GMOs - How Do We Avoid Them?

By Sulema Gonzales on November 13, 2019

In America and across the world, consumers are becoming more and more aware of the potential dangers of genetically modified foods. The heated debate on their safety continues with consumer groups and the general population demanding mandatory GMO labeling laws. This battle has been ongoing for some time now with at least 64 countries around the world way ahead of us. However, in December of 2018, the final GMO labeling rule in the U.S. was released by the USDA.

So how much confidence do I have in this new rule? Not much! Click here to see if you agree.

However you feel about the new labeling rule, the good news is – We still have choices!

We can choose to continue buying commercial produce and refined packaged items with no regard as to what we might be putting into our bodies, or we can do our best to avoid modified foods.

Now avoiding GMOs may seem overwhelming at first. I used to spend hours at the grocery store reading label after label before allowing anything to make its way into my cart. This was very time consuming because GMO crops are refined and turned into many different processed ingredients. Some may be easier to recognize than others. I lost track of the number of times I stood in a grocery aisle holding a very attractively labeled box in my hands trying to decide whether it was safe to take home or not. Food marketers purposely add enticing pictures and convincing tag lines to distract us from flipping the box over to discover what’s actually inside. If we flip the box over, we will probably find GMO crops camouflaged under a wide variety of names.

Here are some examples:

GMO Corn may be hidden under:

• high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, corn sugar, hydrolyzed corn, maltodextrin

GMO Soy derivatives may be hidden as:

textured soy flour, tempe, textured soy protein, lecithin, monodiglyceride, miso, mixed tocopherals, msg

Most MSG is made from GMOs and may be hidden under:

hydrolyzed vegetable protein, monosodium glutamate, sodium caseinate, natural flavorings, natural meat tenderizer, yeast extract

Besides our grocery stores, GMO products are served in most fast food chains and national chain restaurants.

So how on earth are we supposed to avoid them?

Here are a few Power Tips!

  1. Look for products that contain either the NON-GMO or USDA Organic label or both
  2. Shop at your local farmer’s market and ask questions! (It is much easier to question the local farmer about how he grows his crops as opposed to the one who lives in another state or country.)
  3. Make homemade meals using natural ingredients instead of eating out. Yay!
  4. If you must eat out, know which GMO products to avoid and question the waiter on what type of oil, sugar, etc… that they are using. Choose restaurants that advertise at least some of their ingredients as NON-GMO or USDA Organic.

Check out this article on  How To Avoid GMOs When Dining Out by Jeffrey Smith.

As with anything, the more we practice, the easier it gets.

So lets take control of our health and practice good lifestyle habits by doing all we can to avoid GMOs.

Our bodies will thank us!


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November 13th, 2019

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GMOs - Are They Safe?

By Sulema Gonzales on May 09, 2018

Now that I have a better understanding as to what GMOs are, the next question is….are they safe?

At one point, all food used to be “organic” and “naturally” grown. I don’t recall my parents ever being overly concerned when taking us out to restaurants as kids or shopping for food at the grocery store. They didn’t question whether our food was safe to eat or not. They would just buy it, and we would eat it. Boy have things changed!

So this is what I’ve learned so far….

There is actually a thing called plant breeding that has existed for over a thousand years where they cross breed parent traits in hopes of producing a desired characteristic. The way I easily came to understand this was to compare it to dog breeding. If you mate a labrador retriever with a poodle, you end up with a “labradoodle”. Nothing too out of the ordinary…they’re both dogs, but just different breeds.

Within the last 100 years, however, scientists have been working on a new experiment. They eventually developed a way to transfer desired genes from one organism, with precision, to directly modify another organism (even if its a completely different species) with the “specific” trait they want. If they want a pig that glows in the dark, they got one!  (check out this article)

Well, some of these scientists are altering crops in a lab, and these crops have already made their way into grocery stores since the 1990’s. Over the last few decades, they’ve engineered crops to have larger yields, fight diseases, and tolerate extreme temperatures they normally couldn’t handle. They also tolerate herbicides, have enhanced nutritional value, longer shelf life, and there are probably more potential benefits I can’t think of right now. But why bother to think of more? These all sound so great! They have finally come up with a solution to grow food in drought countries and can probably even end world hunger! Or have they? And at what cost?

From produce to canned and packaged goods, half the items on grocery store shelves today are genetically modified.  Off the top of my head, a few of these foods are corn, soy, canola, cotton, and sugar.  According to the biotech companies that have done so many tests on the long term effects of GMOs on humans and animals, they are safe. They got the approval for human consumption in the USA.

But for some reason, over 25 other countries have done their own safety tests on GMOs and have banned them completely.

I was like… What? Wait a minute……. Why?

Apparently, there’s this ongoing battle in our country with the food industry and GMO-labeling laws. Some companies don’t want us to know that they are using genetically modified ingredients in their products. If they are truly so safe after all the tests they’ve done, why the secrecy?

GMOs have been out on the market for the last few decades. A rise in illnesses have also been occurring over the last few decades. Coincidence? More and more people are suffering from allergies, antibiotic resistant diseases, gastrointestinal issues, and even different types of cancers, to name a few. It makes me wonder why more isn’t being done to investigate this “coincidence”.

So in the meantime, if we’re not really sure GMOs are safe, how can we to determine if our food is genetically modified or not?

And the research continues…

Next blog -> GMOs – How Do We Avoid Them?


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May 9th, 2018

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GMO Begins It All...

By Sulema Gonzales on January 27, 2017

Sometime back in 2013, I remember sitting at my desk working, but my mind kept wandering….

I couldn’t stop wondering what those 3 big letters stood for….G-M-O.

Every so often I’d come across an email for my boss that mentioned GMO’s, and now our company was selling a feed product that stated NON-GMO right at the top of the bag.  So the next chance I had, as my boss walked thru our office, I stopped him and asked, “What does GMO stand for?”  He responded with, “GMO stands for genetically modified organisms”, and then he walked out.

“GMO is a what?”, I thought.  He gave me an answer, but I still wasn’t quite sure I understood what that meant.  Why did the product we sell claim to have no GMO’s?  Were they bad?  What was the big deal?

Thank goodness for the internet!

This research was the beginning…

As I discovered the truth behind GMO’s, and that they were not only in some animal food, but also in the food we buy, I was greatly bothered.  This led me to NEED to learn even more…So I hit the documentaries!

I used to think documentaries were boring and I only enjoyed watching chic flicks, but there I was on a Saturday afternoon scrolling thru Netflix in search of a documentary about food. (which is now a habit of mine that makes my family crazy!)

It didn’t take long before I came across Food Inc., the first documentary I ever watched about the food industry. (I’ve probably seen a few dozen by now)

It was kinda gross to watch at times, but boy did it open my eyes and was definitely more than I was expecting.

I will never look at food the same way again!

Next blog -> GMOs – Are They Safe?


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January 27th, 2017

Posted In: Food

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