How to Spot GMO Foods

How to Spot GMO Foods

You may be aware of all the controversy surrounding foods derived from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).

These are, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “organisms in which the genetic material (deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA for short) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.”

Because of this gene manipulation many feel there is the potential for humans to accumulate an unknown response that is theorized to result in a laundry list of health conditions and possibly disease.

Even though minimal (if any) evidence has been found to prove this, the actions of Monsanto (the largest GMO seed manufacturer) and other companies prove otherwise. Since 1983, GMO companies have fought to keep their production under the radar for as long as possible such as not labeling their products coming from genetically modified seeds.

This may mean that they have something to hide. Learn how to spot GMO foods so you have a choice because according to the Center for Food Safety, “As of 2013, roughly 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, and 88% of cotton produced in the United States are genetically modified.”

Why Modify?

You may think that food is food and, for the most part, there’s plenty to go around. This is not the case.

GMO foods were (and still are) designed to not only withstand the elements but to fight off pests, bacteria and viruses without the use of pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.

Creating strains resistant to such seems like a win-win. They grow larger, faster and healthier. This means that masses can be fed deeming the practice practically able to eradicate world hunger.

These are some of the reasons GMO’s continue to be used. However, many feel it is all coming from a more underlying agenda; financial greed and control of the food chain.

On the Lookout

As stated, how to spot GMO foods can first be attributed to the fact that any food that is not labeled “non-GMO” (or the like) should be considered from a GMO source.

Here are some things to look for and consider:

  • Bar Code 8 – Some recommend looking for the number 8 as the first digit in the bar code of a food product. This has been linked to being a code for being a GMO or having a GMO ingredient. However, this is a voluntary addition to the bar code so not all GMO manufacturing adheres to it, yet it is still a good option.
  • Avoid Processed Foods – According to Angelika Hilbeck, a senior researcher in the Institute of Integrative Biology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology recommends that produce usually contains less GMO’s than processed foods.
  • Go Organic – If you place an organic tomato next to a GMO tomato the GMO tomato will always be much larger. Most people equate larger with being better but in this case the organic tomato usually tastes better and is better for you.
  • Mind Your Meat & Fish – Most animals are raised on GMO laced feed. Research the source of your meat and fish by going to their brand website or calling them for info. If you don’t get a straight answer, they are probably using GMO’s. Choose brands that come from and/or label their meat non-GMO or Wild Caught. Free range doesn’t always mean non-GMO.

Nutritional Example

As mentioned, there isn’t enough evidence showing that GMO’s are directly linked to health hazards, however there are some startling facts regarding their nutritional content. NaturalNews posted this comparison of GMO and non-GMO corn:

  • Organic corn has 14 ppm (parts per million) of manganese. GMO corn has only 2 ppm.
  • Real corn has 7 times more manganese
  • Organic corn has 6130 ppm of calcium. GMO is stripped down to 14 ppm.
  • Real corn has 437 times more calcium
  • Organic corn has 113 ppm of magnesium. GMO corn is vacant, with only 2 ppm.
  • Real corn has 56 times more magnesium

As consumers demand more transparency, how to spot GMO foods may get easier. Keep an eye out for the above recommendations, always trying to eat as organic and fresh as possible.