Historically speaking, we’re seed savers.
For hundreds of years American farmers have been growing crops, saving seeds from one year to plant the next. Remember Almanzo Wilder and his hidden wheat during The Long Winter? From seed potatoes to corn and wheat, keeping a portion of the crop to be planted for the next growing season is a perfect example of being self sufficient. Once a grower harvests his first crop, he or she will never have to purchase seeds again, barring any natural disasters. That all changes though, when we add transgenic seeds into the mix. (Also called genetically modified organisms or GMOs.)
Farmers who plant transgenic seeds aren’t allowed to save them.
There’s plenty of debate about the health and safety of GMO crops, but one thing is certain: crops that require farmers to purchase seeds from the patent owner every year are not very sustainable. When we buy foods made from genetically engineered crops, we support the notion of unsustainable farming. (Who could have imagined such a concept a generation or two ago?)
How much of a problem is it?
It’s estimated that 85% of America’s corn crops are genetically modified, 91% of soybeans, and 88% of cotton are genetically modified. Other genetically modified crops on the market include sugar beets, canola, cotton, and papaya. (There are questions about transgenic squash, wheat, and potatoes being on the market, but I’ve yet to find anything definitive.) Unless you’re buying organic, odds are good that many of the products you’re eating include GMOs. Many states are pushing for mandatory labeling, but what if you want to avoid GMOs now? Unless you’ve been successful at becoming completely self-sufficient, it’s tough. Really tough.
You might be surprised where GMOs are hidden in your diet.
Want to take a closer look at where GMOs are hiding in your food? Check out these obvious and not so obvious culprits.
Learn how to source non-GMO ingredients and pantry staples at wholesale prices by clicking here.
• Corn on the cob (high potential for GMO cross-contamination)
• Frozen corn (high potential for GMO cross-contamination)
• Corn meal
• Corn tortillas
• Tortilla chips
• Drinks and desserts sweetened with high fructose corn syrup
• Cornstarch (check ingredients lists for this, too)
• Battery raised meat fed corn
• Factory farmed eggs from chickens raised on corn
• Dairy products from cows raised on corn
• Specialty coffee drinks
• Cat and dog foods
• Soybean oil (check ingredients lists)
• Soy milk
• Soy sauce
• Vegetable oil
• Non-dairy frozen desserts
• Teriyaki sauce
• Battery raised meat fed soy
• Factory farmed eggs from chickens raised on soy
• Dairy products from cows raised on soy
• Texturized vegetable protein, a meat substitute commonly found in canned chilis, soups, and sauces
• Cat and dog foods
• Canola oil
• Tortilla chips (especially sneaky are the ones that shout ‘made with organic corn’ but are fried in GMO canola)
• Baked items
• Vegetable oil
• Salad dressing
• Peanut butter
• Mayonnaise (how to make your own here)
• Prepared pesto (how to make your own here)
• Prepared hummus (how to make your own here)
• Granulated sugar
• Any granulated sugar that doesn’t specifically say ‘cane sugar’
• Baked goods made with sugar
• Prepared salad dressing
• Specialty coffee drinks (how to make your own here)
• Textiles made from cotton
• Cottonseed oil
• Battery raised meat fed cottonseed
• Factory farmed eggs from chickens raised on cottonseed
• Dairy products from cows raised on cottonseed
• Baked and prepackaged items that include cottonseed oil