Top 6 GMO Foods to Avoid

Top 6 GMO Foods to Avoid

The NutriBullet unlocks valuable nutrients trapped within the cell walls of fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and seeds, making them more absorbable and accessible to our body’s cells. When we drink a NutriBlast, we intend to reap the benefits of these nutrients. In order to do this we should allow nothing to stand in the way including those pesky anti-nutrients found in genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Genetically modified crops are engineered to grow bigger, resist insects and tolerate herbicides, among other things. This process requires a change in the crop’s DNA, creating a new organism with a different set of novel genes than the original food. Because this science is so new, we can’t be sure of the effects GMOs have on our body when eaten.

GMO proponents claim that these crops are safe to eat, that their genetic alterations are just an extension of natural breeding. Scientific research, however, shows otherwise. Several studies have linked GMOs to toxicity, allergy development, reduced nutrition, and irreversible environmental damage. Additionally, GMOs may interfere with your endocrine (hormonal) system, which could negatively impact fertility down the line. Here is a list of the most common genetically modified foods, and suggestions on how to avoid them:

Corn (including high fructose corn syrup) – Corn is the number-one agricultural commodity in the US, and the most genetically modified. The Monsanto corporation is the leader in this department with as many as half of their US farms growing GMO corn. Recent discoveries of a Bt toxin from modified corn have been found in pregnant women and their babies. The future implications of this toxin could be devastating.

Soy – Soy is the number-two agricultural commodity in the US with 60% of processed foods and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed containing soy-based ingredients. Genetically modified (GM) soy is one of the most widely studied GM foods. Research shows that GM soy had 12–14% less cancer-fighting isoflavones than non-GM soy (1). The protein makeup of GM soy and other GM foods can also pose a risk to those with other food allergies, as evidenced by those allergic to Brazil nuts who had allergic reactions to soy beans modified with a Brazil nut gene.

Additionally, several studies found that hamsters fed a genetically modified food-based diet were less fertile, slower to grow, and had a higher mortality rate than hamsters fed a GMO-free diet. (2)

Canola (rapeseed oil) – Chemically extracted from rapeseed, canola oil is probably one of the most misguided “health” foods on the market. In addition to the unnatural extraction process, canola oil is genetically modified to contain higher levels of vitamin A. This modification, however, reduces the amount of vitamin E that naturally exists in rapeseed. (3) Changing the chemical structures of foods can have very negative consequences on immunity. If the body does not recognize the chemical makeup of the food, it may reject it and invoke an attack on itself—a process that leads to autoimmune disorders.

Dairy – As many as one-fifth of dairy cows in the U.S. have been injected with the genetically engineered hormone rBGH/rBST to increase their milk production. In addition to being hormonally injected, dairy cows often feed on genetically modified corn and grain. Both factors spell trouble for humans, as these cows pass both carcinogens and genetically modified material into the dairy that is packed and sold in our supermarkets. Consumption of these dairy products has been linked to raised levels of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factors-1) and an increased risk of developing specific cancers including prostate and breast.

Sugar – In 2009, Monsanto Corporation introduced genetically modified sugar beets to be resistant to the company’s Roundup herbicide. Roundup resistant crops have been discovered in other nearby fields sparking a new concern about cross-contamination into non-GMO crops.

Tomato – Have you noticed that your vine-ripened tomato may sit unblemished for a month or so? Extended shelf life is only one modification scientists have experimented with by suppressing two enzymes that develop during the ripening process. The tasteless, short-lived, “Flavr Savr” was introduced commercially back in 1994. Since then other varieties have been introduced. Although backers claim this decreases waste and increases efficiency, what does this mean to our bodies and our future tomato crops?

What’s Next?

If you are trying to get your Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, trout, or Arctic char, soon you will need to be cautious of where your fish was sourced. A U.S. company called Aqua Bounty Farms is soon to release genetically engineered fish species injected with growth hormone genes with the ability to grow two to four times faster than other farmed fish. Research shows that farmed fish contain more toxins than wild and have an inferior nutritional profile.

How Do I Avoid GMO Foods?

There are no food label laws that require GMO labeling so in order to know the purity of your food, buy organic and from local farmer’s markets.

If purchasing produce from the grocery store, look for stickers that contain a 5-digit number starting with a 9, designating it as an organic product. Ever seen a sticker starting with an 8? Probably not. This would designate a GM food and no one wants to market products as such. Four-digit numbers mean it is conventional produce and you cannot be certain if it has or hasn’t been modified.

Processed/packaged foods with these top offenders listed on the ingredient label in any form more than likely come from GMO crops. Be safe and avoid processed foods and in particular those coming from corn, soy, and canola crops including canola oil, corn oil, corn starch, soybean oil, and high fructose corn syrup. In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.

For more information, check out the Earth Open Source organization’s report on the techniques, regulations, and health hazards of GMO practices:

Additional References

1) Alterations in clinically important phytoestrogens in genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant soybeans. Lappe M.A. et al. J Med Food, 1: 241-245, 1999.


3) Seed-specific overexpression of phytoene synthase: increase in carotenoids and other metabolic effects. Shewmaker CK et al. Plant J, 20: 401-412, 1999.

Registered Dietitian

Comment by Tamiz1
October 29, 2014
What about those products with the green NON-GMO on the label? Sorry, you did not mention those and the canola oil and soymilk. I have purchased in the past have that NON-GMO logo/stamp (whatever it
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