Oilseed Processing, Ciranda, Coconut Secret, Cocopura, Crofters, Drew's LLC, Earth Balance, Eden, Emerald Valley Kitchen, Essential Living Foods, Inc, Field Day, Fiordifrutta, Follow Your Heart, Freeline Organic Food, Garden of Life, Gingras XO, Global River, Green Mountain Gringo, Harvest Bay, Hemp Oil Canada, Himalania, HimalaSalt, Home Appetit, JaynRoss Creations LLC, Jeff's Naturals, Koyo, La Tourangelle, Loeb's, Lundberg Family Farms, Manitoba Harvest, Macaroni Naturals, Marinelli's True Italian Pasta Sauce, Manukan, Manukome USA, Mauy Maid, Mediterranean Organic, Meijer Naturals, Miso Master, Montana Specialty Mills, LLC, Mt Vikos, Naked Coconuts, Napa Valley Naturals, Nathan's, Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd. (NS), Nature Way, New Organics, Nexcel Natural Ingredients, Nutiva, Oleicus/Oleico, Once Again, Outta the Park, Pastorelli Italian Chef, Peanut Butter & Co., Rapunzel, Rivara, Riverina Oils, Salba, Salute Santel!, San-J, SK Food, Soyaboo, Spectrum, Spectrum Ingredients, Stubbs, Sunfood Superfoods, Sushi Sonic, Swan Gardens, Tempt, Three Farmers, Tree of Life, Tropical Traditions, TruWhop, Vega, Viterra, Whole Foods Market, Whole Harvest, Woodstock, Yamasa, Ziggy Marley Coco'Mon, Ziggy Marley Hemp Rules
Grains, Beans, & Flours: 365, Agricor Inc, Alter Eco, Ariven Planet, Arrowhead Mills, Autumn Sky Wild, Barlean's Organic Oils, Beanitos the Bean Chips, Bora Bora, Cadia, Cheweco Organics, Chosen Foods, Ciranda, Coconut Secret, Country Choice Organic, De la Estancia, Della, Eden, Ener-G Foods, Essential Living Foods, Inc, Fantastic World Foods, Field Day, Freekehlicious, GL Soybeans, Gluten Free Pantry by Glutino, Grain Place Foods, Green Island Rice, Hemp Oil Canada, Hodgson Mill, Hol-Grain, Jaali Bean, Kamut, Konriko, Lillabee Allergy Free Baking, Lotus Foods, Lundberg Family Farms, Manitoba Harvest, Meijer Naturals, Mighty Rice, Minsa, Minsley, Multiple Organics, MXO Global, Naosoap Harvest, Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd (NS), Nature's Express, NOW Real Food, Nutiva, One Degree Organic Foods, Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative, Plum Organics, President's Choice, RiceSelect, Rivara, Sage V Foods, Salba, Salute Sante!, Simple Origins, SK Food, Stahlbush Island Farms, Stone Buhr Flour Company, Tree of Life, truRoots, Vivapura, Western Foods, WholesomeChow, Woodstock, Yoga
Herbs Spices & Other Ingredients: 365, A. Vogel, Cheweco Organics, D & A, Don's Chuck Wagon, Dr. Arenander's BrainGain & Oral Care Formulas, Emperor's Kitchen, Essential Living Foods, Inc, Farmer's Market, Field Day, Frontier, Himalania, SimalaSalt, Hol-Grain, Konriko, LECICO, Mediterranean Organic, Meijer Naturals, Miso Master, Multiple Organics, Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd (NS), Numi Organic Tea, Nutiva, Rapunzel, Ruth's Foods, Sunfood Superfoods, Sushi Sonic, Whole Pantry, Woodstock
Meat, Fish, & Eggs: 365, Fairfield Specialty Eggs, Field Day, Giving Nature, Ian's, Keller Crafted Meats, Mary's Chicken, Mary's Duck, Mary's Geese, Mary's Heritage Turkey, Mary's Organic Chicken, Mary's Organic Pasture Raised Chicken Eggs, Mary's Organic Turkey, Mary's Turkey (I think it's safe to say Mary's got what ya need.) Mindful Meats, Natural Sea, Nature Fed, NestFresh, Pure Country Pork Inc., Tonnino, Tree of Life
Packaged/Frozen Meals: A Moveable Feast, Artisan Bistro, Bold Organics, Earth's Best, Field Day, Fry Group Foods, Health is Wealth, Helen's Kitchen, Hilary's Eat Well, Hodgson Mill, Indianlife, Lundberg Family Farms, Minsley, Naked Pizza, Nature's Express, PJ's Organics, Prana Foods, Qrunch Foods, Red's All Natural, Rising Moon Organics, Saffron Road, Sambazon, Smart Grain, Sol Cuisine, Sophie's Kitchen, Sweet Earth Natural Foods, The Pure Wraps, Tree of Life, White Mountain Foods
Pasta: Annie's, Eden, Field Day, Hodgson Mill, House Foods, Koyo, Minsley, MXO Global, Organic Planet, Rising Moon Organics, truRoots
Snack Food & Bars: 365, Angie's Artisan Treats, Annie's, Arrowhead Mills, Attune Foods, Bakery on Main, Barbara's, Bare Fruit, Beanfields, Beanitos The Bean Chips, Bites of Bliss, Bora Bora, Boulder Canyon Natural Foods, Brad's Leafy Kale, Brad's Raw Chips, Brad's Raw Crackers (Maybe he and Mary should date...) Cabo Chips, Cadia, CaveChick, Central Market Organics, Chunks O' Fruti, Cool-Cups, CrispRoot, Crispy Cat, cruncha ma*me, Crunchmaster, Deli-catessen, Doctor in the Kitchen, Earth's Best, EatPastry, Eatsmart, Eden, Edward & Sons, Engine 2, Enjoy Life Foods, Envirokidz, Erewhon, Essential Living Foods, Inc, Field Day, Flamous Organics, Freeline Organic Food, Fruit Bliss, Funky Monkey Snacks, Garden Bar, Garden of Eatin', Gin Gins, Ginnybakes, Glutino, Gnu Foods, GoMarco, Inc, Good Boy Organics, Good Health Natural Foods, GoPicnic, Grain Place Foods, Green Mountain Gringo, Hail Merry, Haute Cuisine, Hemp Oil Canada, Hi I'm Skinny, Himalania, Hol-Grain, HomeFree, LLC, Jolly Llama, Journey Bar, Kate's, Kavli, Krette Foods, KIND Healthy Snacks, Kiwa, Koyo, Kur Organic Superfoods, La Tolteca, Lassens, LesserEvil, Let's Do...,Licious Organics, Lucy's, Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss, Lundberg Family Farms, Manitoba Harvest, Marge's Bakery, Mariner Biscuit Company, Mary's Gone Crackers, Mediterranean Organic, Mediterranean Snacks, Meijer Naturals, Mt Vikos, Multiple Organics, My Chi Delights, NatureCrops, Nature's Path, Nejaime's, Niagara Natural, NuGo, Nutiva, Off the Cob, Ozery Bakery, Pan De Oro, Peace Cereal, Plum Organics, Popcorn Indiana, PROBAR, Pure, Quinn Popcorn, Real Foods Manufacturing USA, Route 11, Righteously Raw, RW Garcia, Saffrom Road, Salba, Sally's Smart Foods, SeaSnax, Sharkies, Simple Squares, Simply 7 Snacks, Skout, Snyder's of Hanover, Somersault Snack Co., LLC, Squarebar, Starbar, Stretch Island Fruit Co, Sunfood Superfoods, SunRidge Farms, Tacupeto Chips and Salsa, Taste of Nature, Tasty Brand, The Better Chip, The Simply Bar, Tiny But Mighty, Tree of Life, truRoots, Two Moms in the Raw, Van's Natural Foods, Vega, Veggie-Go's, Venus, Way Better Snacks, Whole Alternatives, Woodstock, Wylde, Yogavive, Ziggy Marley Hemp Rules
Tofu, Tempeh, & Alternative Meat Products: 365, Chez Marie, ecoVegan, Follow Your Heart, Fresh & Easy, Helen's Kitchen, Hilary's Eat Well, House Foods, Lightlige, Metabolic Response Modifiers (MRM), Mori-Nu, Nasoya, Nature's Express, Qrunch Foods, Saffrom Road, Sol Cuisine, Sophie's Kitchen, Sunshine Burger, Sweet Earth Natural Foods, Tofurkey, Tree of Life, Turtle Island Foods, Viana, Wayfare, WestSoy, White Mountain Foods, WIldwood, Woodstock
Vitamins & Supplements: Barlean's Organic Oils, Cando Natural Products, Chosen Foods, Ciranda, Coral LLC, DDS Probiotics/UAS Laboratories, Doctor's Best, Dr. Arenander's BrainGain & Oral Care Formulas, Essential Living Foods, Inc., Flora, Fungi Perfecti, LLC, Garden of Life, GlucoLift, Green Gem, Growing Naturals, HealthForce Nutritionals, Herbal Zap, Immortality Alchemy, Lekithos, Manitoba Harvest, MRM, Naked Coconuts, Natural Vitality, Naturally Splendid Enterprises Ltd (NS), Nature Built, Navitas Naturals, New Chapter, Nordic Naturals (brand I use for Cod Liver Oil) NOW Foods, Nutiva, Nutrigold, Oniya Organics, Powbab, Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems, Salba, Sambazon, Spectrum, Sunfood Superfoods, SunRidge Farms, Tempt, Traditional Medicinals, Tree of Life, Twinlab, Vega, Yummi Bears Organics (Non-GMO Shopping Guide, 2012).
Non-GMO Shopping Guide. The Institute For Responsible Technology and Non-GMO Project, n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/about-gmos.html>.
Non-GMO Shopping Guide. Institute for Responsible Technology and Non-GMO Project, n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/shopping-guide.html>.
Organic Consumers Association . N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2013. <http://www.organicconsumers.org/rbghlink.cfm>.