Common Genetically Modified Foods
Currently there are nine GMO crops that are prolific. While there are GM tomatoes they’re not a major GMO crop. It can be hard to find these crops in their organic form, and if you eat processed foods you are most definitely ingesting the GMO crop over the organic crop.
What’s worse is that even though no GMO meats have been approved for the market, the fact that they’re fed feed from GMO crops makes them a problem too. To avoid GMOs, always buy certified organic over conventionally grown and read the labels of any processed foods like cereal that you want to eat.
Over 94 percent of the sugar beet crops are GMO. They were mostly modified to resist herbicides and pesticides. They use sugar beets in about 20 percent of the world’s production of sugar, and it is often used in processed foods and beverages like vodka and rum. Beet-derived molasses is often used as cattle food, as well as used as high-fructose syrup. It can even be used to de-ice the road, create medications, and may be a potential alternative fuel.
Over 90 percent of all soy is now GMO. Soy was modified to resist herbicides, pesticides and to specifically resist Roundup. But some soy has also been modified to create a better soy oil that doesn’t go bad as quickly so that it can be used more easily in the food industry. Soybeans are used as food, to create oil, additives and livestock feed.
Genetically modified to resist rootworms, Roundup, other pests, and drought, corn is our next highest likely to be GMO. In fact right at 90 percent of our corn is GM corn today. Some GM corn is even modified to be sweeter. Corn is used as direct food for humans and livestock. Plus, many additives, oils, meals and flours are produced from corn. High-fructose corn oil is the most used and most prevalent additive outside of corn oil in our food supply today.
When most people think of cotton they don’t immediately think of a food crop. But GM cotton is used in producing cottonseed oil which is used by food corporations to fry foods and to make margarine, and the by-products can be used as food additives. It’s also used in animal feed.
Coming from the rapeseed plant, GM canola is used to make everything from cooking oil to biodiesel. It’s promoted as a low saturated fat oil high in omega fatty acids. Even the FDA gives it a thumbs up as a beneficial replacement to high saturated fat oils. Like most GM products they are also used in food production, livestock feed and is seen as very promising in terms of producing biodiesel.
About 3/4s of the entire papaya crop in Hawaii accounts for GM papaya. It was engineered to resist the papaya ringspot virus which was threatening to kill the entire papaya crop. While some scientists say that without this modification the entire crop would be gone now, there are up and coming farmers bringing “non GMO” papaya back to Hawaii.
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash
Still only a small number of these crops are GMO but they have been modified to protect against various viruses and fungus. Not widely available yet, GM zucchini and squash are relatively new on the market.
The newest approved GMO crop alfalfa has already caused issues due to cross-contamination of non-GMO crops. Once the cross-pollination occurs you can’t go back to non-GMO as the GMO variety takes over the organic variety. Alfalfa is typically a crop used to feed livestock.
If you want to avoid these crops, look for organic and non-GMO labeling. The more you buy organic and avoid the GMO crops, the less likely the companies are to want to keep making GMO crops. There is arguably no economic advantage to growing GMO crops to farmers, communities, or anyone but the biotech companies who create these genetically engineered hybrids.