Avoiding GMO’s Part IV: Are There GMO’s in Your Holiday Foods?
In this five part series for Non-GMO Month, we’ll take a look at common food items that likely contain GMO’s and we’ll be offering non-GMO alternatives. Avoiding GMO’s is quite easy once you know what to look for so we’ll be sharing with you some tips on how to keep your diet GMO free.
When it comes to holiday cooking, most of us lean on packaged foods at least a little bit to ease the burden. We want to make our holiday meals memorable, delicious and healthy. One way to make sure they are healthy is by avoiding GMO’s. Make sure you’re feeding yourself and your family non-gmo meals by using the guidelines below. Avoiding GMO’s is easy once you know the secrets.
5 Tips for Avoiding GMO’s in Holiday Foods
1 – The easiest way to make sure you are avoiding GMO’s is to buy organic. This goes for holiday foods and any foods that you’re buying. Any product that has the USDA Organic logo on it is by definition non-GMO.
2 – Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label on packages. Even if a product isn’t certified organic, it can be non-gmo. To be certain, look for this third party verification.
3 – When you’re buying packaged holiday foods like stuffing, canned pumpkin pie mix, boxed dessert mixes and gravies, avoid risky ingredients. Most supermarket convenience foods contain corn, soy and canola – ingredients that are very likely to be genetically modified. Some ingredients will be obvious, like corn flour, corn meal, corn starch, corn syrup, soy flour, soy lecithin, soy protein isolate, soy isoflavone, canola oil, cottonseed oil. Some ingredients are sneaky in that they don’t list what their made from. These sneaky ingredients can be GMO if the product isn’t organic: amino acids, aspartame, ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, vitamin c, citric acid, sodium citrate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, lactic acid, maltodextrin, molasses, sucrose, textured vegetable protein (tvp), xanthan gum, vitamins, and yeast. Its a pretty sure bet that conventional supermarket packaged foods contain GMO’s so you may want to read the labels just to see, but I would avoid them at all cost and choose an organic alternative instead.
4 – Get an organic turkey (or ham). Even better, find a local turkey farm or pig rancher so that you can talk to them about how they raise their animals. You want to look for animals that have been fed a non-gmo diet and have access to the outdoors. The healthiest animals are ones that have been eating their traditional diets so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
5 – Cook with whole food ingredients. When your mashed potatoes are simply made with potatoes, butter and milk (make sure the butter and milk is organic), you know exactly what you’re eating without looking at a long list of chemical ingredients. Choosing whole foods over processed foods is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re avoiding GMO’s. There are very few whole foods that are GMO, at least for now. The ones to look out for and buy organic are: papaya, sweet corn, zucchini/yellow squash, and soy.
Avoiding GMO ingredients is easy when you know you have organic alternatives. The chart above gives you great suggestions for replacements. For just about any convenience food you can think of, there’s an organic or non-gmo version, you just have to know what to look for!
Are there any holiday foods you just love but don’t know how to find a non-gmo version of? Let us know and we’ll direct you to it!