Mr. Smith goes to Connecticut
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
No, not the FDA or Big Pharma.
This time, it was me. I was dead wrong.
And that’s great news!
I’m not gonna lie. I had pretty much given up.
Week after week, I’d read about the dangers of GMOs…of FrankenFish and the Monsanto Monster. And I’d warn you about it.
But even while I was typing those warnings, secretly, a voice in my head was saying “There’s nothing we can do. It’s too late.”
Until a week ago.
That’s when I met the amazing Mr. Smith. Mr. Jeffrey Smith, that is.
Smith is the pre-eminent voice in the fight against genetically destroying our food. As such, he’s always prepared for the question I threw at him:
“Is there really any way to avoid GMOs anymore?”
Here’s where it gets tricky
Thanks to aggressive lobbying and corporate strong-arming, in the U.S., there is no required labeling for GMO foods.
So no one has to tell you if you’re eating a strawberry injected with salmon genes.
Smith’s group has been diligent about alerting us to — and preserving — the safe food sources that are left. And it’s pretty simple.
First — the obvious. Buy organic. If a product is organic, it can’t be GMO. Period. Of course, there’s the problem of GMO seeds drifting into organic fields. But generally, if you buy organic, you’ll get organic.
Second — check the packaging. Many food producers who avoid GMO ingredients will make that claim on their packaging. But for 100 percent assurance, look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal. The Non-GMO Project is the only independent verification of non-GMO products.
Third — check the Non-GMO Shopping Guide. In two dozen food categories, the guide lists many brands that qualify for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. You can find the guide at this link.
Fourth — Know these GMO basics and make yourself a cheat-sheet for your trip to the Safeway…
* Almost all products that contain corn or soy derivatives are GMO.
* Oils from corn, soy, canola, and cottonseed are GMO. Vegetable oil and margarine are GMO.
* If sugar isn’t listed as “pure cane,” the sugar source is probably sugar beets, which is GMO. High fructose corn syrup is GMO. Aspartame (which goes by the brand names Equal and NutraSweet) is made from GM microorganisms.
* Most U.S. livestock — including farmed fish — are fed GMO soy or corn. Look for grass-fed beef or wild-caught seafood.
* Many dairy products come from cows injected with GMO bovine growth hormone.
But don’t despair! The situation improves in the produce section…
* Most corn is GMO, of course. But only three other produce items are GMO…small amounts of yellow squash and zucchini, and papaya from Hawaii (but only from Hawaii).
* And surprisingly (and happily!), popcorn is not GMO.
Restaurants present another set of challenges. You can assume that GMO is plentiful in any restaurant that serves processed foods. Restaurants that prepare food fresh, from scratch, are a better bet. Even better, look for some of the new “farm to table” restaurants cropping up. Unfortunately, even these places often use GMO oils and salad dressings.
Smith notes a phenomenon that farmers have observed worldwide. Animals that scavenge crops — mice, squirrels, raccoons, etc. — avoid GMO crops. Even farm animals, when given a choice, pass on GMO and eat conventionally raised food.
If scavengers won’t eat it, it’s a sure sign we don’t want to either. And now, thanks to Smith, we don’t have to.
“How to get genetically-modified food out of your diet” Urban Garden Magazine, urbangardenmagazine.com