Avoiding GMOs?

10 Aug

I have been at my job for over a year.  In that amount of time I am still unable to concisely explain to people what I do, so that they will understand.  This problem has become glaringly obvious over the last few weeks.  The more first dates I go on, the more I wish I had a five word summary to explain.  After my failed attempt a few weeks ago, my date tried to keep the conversation going, by asking my opinion on whether or not he should eat GMO productions or not.

I paused for a second, because I already knew he was looking for a one sentence answer, and I wasn’t going to give him that.  I quickly tried to formulate my answer, skipping the history of GMO (genetically modified organisms) and started with, honestly I have no idea if you should or should not eat GMO food, however I do know that avoiding GMO crops is nearly possible.

I proceeded to say that there are only a handful of crops that are grown in the US that are genetically modified, however the crops that are GMO are an integral part of our food system; thus making them unavoidable.  GMO crops include: soybeans, corn, alfalfa, cotton, sugar beets, sweet peppers, rice, zucchini, canola, tomatoes and papaya.

It start with corn and soybeans are in almost everything you eat, all processed foods, they are fed to livestock and therefore find their way into all animal products and even in tons of non-food related items around your house.  So you can’t avoid them.  Now, there are soybeans and corn that are not GMO, but they represent 7% and 14% respectively. Not too much.

Based on this, it is not possible to avoid eating GMO altogether, but if you think GMO crops are unhealthy for humans or have negative effects on the environment feel free to stop eating fruits, vegetables and crops that are not on the GMO list above.  It is possible to never eat GMO bananas, but it’s unlikely that you can avoid GMO foods all together.

This is the shortest answer I can give, but mostly because I’ve decided to break it into a few different posts.  Keep reading to learn more about GMO and why it is here to stay.

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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in food



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