10 Common Foods You Didn't Know were GMO

10 Common Foods You Didn't Know were GMO
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When I hear the words "Genetically Modified Organism" I can't help thinking about a multi-tentacle three-eye monster pulled out of a sci-fi novel. Sadly, GMO needs no imagination to inhabit all of our pantries and fridges. It's a very common threat that can be more detrimental to our health than my imaginary creature, because GMO is unarguably real.

Genetically modified foods are hard to pinpoint. Per regulations, in the U.S. and Canada, companies don't need to label their GMO products, and given that it hasn't been determined if genetic modification is completely safe, these foods tend to conceal their petri dish origins.

Much of what we eat every day has been genetically modified. There's still some debate regarding safety concerns of these foods, but when you’re aiming to follow a natural lifestyle the best thing you can do is steer away from them.

Since the use of GMOs became widespread, the incidence of chronic illnesses and cancer has increased exponentially. So far, studies have shown that making crops resistant to pests and to pesticides has side effects on the consumers. Corn, for example, can survive when sprayed with an herbicide, but it keeps those toxins and carries them into whoever eats it.

It's becoming increasingly hard to stay on a GMO-less diet, mainly because we are relying more and more on the few monocultures available instead going for variety. Here is a list –not exhaustive, but crucial- of the foods you're eating that have been genetically manipulated:

Soybean
When you make the swap from cow milk to soy milk you truly believed it was for the best, right? It sadly might not be. The whopping amount of 91% of all soybeans in the US is genetically modified. Though the main use for soybeans is oil, rather than "milk", all soy products come from the same crops. You might be better off looking for Brazilian soybean products, since they have a growing GMO-free supply.

Canola
Supposedly among the healthiest of cooking oils, canola' sins may not be in their saturated fat content, but well embedded in their D.N.A. More than 80% of all the canola seeds in North America -Canada and the United States- has been genetically modified.

Corn
The first GM maize was commercialized back in 1996 by Monsanto, and since then it has climbed to the top of the GM crops grown in the United States. Approximately 12 million bushels is the yearly average harvested in the U.S., and besides being an ingredient of many processed foods, it's also a part of livestock diet.

Canned soups
Nowadays, we try to cut corners to have a little bit of me-time, and canned soups are a convenient way to spare us some cooking time. Unfortunately, most of them have corn syrup, and as we know, most of the corn in the world is GMO.

Frozen foods and sodas
Carbonated drinks contain a lot of sugar, and 50% of it comes from sugar beets, which are one of the most genetically manipulated crops in the world. Frozen foods are also sweetened with HFCS and sugar beets too, so better stick to the fresh produce aisle.

Cereal
If you eat unsweetened muesli, you're off the hook. But everybody who consumes boxed cereals are exposed to at least two GMOs in every box, like corn or sweeteners. Studies have revealed that some of the cereals you should avoid are Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops, Corn Flakes and General Mills' Cocoa Puffs. General Mills has said that as of January, their Cheerio's cereal will contain no GMOs. That deserves a round of applause.

Milk
Research shows that to increase their milk production, cows are given a compound called rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone)-a substance otherwise banned in many countries and regions around the world (like Canada, EU, Japan, for instance). Still, many products that Canada imports from the U.S. contain milk that, surprise, comes from GMO cows.

Baby formula
If milk is GMO, baby formula hits double jeopardy, because it contains some cow milk and soybean milk.

Tomatoes
In 1990 first GM food was produced the Flavr-Savr tomatoes. Their mission: to delay how quickly the tomatoes would soften). Today tomatoes are genetically modified to ensure longer shelf life as well as other cosmetic improvements, which means those lively red tomatoes are now less prone to rotting and bruising. And have you seen the size of them? Huge!

Cottonseed
Most of the cotton grown for domestic consumption and exports in the U.S. has been genetically modified, and the remnant of cotton after turning it into fabric is cottonseeds. These are used to produce vegetable oil, margarine or shortening, so the bad news is that this GMO is in your pantry as well as in your closet. The alternative can be to use hemp-made clothes, which highly resembles cotton, and choose organic butter over margarine or shortening.

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