What Practical Tips Do You Suggest To Avoid GM Foods?

1. Avoid “At Risk” Ingredients

    The commonest crops that are genetically modified are Soy (91%) Canola (88%) Corn (85%) Cotton (71%) Sugar Beets (90%) and Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%). So in general, avoid foods with ingredients derived from corn or soybeans. Fortunately there is no GM popcorn or blue or white corn.

2. Avoid Processed foods in general

    This is the most reliable way to prevent purchasing GM foods as most processed foods have GMO ingredients in them. Processed foods using products made from corn and soybeans contain the most GM ingredients.

3. Buy Organic

    Organic foods can be labeled in 3 different ways

    a) “100% organic” – all ingredients are organic.
    b) “organic”- at least 95% of ingredients are organic. The remaining 5% has to be non-GMO.
    c) “made with organic (name of ingredient)”- 70% of ingredients are organic. The remaining 30% has to be non-GMO.

    A helpful resource is What is Organic

4. Look for “non-GMO” labels

    Companies may voluntarily choose to label their products as “non-GMO” .
    Some labels are non specific and just state “non-GMO” while others are more specific and spell out “made without genetically modified ingredients”.
    Some products may specify a particular “At Risk” ingredient and list it as “non-GMO”

5. Use shopping guides

6. Avoid factory farmed animal products

7. Avoid the sweetener Aspartame

    Also called Nutrasweet® and Equal®, it is a GMO derivative and is found in over 6000 products including soft drinks, gum, candy, desserts, mixes, yoghurt, tabletop sweeteners and some pharmaceuticals such as vitamins and sugar-free cough drops.

8. When eating in Restaurants…….

    Try to go to restaurants that prepare foods from fresh whole ingredients rather than from packaged processed mixes that more than likely will contain GM ingredients. Try to find out what kind of oil the restaurant cooks with. Many cook with vegetable oil which is usually made from GM soy, corn, cottonseed and canola. If that is the case, then ask if your food can be prepared without oil or if a non-GMO oil like olive, sunflower of safflower oil can be used instead. Make sure the olive oil is not blended with canola oil which is common in restaurants.
    If you are not sure which items on the menu are GM, ask your server or the chef. GM foods may include salad dressings, bread, mayonnaise and sugar from GM sugar beets. In addition, when ordering a dairy item, find out if the dairy is organic or rbGH free. Bottom line, don’t be shy to ask questions!

    These have been adapted from a few sources, the main one

  • Pixiemoss

    Excellent information. Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Thanks Frank for posting this (from a fellow South African). People need to take more responsbility as consumers and ask questions

  • Wonderful info!

  • Excellent advice.
    Eating in restaurant will be dicey unless the management has deliberately gone out of their way to ensure non-GMO products. This is especially true if they are a large chain, as you don’t know where in a supply chain someone might be “cheating”.
    So, additionally, I would add, buy local, or with as short a supply chain as possible.

  • Bdgonzalez310

    Great info thanks so much for sharing. The Spanish version for list of GMOs is fantastic …….I will be padding it on to my Spanish speaking friends and family!

  • Ontheyellowhead

    What do you suggest for diabetics using GMO derived insulin?

  • Zanamd08

    these are very helpful tips especially for the people from other small countries where food is not genetically modified- except the one imported.

  • Catherine Davis

    I’ve recently heard and read Dr. Lipman advise against consuming sunflower oil so I’m surprised to see him recommending it here. Can anyone explain the discrepancy?