GMO soybeans

One of the most common questions I’m asked, besides how I get our son to make healthy food choices is how to avoid GMOs. GMOS, or genetically modified organisms are everywhere, and many of us have no idea why we need to avoid them, whether it’s just a way to eek more money out of us, or if it’s really worth the extra effort.

One of my favorite blogs to follow in the effort to clean your life of GMOs is Food Babe. Check out Vani’s site for constant updates on foods to choose, those to avoid and to help support her never-ending quest to call out big food companies on their hidden GMOs.

Today, as much as 86% of corn in the U.S. is Genetically Modified. GMO corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue so that once a bug eats the crop, it will die, rather than continue to feed on the crops until the crops die.

So, the food itself, is a pesticide.

So what’s a GMO?  A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce foreign compounds in that food (which causes the bugs to die when they eat them).  This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature,  is experimental and the correct scientific term is “transgenics,”. You’ll also hear them called  (GE) genetically engineered foods. GE and GMO are thrown around a lot these days and there are definitely two sides to the story on whether it’s ok for us to consume. As for me, I’m going with the idea that a seed that has been turned into a pesticide to kill what eats it is going to grow into a food that still maintains those pesticidal properties and is probably not something I want to eat.

So what can you do to avoid GMOs?

Here are some quick tips for those of you trying to avoid GE/GMO foods followed by some helpful tips on how to spot GM foods since labeling of them isn’t required by law. Remember, in addition to sourcing your own foods, farmers markets are a great resource for avoiding GM foods. organic foods

Tip 1: Shop local. Go 100% Organic. Love Grass Fed/Pastured meats.

Buy food labeled 100% organic. The US and Canadian governments do not allow manufacturers to label something 100% organic if that food has been genetically modified or been fed genetically modified feed. Note that just because something says “organic” on it does not mean that it does not contain GMs. In fact, it can still contain up to 30% GMs, so be sure the labels say 100% organic. Remember this applies to eggs, as well. Eggs labeled “free-range”, “natural”, or “cage-free” are not necessarily GE-free; look for eggs to be 100% organic.

More than half of all GM foods are produced in the US and most of it comes from large, industrial farms. By shopping at farmers’ markets, signing up for a subscription from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, or patronizing a local co-op, you may be able to avoid GM products and possibly save money at the same time. Here in Austin there rare several small farms offering grains and meat directly to customers, in addition to the usual fare (vegetables, fruit, herbs).

Tip 2: Avoid the DIRTY DOZEN™. These are the top commonly genetically modified foods!

EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of produce includes apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes. Each of these foods contained a number of different pesticide residues and showed high concentrations of pesticides relative to other produce items.

In particular:

  • Every sample of imported nectarines and 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
  • A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.
Tip 3: Focus on The Clean Fifteen™

EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ for 2014 – the produce least likely to hold pesticide residues – are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides.

Tip 4: Be diligent and read labels. All the time.

Our reality is every trip to the grocery store is at least 30 minutes longer than we’d like because we spend time reading every label. Every damn label.

Read it so you don’t get any surprises. Read it so you know the food is 100% organic. Read it so you and your family will be more likely to live long, healthy, happy lives.

Here are some of the other common GMO foods to watch for. Again, be diligent and shop for the organic versions of these guys as much as humanly possible.

Soybeans – A gene is taken from bacteria (Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4) and inserted into soybeans to make them more resistant to herbicides.
Corn – There are two main varieties of GE corn. One has a Gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis inserted to produce the Bt toxin, which poisons Lepidoteran (moths and butterflies) pests. Present in high fructose corn syrup and glucose/fructose which is prevalent in a wide variety of foods in America (though you won’t find these preservatives in their European versions).
Rapeseed/Canola – Gene added/transferred to make the crop more resistant to herbicide.
Sugar beets – Gene added/transferred to make the crop more resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Rice – Genetically modified to resist herbicides; not currently available for human consumption, but trace amounts of one GM long-grained variety (LLRICE601) may have entered the food supply in the USA and Europe. More recently, golden rice, a different strain of rice has been engineered to produce significantly higher levels of beta carotene, which the body uses to produce vitamin A. Golden rice is still undergoing testing to determine if it is safe for human consumption.[3]
Cotton – engineered to produce Bt toxin. The seeds are pressed into cottonseed oil, which is a common ingredient in vegetable oil and margarine.
Dairy – Cows injected with GE hormone rBGH/rBST; possibly fed GM grains and hay.
Aspartame/AminoSweet – Addictive and dangerous artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gum and “diet” beverages. A building block of aspartame, the amino acid phenylalanine, is usually manufactured with the aid of genetically modified E. coli bacteria. This process has been used industrially in the US for many years.

Purchase beef that is 100% grass-fed. Most cattle in the U.S. are grass-fed, but spend the last portion of their lives in feedlots where they may be given GM corn, the purpose of which is to increase intramuscular fat and marbling. If you’re looking to stay away from GMOs, make sure the cattle were 100% grass-fed or pasture-fed (sometimes referred to as grass-finished or pasture-finished).

Monsanto is the biggest culprit in supplying GM seeds to farmers, and making sure that they continue to buy their seeds thanks to constant pressure form their lawyers.

For years,  Monsanto has provoked outrage among its critics for suing farmers who save and replant seeds, such as soybeans and canola, from the company’s patented Roundup Ready crops. Some of that outrage is based on a decade-old case in Canada, in which a court ruled that a farmer, Percy Schmeiser, violated Monsanto’s patents by planting canola that he “knew or ought to have known” contained Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene. Schmeiser argued that he didn’t want the gene in his fields, and that it had become incorporated into his canola via wind-blown pollen.

Yes, the wind (and probably birds) carried seeds onto his farm from a nearby farm using Monsanto’s seeds, and Schmeiser now has to buy new seedlings from Monsanto and plant a new crop of GMO seedlings. Every year.

Here’s a chart to help you avoid the most common GMOs…

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal) Aspartame Formaldehyde Poisoning & Health Destruction Healthier Sweetener Resource List
Roundup Herbicide Monsanto’s Toxic RoundupScientists Issue Urgent Warning Lawn & Garden Care Solutions 
Genetically Engineered Soy & Canola Products & Ingredients (Roundup Treated) Genetically-Engineered Frankenfoods & Scientists Issue Urgent Warning Certified Organic Foods
rBGH Dairy rBGH (Posilac) — Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer List of non rBGH Dairy & Check Local Health Food Store for Organic Dairy
Ambien Insomnia Medication Zolpidem Warning Label Information Natural Alternatives Where Possible:HealthWorld SolutionsAyurvedic Info &Meditation or Yoga Classes.

Environmental Working Group

I’m sharing this email that came through from the Environmental Working Group today to help them reach their goal of 50,000 signatures to stop Dow from releasing Enlist Duo, a toxic weed killer mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate to be used on millions of acres of genetically engineered crops. Dow has asked the EPA to allow this, and Environmental Working Group (an advocacy group to help protect our crops, water supplies, land and animals) is working to prevent this from happening. 

Please take a moment to sign their petition and help support a great cause. Thank you!


Environmental Working Group


I’ve got good news and bad news.

The bad news: Dow Chemical Co. asked the Environmental Protection Agency for permission to sell Enlist Duo, a toxic weed killer mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate to be used on millions of acres of genetically engineered crops. If approved, this dangerous new herbicide cocktail would wreak havoc on human and environmental health.

The good news: It’s not too late to stop it. The EPA is still seeking comments from the public before it makes its final decision, but that window closes on June 30. We’re so close to our goal of 50,000 signatures – we just need 18,000 more.

Just one minute of your time could help tip the scales in favor of safer food and the environment – we need you to take action today.

Click here to stand with EWG and tell the EPA to deny Dow’s application to use Enlist Duo, a combination of 2,4-D and glyphosate, on genetically engineered crops!

Researchers have linked exposure to 2,4-D to higher likelihoods of developing thyroid, immune system and reproductive problems, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Parkinson’s disease. Widespread use would affect dozens of endangered species and potentially contribute to further decline of honeybees and other beneficial insects. Simply put, there’s too much at risk not to act.

Sign EWG’s petition right now: Tell the EPA to deny Dow’s application for Enlist Duo containing 2,4-D and glyphosate for use on genetically engineered crops.

Thank you for taking action,

Mary Ellen Kustin
Senior Policy Analyst, Environmental Working Group


Texans for labeling GMOs

‘Did you know that the  FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t require safety testing of new genetically modified foods (“GMOs”), instead relying on corporations’ profits from the sale of such foods to substantiate their safety for us? Contrary to industry claims, GMO foods have not been proven safe, and a growing body of independent, peer-reviewed studies have linked the consumption of GMO foods to allergies, infertility, immune problems, gastrointestinal disruption, cancer and a host of other diseases. GMO crops can easily contaminate non-GMO crops, threatening organic agriculture, and their use is linked to increases in toxic pesticide use and the emergence of “super weeds.”’

Don’t you want the right to know when your foods contain GMOs? I sure as hell do. organic foods

So help us out by signing this petition. Share it with loved ones and make sure our voices are heard. Let’s come together to fight for our right to know, and to keep these dangerous foods out of our bodies, off our tables and away from our kids. Most of Europe won’t allow them for their citizens – why can’t our government do the same for us?

In fact, some of the countries that won’t allow any GMOs include France, Germany, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.   The Indian government placed a last-minute ban on GM eggplant just before it was scheduled to begin being planted in 2010. However, farmers were widely encouraged to plant Monsanto’s GM cotton and it has led to devastating results. The UK’s Daily Mail reports that an estimated 125,000 farmers have committed suicide because of crop failure and massive debt since planting GM seeds.

Terrible tragedy.

So, here’s the petition:

Texans are demanding legislation to require the labeling of all foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients and of all seeds that have been produced through genetic engineering, otherwise referred to as “GMO foods” or “GMOs.” We have a right to know what is in the food we eat, what we are feeding to our families, and what we are growing on our farms and in our gardens. 

We are asking for a GMO labeling bill to be signed into law as soon as possible that will be effective at preserving the transparency of our food supply and robust enough to withstand constitutional challenge. Our children and future generations depend on you to protect the genetic integrity of our food, our seeds, and our bodies.

 Click here to sign it and help support our right to know!

no more GMOs

From war to GMOs, Woody Harrelson shares his thoughts on what life today is really about. He talks about our penchant towards technology, lack of personal connection, how government controls our people, how big business – like Monsanto and Dupont – control our food supply, slowly polluting us all. “An endless stream of people move like ants on the freeways…In money we trust we’ll find happiness… War is the biggest money maker of all. We all know missile envy only comes from being small.”

Take time to slow down, watch this video and share.

One of the biggest challenges today when talking about why the rates of food sensitivities and allergies, immune disorders, chronic illnesses and more have all dramatically increased over the last 20 or so years, is that people have little idea of what they’re consuming, and hows it’s affecting them. From hormones, chemically created oils, genetically modified/engineered foods, etc., the list of what we eat, and how its altered goes on and on. And sadly, most people have little idea of what they’re putting into their mouths and the effects it has on them. Why have the rates of allergies, ADD, ADHD and Autism increased so dramatically in conjunction with the onset of GMOs? Can I claim a correlation? Not definitively but there are plenty of resources that support the correlation belief, from allergies to auto-immune disorders, imbalanced hormones, thyroid disorders and more, chemicals used in our food supplies are slowly destroying us. Here’s a quote from, founded by Robin O’Brien that speaks to the danger of chemical exposure in our children:



“It’s up to you”. That’s how the powerful film, the Future of Food ends. One powerful statement about the right to know what’s in our food.

With the rate of  allergies, autism, ADHD and asthma on the rise, earning these conditions the nickname “the 4 As”, and with heart attacks, cancer and immune diseases continuing to escalate, many Americans are growing more and more weary of what we’re eating, and how our food supply is affecting our health. Inspired Eats is about finding healthy alternatives to food-based allergens, however, along the way I’ve discovered a growing community of concerned citizens who are fighting a long and difficult battle of ensuring Americans are aware of what we’re eating.