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Here are two very informative post that can help you to stay off the GMO track! Follow these tips, but most of all grow your own garden if possible, if not, get involved in a community garden! Use your patio space, balcony, indoor window gardening, etc…. just to help you off that treadmill on food cost spending – especially when it’s not all organic!GM_sign

Eco Etiquette: How Can I Avoid Genetically Modified Foods? by Jennifer Grayson

Q: I’m on a kick to boycott all GMOs [genetically modified organisms] because I don’t want to support environmentally toxic agricultural policies. But how do I know for sure that the food I’m buying doesn’t somehow contain genetically modified ingredients? 

-Mary

A: This week’s headline-grabbing news that agriculture giant Monsanto’s genetically modified corn was found to cause organ failure in rats is sure to send panicked shoppers into an anti-frankenfood frenzy. The good news is that this is precisely the kind of damning study (GM corn + animals = death) that will help bring to light the potentially catastrophic consequences of scientifically altered crops. The bad news is that even those who see that light will have a difficult time completely boycotting genetically modified organisms, or GMOs as they’ve come to be known.

That’s because GMOs aren’t just limited to the foods we eat; they’re also in the clothes we wear (cotton is one of the most prevalent GMO crops) and in the everyday household products we use. Those who buy giant jugs of distilled white vinegar to make DIY eco-friendly cleaning products might be interested to know that their vinegar may, in fact, be distilled from GMO corn. I say may, because if you live in the United States, there’s no proof that the products you buy or the food you serve your children hasn’t been genetically tampered with. While the EU, Japan, China, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand have labeling laws for GMO foods, there are no such requirements in the US, despite the fact that a 2008 CBS News poll found that an overwhelming 87 percent of Americans would like GMO foods to be labeled.

As usual, lawmakers are light-years behind the American consumer. And with a GM crop pioneer now firmly planted in the Obama administration as director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, I’m not holding my breath for GMO crops to be restricted in the US anytime soon. Here’s how you can take charge in the meantime:

Buy organic. Organic foods must be processed without bioengineering. Whether the label says 100 percent organic, organic, or made with organic ingredients, you can rest assured that the entire product is GMO free, since USDA regulations do not permit genetically modified ingredients in any category of certified organic food. And if you can’t afford to buy everything organic, at least make sure that the animal products you purchase — meat, dairy, eggs — are. With conventional beef, for instance, you can be pretty sure that mountains of Roundup Ready corn were fed to those cows. That conventional zucchini? Not as looming a threat, at least where GMOs are concerned.

Beware the SCCC. No, it’s not some new government agency (though maybe it should be). That stands for soy, cotton, canola, and corn, which are among the most common GMO crops. The statistics are startling: 91 percent of soy, 87 percent of cotton, 75 percent of canola, and 73 percent of corn crops grown in the US are GMO, according to the USDA. So unless the label specifically says organic, you can pretty much bet that any food or product you buy that contains any of the big four have been genetically changed. We’re not just talking tofu and tortilla chips, either: It’s the sheets on your bed, those potato chips fried in cottonseed oil, and the aspartame in your Diet Coke (made using a fermentation process that involves soy and corn).

Avoid processed, packaged foods. Thanks to farming subsidies that have produced unimaginable surpluses of cheap (mostly GMO) corn, we now have dozens of corn-based ingredients served up to us in increasingly creative ways by the processed food industry. As Michael Pollan points out in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, “Corn is in the coffee whitener and Cheez Whiz, the frozen yogurt and TV dinner, the canned fruit and ketchup and candies, the soups and snacks and cake mixes…there are some 45,000 items in the average American supermarket and more than a quarter of them now contain corn.” Bottom line: If you’re concerned about GMOs, don’t eat anything with an advertising budget.

Check out the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. The site just launched last month, and offers more tips on how to avoid GMOs. The guide also includes lists of common name-brand foods that may contain them, as well as ones that are GMO-free.

Finally, the most important thing you can do, beyond voting with your dollars: Call your Congressperson to say that you want to see mandatory GMO labeling laws. If the jury is still out as to whether GMOs cause organ failure, then we shouldn’t have to play this guessing game every time we go to the supermarket.

Send all your eco-inquiries to Jennifer Grayson at eco.etiquette@gmail.com. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.

Follow Jennifer Grayson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jennigrayson

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‎7 Unexpected GMO Products I Bet Your Still Using…

  1. Iodized Salt – Iodine doesn’t like to stick to salt crystals so it needs a little “glue” in the form of corn starch. And the manufacturer doesn’t even have to list it on the label. Isn’t that nice for them.
  2. Fresh Fruit & Vegetables – Have you heard that most fruit and vegetables aren’t GMO? They might not be when they come off the tree but many are by the time they get to the store. Apples, cucumbers and many others are coated with a layer of wax or oil mostly derived from cheap GM corn.
  3. Canned Goods – Nice, cheap citric acid no longer just comes from citrus. Take a look at your canned tomatoes, fruit juice, etc. If they aren’t organic and they say citric acid or absorbic acid you may be looking at code for GM corn.
  4. Natural Cleaning Products – Have you switched to cleaning your house with white vinegar or any of the other environmentally friendly cleaning products that are not listed as organic? Guess what? GM corn.
  5. Gas – Take a good look at the gas pump the next time you fill up. If it’s like near me you will see a label that says at least 10% ethanol. This is one of my big pet peaves. We take petroleum and turn it into pesticides and fertilizers. Then it is poured all over GM corn to force high yields. Then the corn is turned into gas and gets a nice environmentally friendly badge stamped on it. (I would LOVE a good analysis of how much petruleum is used to create ethanol.)
  6. Medicine – Read the inactive ingredients the next time you need medicine. Do you see any of these 100+ corn derivatives? If you want an alternative you can get your medicine specially made at a compounding pharmacy. My daughter’s bottle of tylenol cost ~$35.
  7. Baking Powder – Once again check the ingredients. Most baking powder has corn starch. Specialty stores may have baking powder with potato starch or wheat starch. (Or you can make your own using baking soda and cream of tartar).

Genetic Roulette The Gamble of our Lives

You’re Eating Wood, Ammonia & Arsenic | Brainwash Update

Further Reading: Effects of Genetic Engineering

Disabled World – Disability News for all the Family: http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/gm-foods.php#ixzz1hBKXDge5

Download today the Non-GMO Shopper’s Guide http://truefoodnow.org/shoppers-guide 

Download our NEW True Food Shopper’s Guide to avoiding GE foods, updated for 2011, or get our True Food Shoppers Guide mobile application for iPhone and Android! The mobile app was created to help you find and avoid GE ingredients wherever you shop. Our guide gives you valuable information on common GE ingredients, brands to look for, and look out for.

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