Genetically modified organisms are widely banned across the world, with many of them grown in just a small handful of countries including the United States, Argentina, and Brazil among others.
But through these channels and especially through the United States, where Monsanto is headquartered, the assembly line for GMO corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar and other crops continues to power ahead full-bore, and these ingredients end up in everything from our food to clothing and even fuel products.
With that in mind, here are 10 sources of hidden GMOs to avoid whenever possible, as the last thing we want to do in today’s day and age is to support the bottom line of one of the oft-voted “most evil companies in the world.”
Top 10 Hidden Sources of GMOs to Be Aware Of
1. Meat Products- The horrors of factory farming are bad enough, but did you know that the vast majority of animal feed in the U.S. is genetically engineered?
Instead of allowing pigs, chickens and cows to roam free and eat their natural diets, they are instead given free reign to gorge on cheap GMO corn, soy and other products, which completely changes the composition of the product in several unintended ways (and greatly harms the environment in a roundabout way).
2. Dairy- Along with GMO feed, cows are often given genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rGBH. Many scientists and journalists have put their careers on the line to expose the potential horrors of this product and yet it is widely used in the U.S. today.
Buy organic, pastured (know your farmer) and rBGH-free whenever possible to avoid these pitfalls.
3. Papayas- While some claim that the Hawaiian papaya industry was saved with the inclusion of GMO papayas, others say they were unnecessary and present under-studied health risks along with financial risks from consumers who reject GMOs. At any rate, buy organic and avoid Hawaiian papays if you want to make sure it’s non-GMO.
4. “Healthy” Protein Bars- Many supposedly healthy natural and vegan/vegetarian protein bars use GMO soy protein isolate as one of their key ingredients, believe it or not. Avoid this type of protein if at all possible because GMO soy is “Roundup Ready” and sprayed heavily with Monsanto’s infamous weedkiller, among other potential health issues.
5. Chocolate Bars- A little dark chocolate every now and then is surprisingly healthy for most people, but even so-called “gourmet” chocolates may contain soy lecithin, which is likely to be GMO. It’s a small amount that may not hurt you that badly unless you eat it consistently, but it’s still well worth noting and important to avoid.
6. Fuel- Ethanol is a boon for American corn producers, but critics say it isn’t anywhere near the eco-friendly fuel it’s positioned to be in the market, especially since most of it is made from vast amounts of genetically engineered Monsanto corn that has been linked to environmental and organic crop pollution. Make sure you know what you’re putting in your car the next time you fuel up.
7. Clothing- While organic clothing is becoming more popular, huge amounts of U.S. clothing (and even some made in India and other GMO-using countries) comes from GMO cotton, one of the dirtiest crops on the market. Support organic and eco-friendly materials whenever possible.
8. The Restaurant Business- Virtually every mainstream restaurant uses a ton of GMOs in its everday cooking process, including GMO canola oil which is preferred for cooking because of the crispy texture it produces. Be sure to ask plenty of questions when eating out, cook at home and support organic and non-GMO restaurants whenever possible.
9. Your Child’s School Lunch- As we all know, GMOs are highly prevalent in most grocery store products. But your child’s purchased lunch at school could also be a major source, especially since school districts are known to be penny-pinchers in this department.
Some districts including one in Minneapolis and a few in California have stepped up to the plate offering non-GMO and organic options, but we are still a long way from solving this issue as long as GMO agriculture remains king in this country.
10. “Natural” Granola Bars- Don’t be fooled by the “natural” label as it means nothing in today’s day and age. Many so-called “natural” granola bars may contain GMO sugar, GMO soy, and other not-so-healthy things. Read the labels carefully and look for the non-GMO butterfly or organic symbols when purchasing these food products.
The General Mills product Nature Valley is one of the most egregious offenders in this category, by the way (just check the company’s website).