How To Avoid GM Foods?

As a consumer, you have more power than you might think –  When as little as 5% of the U.S. population refuses to buy GM food products, it won’t be long before food manufacturers will start to respond by switching their ingredients. They can’t afford not to!  Europe managed to reach their tipping point in April of 1999, within a single week of negative media which swayed the shopping habits of consumers enough for food companies to commit to stop using GM ingredients.  At least seven out of 10 grocery items contain GM foods. 

The following are some basic guidelines on how to avoid them.

Basic Guidelines

Buying Organic Produce ensures GM-free – by definition, food certified “organic” must be free from all GM organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. However, organic farmers surveyed by the Organic Farming Research Foundation said they are concerned that the seeds they buy are contaminated with GMO’s. Consequently, federal rules now allow organically labelled products to contain up to 2% of GM ingredients unintentionally mixed in with organic crops, since genetic tests cost > $300 (even with this added cost, ~11% of organic farmers in the U.S. still test for GMO’s, driving up the price of organic foods). In Europe, consumers won’t accept any percentage of GM ingredients in organic food.

Eliminate Processed Foods – About 75% of processed foods contain some GM ingredients (as well as containing trans fats and being nutritionally poor).

Such foods include:

  • cooking oils
  • boxed cereals
  • refined grain products
  • frozen dinners

Read all labels

Read Produce and Food Labels – unless it is labelled organic, GM components are in almost every processed product with a corn or soy ingredient, as well as some containing canola, cottonseed oil and beet sugar.

  • Corn:  corn flour, cornmeal, corn oil, corn startch, gluten, sweeteners (e.g. high fructose corn syrup, fructose, dextrose/dextrin and glucose), modified food startch (may be derived from other sources).
  • Soy: soy flour, soy sauce, soy lecithin, soy protein, soy isolate and isoflavone, soybean oil, soy milk
  • Canola oil: also called rapeseed oil.  
  • Cotton: cottonseed oil
  • Beet Sugar: anything not listed as 100% cane sugar is usually beet sugar. AVOID GM beet sugar look for raw organic honey instead.

Note if there is no PLU code to indicate GM produce (Mostly in the USA) Look for the word “Organic”   Very FEW fresh fruits in U.S. are GM – even novel products such as seedless watermelons are NOT GM.   Read more on these GM Foods – here.Exceptions include:

  • Hawaiian papaya – about half of Hawaii’s papays are GM
  • A few zucchini varieties, yellow crookneck squash, sweet corn – may be GM
  • Commonly, non-organic meat, fish, eggs are produced from animals raised on GM foods – mostly grains.  As yet, there is no approval for GM fish, fowl, or livestock.
  • Choose Non-GMO, organic, free-range eggs, if you are permitted eggs on your DBM program.
DBM COMMENTThis is one more reason why DBM does not include MEAT in any of their programs.