Jul 9, 2009

How To Avoid Genetically Modified (GM) Food (Part 1)

Please read my previous post (below)before reading this one unless you already know of the extreme danger of eating GM foods.

Vegans should understand most 'non GM' and 'organic' foods they eat are actually GM foods. Here is a small list:

* Three powdered infant formulas: Enfamil ProSobee, Soy Formula, Similac Isomil Soy Formula, and Nestle Carnation;
* Alsoy;
* Several soy burger products, including Boca Burger Chef, Max's Favorite, Morningstar Farms Better 'n Burgers, and Green Giant Harvest Burgers (now called Morningstar Farms Harvest Burgers). McDonald's McVeggie Burgers also showed GE ingredients;
*Ovaltine Malt powdered beverage mix;
*Bac-Os Bacon Flavor bits;
*Bravos Tortilla Chips Nacho Nacho!
*Old El Paso 12 Taco Shells
*Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix"

But even if you are or are not a vegan, the following info is vital to anyone who wishes to stay healthy, or rather get healthier.

The following is an excerpt from this page;


The site http://www.truefoodnow.org/
offers an extensive list of foods by brand and category, indicating
if they have GM ingredients.

If you take the step of going non-GMO,
I encourage you to let the manufacturers of your "former" favorite
foods know that you have stopped eating them until they confirm that
they have removed GM ingredients. Only a small percentage of the population
making this switch may do the trick to convince major manufacturers
to go non-GMO. In fact, if one of the largest food manufacturers makes
the switch, it might create a landslide of other companies also removing
GMOs. This happened in England, where all the major food manufacturers
committed to remove GM ingredients in the same week, following the
announcement by Unilever.


Currently, the major genetically
engineered crops are soy, cotton, canola, and corn. Other modified
crops include some U.S. zucchini and yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya,
and some tobacco. GM potatoes and tomatoes have been taken off the

Dairy and Meat

U.S. dairy products may contain
milk from cows injected with rbGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone).
And both meat and dairy products usually come from animals that have
eaten GM feed.

Enzymes, additives, sweeteners

Genetically modified bacteria and
fungi are used in the production of enzymes, vitamins, food additives,
flavorings and processing agents in thousands of foods on the grocery
shelves as well as health supplements. Aspartame, the diet sweetener,
is a product of genetic engineering.

Unlike many nations around the
world, in the United States and Canada GM foods are not labeled. Avoiding
them, therefore, is both a science and an art. Here are some techniques.

Vegetable Oil

Most generic vegetable oils and
margarines used in restaurants and in processed foods in North America
are made from soy, corn, canola, or cottonseed—the four major GM crops.
Unless these oils specifically say "Non-GMO" or "Organic," it is probably
genetically modified. Non-GM substitute oils include olive, sunflower,
safflower, butter (see dairy below), almond, and just about any other
oil available.

Soy and Corn Derivatives

Most packaged foods contain soy
and/or corn in some form: as soy flour, soy protein, soy lecithin,
textured vegetable protein, corn meal, corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin,
fructose, citric acid, lactic acid, and of course, soy or corn oil.
To avoid them you’ll have to check the list of ingredients. For each
type of food, there is usually a brand that is non-GM. These are often
found in health food stores, but there are also plenty in supermarkets—depending
on the food. Mayonnaise, for example, which is traditionally made
with soy oil, comes in both non-GM soy and safflower varieties.

According to Cornell University’s
website Genetically Engineered Organisms, Public Issues Project (GEO-PIE),
only 3 to 5 percent of the sweet corn in the U.S. is GM, and it is
very unlikely that popcorn or canned sweet corn are engineered.

Foods that may contain GM soy or
corn derivatives or GM vegetable oil include: infant formula, salad
dressing, bread, cereal, hamburgers and hotdogs, margarine, mayonnaise,
crackers, cookies, chocolate, candy, fried food, chips, veggie burgers,
meat substitutes, ice cream, frozen yogurt, tofu, tamari, soy sauce,
soy cheese, tomato sauce, protein powder, baking powder, alcohol,
vanilla, powdered sugar, peanut butter, enriched flour and pasta.
Non-food items include cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoo, and
bubble bath.

Fruit and Vegetables

More than 50 percent of papaya
from Hawaii is genetically modified to resist a virus. Most U.S. papayas
come from Brazil, Mexico, or the Caribbean, however, where there are
no GM varieties. According to GEO-PIE, your chances of encountering
a GM papaya "are highest in Hawaii or the continental west coast."
Some zucchini and yellow crookneck squash are also GM but they are
not popular with farmers.


Honey can be produced from GM crops.
For example, some Canadian honey comes from bees collecting nectar
from canola. This has shut down exports of Canadian honey to Europe.

Dairy Products About 22 percent
of cows in the U.S. are injected with recombinant (genetically modified)
bovine growth hormone (rbGH). Dairies generally collect their milk
from many sources. In the U.S., if a dairy product is not labeled
organic, non-GMO, or made without hormones, it is likely that a portion
of the product came from cows that were injected with rbGH. You can
always call or email the dairy to find out. Also, non-organic dairy
farms typically use GM feed. No studies have been done on whether
that affects the milk.

Meat and Eggs

Organic meat and eggs come from
animals that have been raised without hormones and with feed that
is non-GMO. So-called "natural" meat is usually free of hormones and
antibiotics, but the animal may have been raised on GM feed. If you
want to avoid this, you’ll need to ask the producer.

GM Additives, Cooking Aids,
Vitamins, and Enzymes

Genetic engineering is used in
the production of many food additives, flavorings, vitamins, and processing
aids, such as enzymes. According to the Non-GMO Source, "Such ingredients
are used to improve the color, flavor, texture, and aroma of foods
and to preserve, stabilize, and add nutrients to processed foods."

Among vitamins, vitamin C (ascorbic
acid) is often made from corn, vitamin E is usually made from soy.
Vitamins A, B2, B6, and B12 may be derived from GMOs as well. In addition,
vitamin D and vitamin K may have "carriers" derived from GM corn sources,
such as starch, glucose, and maltodextrin. In addition to finding
these vitamins in supplements, they are sometimes used to fortify
foods. Organic foods, even if fortified with vitamins, are not allowed
to use ingredients derived from GMOs.

Flavorings can also come from corn
or other GM sources. For example, "hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP),
a commonly used flavor enhancer derived from corn and soy could be
GMO," says the Non-GMO Source. Vanillin can also be GM.

"Genetically engineered bacteria
and fungi are routinely used as sources of enzymes for the manufacture
of a wide variety of processed foods," says GEO-PIE. The live organisms
are not added to the foods themselves. Rather, they are grown in vats
and produce large quantities of enzymes. The enzymes are removed,
purified, and used in food production. Oftentimes, the enzymes get
destroyed during the cooking process and are not present in the final
product. As such, they are rarely listed on the label.

One common enzyme is called chymosin,
which is used in the production of hard cheeses. In the past, it was
taken from the stomach linings of calves (called rennet). Since the
GM variety was introduced in 1990, more than 70 percent of U.S. cheeses
now use this variety. It is not allowed in organic cheese. Xanthan
gum is another product that may be derived from a GM process.

Avoiding GM additives is difficult,
since the label will rarely list them. You can find a list of GM enzymes
and their uses at http://www.seedsofdeception.com/
or in the book’s appendix B.


The company Vector has a GMO tobacco
being sold under the brand of Quest® cigarettes in the U.S. It is
engineered to produce low or no nicotine.

Some GM foods are easier to avoid
than others. By eating organic foods and reducing the amount of processed
foods in your diet is a good way to start. I offer more tips on eating
non-GMO in restaurants, in my book: ”Seeds of Deception”

© 2003 Jeffrey M. Smith- All Rights

My next post will have even more tips to avoid GM foods.