January 24, 2017

Eating For Maximum Nutrition

by Amanda Box

Do you consider yourself to be a healthy eater?  Maybe you’re one that piles your plate high with vegetables and avoids drive-thrus like the plague.  Surely you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, right?  Unfortunately, that likely isn’t the case.  It’s not necessarily your fault either.  Even if you’re making extremely healthy food choices, it is very difficult to get the sufficient nutrients you need strictly from food.

Why can’t we just rely on the food we eat to give us what we lack? It is because the availability of getting adequate nutrition from foods alone has become more and more difficult.  Yes, there are those who don’t eat well and live off processed and fast foods.  It is expected that those choices would cause nutrient declines. However, it is disheartening to know that even those who make a conscious effort to eat well may also suffer from a lack of vitamins and minerals.

  • Pregnant women are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins
  • Thousands get a vitamin B12 shot every month
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements are now recommended to patients with bone issues.

So, what happened to our food?  Why doesn’t nature offer all we need?

The Nutrient Decline in Foods

The answer to the decline in nutrition lies in the food itself, not necessarily the one consuming it.  In the 1980s, there began to be a concern about the decline of nutrients in our foods.  Commercial farming was taking over the food industry and pest resistance, transportability, and yield began to take precedence over nutrient content.

Researchers at the University of Texas found a significant decline in the nutrients in 43 different crops from the years 1950 to 1999.  The greatest declines were found in protein, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B2, and vitamin C available in our foods.  Given that another 15 years have passed since that study, I can only guess that nutrients have declined even further.(1)

Theories as to why nutrients have declined so dramatically are:

  1. Soil depletion from years of farming has led to nutrient depletion in crops.
  2. The seeds themselves, if commercially produced or genetically modified, may produce crops lacking in nutrients.

Getting the Most from Your Food

Because of the decline in nutrients, you would need to consume around 50% more food to get the same nutrition!  It is often hard enough to eat your recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables the way it is!  However, there are ways to beat the system and incorporate higher nutrient foods into your diet again.

Avoiding GMOs

Genetically modified foods are praised for their ability to resist pests and increase yield.  Scientists boast that we can now produce more food to help feed the starving people all across the world.  However, inside GMO foods some alarming secrets are hidden in the dark.  Not only do many GMO foods contain far less vitamins and minerals, but many also cause food allergies and intolerances.  This is because our bodies don’t recognize these genetically modified organisms as real food…and rightly so!  Genetically incorporated pesticides contained in the crops can also damage the body, specifically the lining of the intestinal tract.

GMO cornNutrients in GMO foods are lacking compared to their natural forms. For example, a study performed on the nutrient values of GMO vs. Non-GMO corn presented some very disturbing results. The studies results concluded:

  • Non-GMO corn contains 437 times more calcium than GMO corn
  • Non-GMO corn contains 56 times more magnesium than GMO corn
  • Non-GMO corn contains 7 times more manganese than GMO corn

These are just the largest inconsistencies found.  Many other vitamins and minerals were found to be lacking in GMO corn.

The GMO corn also contained levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde that exceed toxicity standards for humans.  Non-GMO corn contained neither of these chemicals.

The first step in avoiding GMO foods is to know where to find them. Because there isn’t a required label on GMO products, it can be quite the guessing game.  However, there are several common GMO foods you should always keep an eye out for.

The most common GMO foods on the market are:

  1. Soy
  2. Corn
  3. Sugar from sugar beets
  4. Papaya
  5. Canola
  6. Zucchini and yellow squash

Unless a label specifies non-GMO or organic, and it contains one of the above foods, you can pretty much count on it being genetically modified.  It may take a bit to get the hang of it, but always read labels and keep your eyes peeled for these GMO foods!  I personally make a point to choose organic versions of these foods or avoid them all together.  I don’t want myself or my family to become a science experiment on what GMOs can do to the human body.

I firmly believe that genetically modified foods are not fit for human consumption. Click to Tweet.

Though GMO foods are celebrated as a scientific breakthrough, I view them as a poor replacement for true nutrition.  It’s like replacing a loaf of whole wheat bread with cardboard and celebrating how much easier it was to prepare!  I like to think God knew what he was doing when he designed our plants and animals.  There is truly nothing better than the God-given natural foods that are unaltered and unmodified.

Eating Heirlooms

Many people talk about eating organic foods, but their is another fantastic type of produce that is nutrient dense and 100% natural.  These types of plants are called heirlooms.  Eating heirloom produce can insure that you’re getting a seed that has not been commercially produced or genetically modified.  Heirloom seeds have been passed down for hundreds of generations.  It’s really quite fascinating to think about.  Down to the genetic makeup, you could be eating the same exact kind of tomato that your great great grandmother grew in her garden!

Heirlooms often have different colors and shapes than the typical produce you see at your grocery store.  They often boast a richer flavor, as well.  It can be a lot of fun taste testing all the different varieties.

Heirlooms can be difficult to find at a local grocery store, but your local farmer’s market should have many to choose from.  And you can always grow heirloom vegetables yourself.  Even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can purchase a couple large pots and place them outside on a deck or patio.

If you choose to grow your own vegetables, an easy way to boost nutrients in your garden is to practice composting.  This offers a huge boost of natural nutrients to your soil and, therefore, the plants that grow in that soil.

If you don’t want to grow your garden, be sure and ask about the farming practices of your local farmers.  Let them know that you are concerned about the amount of vitamins and minerals contained in your foods.  Most small farmers will be happy to answer your questions.

Nutrient Dense Foods

Naturally, some foods have more nutrients than others.  Even vegetables are not all created equal. A bowl of iceberg lettuce, although a vegetable, is not much more than water and fiber.  The best foods to choose have the most nutrition per calorie, such as:

  • Colorful vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Quality farm raised meat
  • Free-range eggs
  • Raw or organic dairy

Stay away from processed foods, desserts, and fried foods.  They offer little nutrition and pack a lot of empty calories.

Many of these nutrient dense foods are also referred to as “super foods.”  For more on superfoods, check out this issue of Home Cures That Work.

A great way to incorporate more nutrient foods into your meals is to replace refined ingredients with vegetables!  A great example is this recipe for lasagna!  This lasagna uses zucchini in place of noodles and is packed full of other vegetables!  I love one-dish meals and this recipe is a fantastic edition to your family dinner!

Noodle-Free Vegetable Lasagna*

Ingredients:

  • vegetable lasagna6 large organic zucchini, cut lengthwise into ⅛ inch strips

Sauce

  • 1 ¼ lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen cauliflower
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen spinach
  • 1 25 oz jar of organic spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese Layer

  •  1 16 oz container of cottage or ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •  ¾ cup mozzarella cheese

Noodles Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, then arrange zucchini slices and season with salt and pepper. Bake zucchini slices for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from oven. Set zucchini slices aside and lower oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Meat Sauce Directions:

In a large non-stick skillet, cook meat until it’s browned. To the skillet, add the veggies, seasonings, and the entire jar of spaghetti sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes, (or until veggies are de-thawed/begin to soften), stirring occasionally.

Cheese Layer Directions:

Mix the cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese together.

Putting it all together:

Begin by spreading 1/3 of the meat sauce in the bottom of the pan. Follow meat sauce with a layer of zucchini slices, followed by a layer of cottage cheese. Repeat the layers until casserole dish is full. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove foil and bake or broil another 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing, and serve warm!

I’m a sucker for good ethnic food.  I love the flavors, the colors, and the wonderful aromas.  This twist on a typical goulash mixes beautiful, nutrient rich vegetables with the rich flavor of curry.

Thai Curry Goulash

Ingredients

  • thai curry goulash1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 red bell peppers diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes diced
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • Cabbage (used half a small head diced)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 3 cups diced chicken
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Fish Sauce to taste

Directions:

The beauty of this dish is you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand.  Use this opportunity to clean out your fridge and eat up all your unused produce!

Begin by sautéing the veggies in a teaspoon of butter, starting with the onion and working down the list.

When all the veggies are soft, pour in the coconut milk and dissolve about a tablespoon of red curry paste into the developing sauce.

Add chicken to the pan. Next mix about a tablespoon of arrowroot with about a 1/4 cup of cool water then gently poured the white liquid into the pan to thicken the sauce. Lastly, add fish sauce to taste.

Serve over brown rice or enjoy alone.

The difficulty in obtaining all your daily nutrients from the foods you eat should not discourage you from eating healthy.  It is still very important to get all that you can from your diet.

Eating nutrient dense foods, combined with a quality multivitamin can get you exactly where you need to be nutritionally. Click to Tweet.

Begin avoiding GMO foods and replace them with heirlooms and organics.  Also fill your diet with wonderful nutrient dense foods and toss out those processed foods and sweets.  You will feel better, look better, and have energy levels that only come from complete nutrition.

What about you?  Do you feel you get adequate nutrition from what you eat on a daily basis?

 

Amanda BoxAmanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

(1)http://www.utexas.edu/news/2004/12/01/nr_chemistry/
*Recipe adapted from www.thedashingdish.com

GMO Foods Pros and Cons

By Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

There is certainly a lot of hype over GMOs.  We have so many people yelling about how it will save the human race from starvation, while others scream that it will completely destroy us!  How are we to know for sure whether foods that are genetically modified are safe and healthy?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but “caveat emptor” is still alive and well.  “Buyer beware” rules the market and we must be informed of all that we buy.  Information is still our best protection from all the toxic scams that are devised to take our money and give us only poor health in return.  I want to get past the hype and look only at the evidence.

GMO kidney damage by flickr Hey Paul StudiosThe GMO Home Case Study

My first experience with the GMO debate came from my wife.  She noticed that our youngest child acted very differently when he ate corn, but not when he ate organic corn.  I was skeptical, until I was home one day when he was given some non-organic corn by a neighbor.  The five-year-old child was literally “climbing the walls!”  He could not keep still!  I had seen many meth addicts act the same way, so I was shocked that our child would be doing this!  I even recorded it on video because the change in behavior was so drastic.

I started doing some research and found, at first, that GMO producers and the FDA were assuring everyone that GMO food was just like organic crops – but better, because the farmers didn’t have to spray for insects or weed their fields.  However, as I dug deeper, I began to see a different picture in the case surrounding GMOs.

Few GMO Studies Beyond 90 Days

Most of the “reassurance” that the FDA and GMO producers offer is based on results from 90-day studies.  That is, nobody died in three months — so it must be safe.  This isn’t very reassuring to me, because I know that it may take much longer than that to produce illness from food. I wanted some real science behind the safety of GMOs, so I went to non-industry studies.

GMOs Can Cause Liver and Kidney Disease

First, I went to studies on animals, because they may give us clues to what may happen in a human.  In 2010, a meta-analysis of 19 rats fed GMO soy and GMO corn found that 30-43% of the rats developed liver and/or kidney disease, compared to those who were not fed with GMOs.

I have read thousands of studies over the years, and the percentage ( 30-43%) of rats developing liver or kidney disease is very alarming.

Most pharmaceutical medicines are only approved on a less-than-10% (<10%) margin over placebo. This means GMO products have been approved despite the lack of rigorous safety assessments for GM crops and with the likelihood of organ damage. Wouldn’t you raise questions regarding GMO approval if it led to organ failure?

I’m not a fan of applying associated symptoms as a cause, so I wanted to know why liver and/or kidney disease might be a threat to humans. Before medical school, I was a microbiologist doing molecular biology and genetic engineering, so deciphering the biologically significant data was right up my alley.

GMO Gene Transfer

One of the most convincing arguments against GMO foods is the fact that

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Are GMOs Safe?

By Amanda Box, N.D.

How would you feel if you heard that the FDA has yet to conduct even one single study lab on the engineered food you eat every day? These foods have NEVER been proven safe for consumption but are in thousands of products on your grocery shelves!  I myself am flabbergasted!  It seems like a cruel joke.  This injustice has more to do with billions of dollars and hidden agendas, than it has to do with our safety.  I am talking about GMOs and their multi-billion dollar manufactures.

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are organisms that have had their genetic makeup altered by genetic engineers. Essentially, scientists have created seeds and plants that make up our food products that contain their own built-in pesticides, which are also tolerant to herbicides.  These organisms are modified by injecting the DNA of one species into another. It is a technical process that crosses plant, animal, bacterial, and viral genes in order to achieve a desired result with an altered genetic material. This unnatural process produces unnatural outcomes in our bodies. Foods that genetically modified are connected to:

  • Stay Free from GMO by flickr Nicki_SAllergies – New proteins introduced into GMOs can create new allergies
  • Antibiotic resistance  – Antibiotic resistance DNA implanted in the food can create antibiotic resistance in bodies
  • Increased toxicity – Damaged genes from bio-engineering can produce higher levels of toxins in the plants, which damage our bodies
  • Decreased nutrition – Crossing genes can make some nutritional components unavailable for use in our bodies

Though this may feel like an achievement to scientists and even some farmers, the catch twenty two is that someone is eating these genetically spliced and diced organisms that no longer contain just vitamins and protein, but toxic genetic material that alters our body’s regulation.

Where is the GMO Research?

The most frustrating thing I came across in putting together this article was the lack of research!  People are demanding to know if GMO foods are truly safe and no one can really give them a concise answer!

Only one GMO study has been conducted on humans and it concluded that GMOs survived inside the stomach. There were no follow ups on that test.  The work shows a pathway by which new food products, such as GM foods, could influence human health in previously unanticipated ways. Like I stated above, the FDA has NEVER conducted nor requested a safety study on GMOs.

Long term research on GMOs is pretty much non-existent.  The longest study, until recently, was only 3 months long.(1) It was conducted under the control of Monsanto, the company who manufactured the genetically modified corn used in the study.(2) And, of course, they deemed their product safe for consumption.

What is the main reason there is such a lack in scientific studies?  These seeds are owned by the companies that created them!  The seeds are legally patented inventions.  Therefore you have to have approval to use them for testing.

In 2009, twenty-six corn entomologists sent an open letter to the EPA complaining that, “No true independent research could be legally conducted due to patent restrictions!”(3) Christian Krupke, a Purdue University entomologist who signed the letter later stated, “The industry is completely driving the bus.”(4)

Recently, the first long term GMO study was conducted in France.  The study lasted two years and concluded with large tumors and other cancerous results in the rats fed genetically modified corn.  Though this study has come under a lot of fire as not being accurate or conducted properly, there are substantial arguments on both sides. (5)

Really, you are left to decide who you want to believe. In one corner you have multi billion dollar Monsanto, claiming that their genetically altered corn is safe based on the studies that they have funded.  Then in the other corner, you have people looking for answers who and want more conclusive research.  I, for one, would love more studies.  And I have a good idea what those studies will conclude. Can toying with nature in a lab actually produce something safe and side-effect free? I think not.

Exposing the GMO Fraud

Luckily many people are trumpeting the cause against GMOs. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “GMO foods carry a serious health risk. There is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects.” They go on to say, “GMO foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health.”  They called for long term safety tests and the labeling of GMO foods.(6)

Dozens of countries all across the world are banning the growing and importation of GMO foods. Currently 8 European countries have banned GMOs.(7)  Countries like Egypt and Japan have also said no to GMOs. However, this is not because of government demand, but demand of the consumers!  Interestingly enough, there hasn’t been much positive movement in America towards the banning of GMOs. Why? Because big seed corporations have stuffed the pockets of politicians and government officials making a big change nearly impossible!

Even if GMO foods continue to dominate the market, we as consumers deserve to know when we are eating GMO foods.  The dishonesty in labeling has been a disaster for those wanting to avoid genetically modified foods. Without labeling it is impossible to know which foods products have higher risks so that you can avoid them and protect the health of your family.

GMO Starvation by United Nations PhotoIn November of this past year, California’s ballot was the first to introduce a law requiring that all foods containing GMO products be labeled as such.  Proposition 37, was the name of this initiative and it started an uproar around the safety of GMO products.(8)  Monsanto dropped millions of dollars in anti-37 campaign ads.  It seems clear that Monsanto wants you to close your eyes, open your mouth, and swallow.

Much to my dismay, money won the battle and Prop 37 was not approved.  The European Union has been using warning labels on their GMO foods since 2002!  We are extremely behind the ball! However, I believe this bill awakened many all across America, and it is my hope that eventually we will have nationwide labeling of GMO products!

Pro-GMO corporations will argue that not only are their products safe, but their ability to produce more effectively is helping keep food prices down. They also argue that in a world where food is scarce, they are helping to feed the hungry.

But honestly, does this matter if the food itself is dangerous?  Feeding people untested lab modified food is like performing one giant science experiment gone bad!  You could feed a starving child in Africa rice mixed with a little rat poison each day and say, “See, I am feeding this child!”  But, you are hurting that child at the same time! It’s ability to stave off starvation does not counteract the poisonous side-effects!

Avoiding GMOs

The most common question I get is regarding GMOs is

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GMOs: An Unexpected Dinner Guest

By Amanda Box, N.D.

What’s for dinner at your house tonight?  I bet you don’t even realize it, but you may be serving up some Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  That’s right.  They may taste better than they sound, but these lab engineered foods can cause a whole lot of damage in the human body!   It is a sad reality, but this scientifically engineered food has taken over the food industry!

  • How did we get to the point where what grows in the ground isn’t even natural?
  • Why are we now eating plants that are crossed with other plant and even animal viruses, bacteria, and DNA?

It all began with one single supreme court hearing.  This court decision changed the lives of millions across the United States and abroad.  In this hearing, approval was given for patenting live organisms and their commercialization.(1) This meant that seed companies who had created genetically modified plants in their labs not only owned the right to those seeds, but were free to market them for human consumption. GMOs by flickr Chiot's Run

From 1997 through 1999, over ¼ of the crops in America were converted to GMO varieties.(2)  This has continued to climb over the past 13 years.  Now, the United States produces over 50% of the worlds GMO crops!(3)  This is a staggering amount of food that is produced void of its natural genetic makeup.

Although these genetically modified foods have been on the market for the last decade, most people had no idea they were eating anything different.  This is because there are no  GMO labeling laws in the United States.

Your natural corn, soybeans, sugar, rice, tomatoes, potatoes and other common foods were swapped out for genetically modified versions – right under your nose!  If this seems sneaky and manipulative to you, then it most certainly is!

GMOs and Clones for Dinner

Surprisingly, many people argue that GMO foods are perfectly safe and nutritious.  However, they are under the delusion that there is no difference in the quality, nutrition, or safety of GMO foods in comparison to natural foods.

Plants that have been around since the beginning of time are being replaced by scientifically enhanced versions. And it’s not just plants that are being modified!  Genetically modified animals are now becoming the next big thing! The Enviropig was a genetically engineered pig designed to excrete less waste.  Luckily, the plug has been pulled on the pig research, so GMO bacon won’t be an option any time soon.

However, if you smell something fishy, you’re onto something. GMO salmon has been approved for sale for human consumption.  AquaAdvantage salmon, as it’s called, grows year round and at a much faster rate than wild salmon.  This new salmon will not be labeled GMO, so you will have no idea if you’re eating it or not!  The FDA did perform testing using just six fish in the study.  They noted an “increase in allergy potential,” but still gave it their seal of approval.

Scientists have performed hundreds of experiments by genetically modifying animals. Cloning, once looked at as science fiction, can legally occupying grocery shelves, as well. Because no labels are required for clones, you could be eating cloned food without ever knowing it! The FDA food safety chief Dr. Stephen Sundloff stated,  “Meat and milk from cattle, swine, and goat clones are as safe as the food we eat every day.” I personally think Dr. Sundloff is off his rocker!  And I am not the only one.

The Centre for Food Safety disagrees with the FDA’s approval stating, “Without mandating further study it is clearly arbitrary, capricious, and irresponsible.”(4) Most clones die soon after birth due to genetic defects.  Scientists have found genetic defects in clones that have never been found in normal animals.  Arguing that clones are a perfect genetic copy and perfectly safe just doesn’t hold up.

Safety Concerns of GMOs

So, are GMOs really safe? The FDA, as well as the big corporations who manufacture GMOs, want you to believe that they are no different then those foods found in nature.  Unfortunately, proving that these genetically modified organisms have an effect our health will be a big challenge.  That is because the companies that manufacture them have to give their approval for the testing.  Hence, the lack in research and long term studies clearly and concisely pointing to the dangers of GMOs to our health.

It is really a guessing game as what the long term effects of consuming these genetically engineered foods will really be. Physicians and scientists have begun stepping forward to challenge GMOs safety.  One Harvard trained physician, Dr. Bernhoft, claims his patients have improved once GMOs were taken out of their diet.  These patients had a wide array of diseases.  Dr. Bernhoft stated, “In all of the animal studies that I’ve read, there’s always damage to gut integrity. Is the same thing happening in humans? I don’t know, but asthma, food allergies, autoimmunity—all of those things have gone up logarithmically since GMOs have been introduced.” (5)

The only human study that was conducted demonstrated that genes from GMO soy “jumped” into the human intestinal bacteria DNA.  This means that even after you have eaten GMO soy and excreted it out of your body, its genes still remain in your intestinal tract!!  Many are speculating that Bt corn could possibly create a similar scenario.  If this is true, your intestines would be continually producing pesticides inside your body even after the corn is gone! GMO foods health by flickr Kalexanderson Bt corn was created by genetic engineers who took the toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt, and inserted into corn as a built-in pesticide.

This corn was designed to kill insects and can wreak havoc not only on your gut, but also your immune system.  Government research in Italy found both gut damage and autoimmune responses in mice fed Bt corn.(6) The potential damage is massive. GMO foods can lead to health issues, such as:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Cancer

One of the biggest issues with the consumption of GMOs is autoimmune reactions.  Your body is designed to recognize natural foods and process them as such.  However, when you change the genes of a natural food, your body begins to react to that engineered food as if it’s a foreign invader!   This creates an inflammatory reaction in the body that can lead to chronic autoimmune diseases like MS, fibromyalgia and Lupus! Liver damage can also be a result of consuming GMOs. Animal studies using GMO corn, canola, potatoes and soybeans all resulted in some sort of liver issues.  These damaging results ranged from liver inflammation to actual lesions in the liver!(7)

Hidden GMOs in Your Life

Maybe you’re saying, “I eat really healthy. I’m not worried about GMOs.”  Well, think again! Something as innocent as your morning cup of coffee can be brimming with genetically altered ingredients. Let me break it down for you.

Maybe you like your coffee black. But millions love their lattes, breves and cappuccinos.  Unless you use organic dairy products, your milk, half and half, or cream comes from cows given the growth hormone rBGH or rBST.  These growth hormones are genetically engineered and can lead to milk containing hormones. These milk cows are also fed grains composed primarily of GMOs. Maybe you go dairy-free.  That can be even worse if you use soy milk!  Soy is the #1 genetically modified plant in the United States.

And the sugar you use to sweeten your coffee?  Most sugar beets are GMO now. Even sugar cane is genetically altered.  You also better put down that sugar-free blue packet!  Aspartame (Nutrasweet) is made from genetically altered materials and packs a plethora of potential side effects. And if GMOs weren’t enough, unless your coffee is organic it is probably covered in pesticide residue!  All that sure makes your morning cup of Joe look a lot less innocent now, doesn’t it?

If just a cup of coffee can be saturated with unnatural genetically modified ingredients, what do you think lies in your kitchen cabinet?  It likely that you have thousands of genetically modified organisms hidden away in the boxes, cans and jars in your home.

How to Avoid GMOs

GMO corn labels by flickr Jeannette E. SpaghettiGoing GMO-free is easier than it seems.  There will be a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but once you get it down, it will be second nature for you. Learning to look at labels is the most important thing in avoiding GMOs. There are four specific labels you want to look for when searching for packaged foods that indicate they are GMO-free.

  1. 100% Organic – This means EVERYTHING in the product is organic, therefore GMO-free.
  2. Organic – Something has to be at least 95% of it’s ingredients organic to call it organic.  The other 5% still has to be GMO-free.
  3. Made from Organic – This means the product contains at least 70% organic ingredients.  The remaining ingredients have to be non-GMO, as well.
  4. Non-GMO – The ingredients may not have been grown organically, however there are no genetically modified ingredients in the product.

If what you are buying doesn’t not have one of the labels above, you will need to read the ingredient list.  Identifying the most common GMO foods is the first step while reading ingredient lists.

Top 8 GMO Foods to Avoid

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