There are plenty of people out there dedicated to eating non-GMO, but the sad truth is that the majority don’t know where to start. Labels can be misleading, and it’s hard for the average person to decipher the difference between non-GMO, organic, all natural, and the like. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these healthier options, but if non-GMO is what you seek, there are five immensely popular American crops that you need to be aware of.
Know The Infamous Five
There is a huge shift in the American psyche from doing what’s easy and profitable to doing what’s ethical and healthy; this couldn’t be more true than in agriculture. GMO crops are used in 70% of American products. (Seventy percent!) But the truth is, a lot of people want to avoid them. Not much of what you buy in the produce aisle, however, is actually contaminated—except for these gems.
Grocery stores used to have big wooden bins where shoppers could go and pick out ears of corn that appealed to them—perfect for get togethers in the sweet summertime. Corn is the biggest GMO crop in the United States, however, so buyers beware. It goes into everything from livestock feed to cans of soup. It’s really difficult to avoid.
Even in the produce section, the corn can be contaminated with these nasty little organisms because nearly 88% of corn grown in America is GMO corn. If you are trying to eat GMO-free, be sure to pay extra close attention to your labels and purchase local whenever possible.
Admittedly, these aren’t the most popular vegetables around, but they are still wonderful, healthy options to consider for your family’s evening meal—if they are non-GMO that is. These veggies are also popular when the weather warms up, but be sure to read the labels thoroughly before you throw these into the cart.
3. Yellow Summer Squash
The situation with this veggie is pretty much the same as with the zucchini. Please see above.
4. Edamame (Soy)
The vast majority of edamame or soybeans you find in the frozen food aisle are grown outside of the US. Why is that? Well, 85% of edamame produced in America are GMO crops, which makes it difficult to find a healthy American-grown option.
Because a very large number of American processed foods contain soy in one form or another, this plant is hard to escape. The best way to avoid GMO soy is to always look for the Non-GMO Project label on your food products.
5. Hawaiian Papaya
This sweet little treat was the subject of much controversy in Hawaiian, but ultimately GMOs won the day in an effort to keep the crop safe from disease. The Hawaiian people actually voted to ban the use of GMOs in their farmland, but the ban was later overturned by a federal judge.
Today, the “Rainbow” or the genetically modified Hawaiian papaya accounts for 77% of the crop.
Be Informed And Know Your GMO
There are a ton of agricultural products that are GMO, and it’s hard to figure out what’s what. Your best bet is always to head to the local farmer’s market for your produce so you can feel secure about what you put on the table at home. Knowing what you’re up against is the first battle; now that you’ve been informed, you can shop safe and avoid these GMO products, keeping your family healthy and safe.