Friday, June 6, 2014

The 9 Sneaky-GMO Sources and How to Avoid Them

If you're trying to avoid foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), you probably already keep a sharp eye out for foods made from corn, canola, and soy, all of which have had bacteria or genes inserted into their DNA to either produce or resist toxic pesticides.

A lot of GMO foods are obvious — corn chips, corn tortillas, soy sauce, and canola oil, for instance, are pretty likely to fall into the 80 percent of processed foods that contain GMOs.

But thanks to the wonders of modern-day food processing, ingredients derived from those same GMO crops are turning up in some really strange places that you wouldn't immediately associate with corn, canola, or soy. 


Additives — think "natural flavors" or "maltodextrin" — are never labeled as being derived from corn or soy, and some of the most wholesome-sounding foods, like bread, are now filled with those very same GMO ingredients.

We dug up these 9 sneaky foods with GMOs during a recent stroll through an average grocery store:

#1 Fruit Juice

Don't let the "fruit" in "fruit juice" lull you into thinking these sugary beverages are any better for you than sodas. Many sugary fruit drinks are loaded with sugar, whether from genetically engineered sugar beets or high-fructose (genetically modified) corn syrup.

Then companies try to replace the fiber you'd get from eating a whole fruit by adding maltodextrins, fiber-like carbohydrates that are derived from corn. Top that off with artificial flavors that, according to the Non-GMO Project, are at "high risk" of being contaminated with GMO ingredients.

Better Bet: Eat whole fruits so you can get natural fiber, not stuff created in a lab. Buy organic if you can, so you can avoid the most pesticide-contaminated produce.

#2 Chewing Gum

It may feel like overkill to seek out "organic" gum (organic, by definition, prohibits foods from containing GMOs), but your chewing gum likely harbors a wide variety of ingredients derived from genetically engineered corn or soy: maltodextrin, aspartame, natural or artificial flavors, and xylitol, just to name a few.

For the rest of the story:

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