Before your dinner ends up on your plate, be aware that the different food items you will be eating have gone through an extensive process of production and delivery. In the quest to produce crops and livestock that have enhanced qualities, technology and scientific experimentation increased the nutritional content and improved their resistance to herbicide and other chemicals. , This has given rise to genetically modified organisms or GMOs. These GMOs have become a part of the American food chain, causing growing concern among consumers who are worried about their potential effects on health.
According to experts, up to 70% of commercially-sold processed foods in the United States contain genetically modified ingredients, the most common of which are maize, soybeans, grapeseed oil, and cotton. The U.S. is also the top producer of genetically modified crops in the world. Public awareness about GMOs and their consumption remains low, however. But how did we get to this point where it’s almost impossible for anyone to avoid the consumption of GM foods? A very informative article which you can read on this website gives a systematic look back on how GMOs started.
Proponents of GMOs contend that technology has helped to make crops more resistant to drought and other weather patterns, and also less prone to diseases and pests. This translates to higher yields and a more stable food supply. However, there are also worries about toxins, allergens, and other potentially dangerous elements that may be introduced to food because of these GMOs, and critical changes to the nutritional content of the crop.
In the U.S., the responsibility of overseeing GMOs and their integration into the food supply would be under the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Agriculture. For the most part, however, restrictions and regulations for GMOs are very lenient; in fact, food companies are not required to indicate GMOs or genetically modified ingredients in food labels.
The U.S. government generally considers GMOs to be safe for human consumption, based on industry tests that compared genetically modified foods with non-genetically modified foods. The FDA released a statement in 1992 stating that they did not believe genetically modified foods to be different from other foods “in any meaningful or uniform way”. Even the American Medical Association has thrown its support behind GMO technology. It is interesting to note that the U.S. government’s stand on GMO foods differs sharply from that of the European Union’s, where genetically modified foods are strictly regulated and labeled.
For many American consumers, however, there is a growing desire to see more government regulation when it comes to the processing and use of biotech crops and ingredients, starting with clear labels and information. It is important for a growing percentage of Americans to be aware of GMO ingredients in the food items they buy, and to be able to make discerning choices. Organic food markets and retailers have grown in popularity especially among those who want safer, healthier choices.
Groups such as The Non-GMO Project have come up with lists of food items that have been verified to be completely free of genetically modified ingredients. Included are dairy products (Amande Cultured Almond Milk, Califia Farms products, Organic Valley soy products), baby foods (Beech-Nut, NurturMe), fruits and vegetables (Aunt Patty’s Organic Creamed Coconut, Backyard Farms Greenhouse Tomatoes, Dassi Family Farm products), and many more. Find out more about this non-profit organization from this page.
You can also be more proactive by using only ingredients that you know are GMO-free. For instance, protein shake powder can be used to make nutritious, energy-giving protein shakes with no genetically modified ingredients. The web is teeming with sites claiming to offer the healthy protein-based recipes, so make sure you look for the best protein shake recipes website that provides practical and easy-to-follow instructions coupled with only the healthiest ingredients.