October is Non-GMO Month
Last week my local natural foods store, the Co-opportunity sponsored an educational evening at the Santa Monica Public Library.
HIDDEN IN OUR FOOD, GMOS AND YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
I shared the stage with two dynamic people: Megan Westgate, Exec. Director of the non-GMO Project and David King a local Angeleno, who I call the “King of Seeds” and you’d best follow David at tlgdaily.blogspot.com or lagardenblog.com to learn more about the work he is doing with seedlings.
Megan gave a close look at what is really happening with the wide spread use of GMOs. In the US over 80% of our food contains GMOs. The most common GMOs are soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, zucchini and yellow squash. Where I live, I’ve noticed that the new trend is to replace a traditional birthday cake (also made w/ cheap oils) with doughnuts. A shout-out to parents – that means those doughnuts, yes, the ones you are feeding your kids (and mine) have most likely been fried in these oils. Here’s what Krispy Kreme says in their “nutritional” listing. Yep, KK actually has a section called nutrition!
Many of these GMO listed ingredients appear as added ingredients in many of the foods we eat. For instance, your family may not eat tofu or drink soymilk, but soy is most likely present in a large percentage of processed foods. This is one place where soy gets its bad rap. This form of soy is soy isolate (cooked at high temperatures) versus quality soy (organic and in whole form) like miso or tempeh.
What I did hear from Megan that reinforced what I already believed is that certified organic produce and ingredients do not use GMO crops. The challenge is, although organic ingredients may not be genetically engineered, the risk of cross contamination, through pollination or during manufacturing is so high that many organic foods may contain GMOs.
Since I have two kids, I immediately went home and started reading labels on the various so called healthier cereals in my cupboards. Aghast, I tossed two out of five boxes, as modified cornstarch was an ingredient.
I came away from the evening with my awareness heightened and energized to be more diligent with my own personal food shopping.
Here are a few things you can do too:
1. Get educated: Click here to learn more!
2. Get involved: Click here to find out about the many local and national events happening everywhere.
3. Look for this label:
Click HERE to listen to my short speech and Q + A at the end of a great evening.