No GMO in my house, thank you very much!- Noa’s Freestyle Fridays

We’re not fancy or make crazy amounts of money. However, we DO buy mostly organic produce and pick items with recognizable ingredients. We make a great effort to find the best non GMO deals outside of Whole foods, since we have little mouths to feed. I know that some people (like my mom) avoid organic produce because it looks less colorful and less perfectly shaped than conventionally grown produce. But have you ever bought a big, red juicy tomato from the store, only to find that when you bite into it at home, it has no flavor? Have you ever picked a small, funny-shaped tomato right off the vine and found it incredibly sweet? It hasn’t spent weeks on a truck or been exposed to harsh chemicals, so its natural taste is preserved. Organic fruits and vegetables may not look as bright or “perfect” as some con- ventionally grown foods (which are sometimes dyed to look more appealing) but they certainly taste fresh off the vine. Another thing people notice when first buying organic produce is that the fruits seem smaller. Americans believe that bigger is better, but try to reverse this saying when you look at organic produce. It is actually grown to its natural size, resulting in a more flavorful, and often sweeter, taste than its larger, non-organic counterpart.

Another reason to eat organic is to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs), also known as genetically engineered foods. A GMO is any organism in which the genetic material has been altered or shuffled around in a way that does not occur naturally. This technology allows individual genes to be transferred from one organism to another. This science is used to cultivate GM plants, which are then used to grow GM food crops. GMOs on the market have been given genetic traits to provide protection from pests and diseases or resistance to pesticides, or to improve the quality of the crop. The most prevalent GM crops were created to resist harsh chemicals; these crops have DNA traits from bacteria, fungi or other plants that create this resistance. Farmers who use GM crops can spray their fields to kill everything growing in the area except the food crop. Imagine what is being killed in our bodies when we eat these foods.

code-on-stickers

One way to spot organics is to check out each food’s look up number or PLU attached as a sticker. Conventionally grown fruits and veggies have 4-digit numbers and generally begin with a 3 or 4. Organically grown fruits and veggies have 5 digits and begin with a 9. Genetically Modified also have 5 numbers and begin with an 8.  For example the pLU for a conventionally grown banana is 4011, for an organic banana it’s 94011 and for a genetically modified banana it’s 84011

The most common genetically engineered crops in the United States, which is the largest grower of GM crops in the world, are canola, corn, soy and cotton. Genetically engineered soy, corn and canola are used in many processed foods, but the government does not require labeling of these foods and regards these foods as generally safe. Many experts estimate that about 70 percent of the foods in grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada contain genetically engineered ingredients.

During the past decade, food safety experts have identified several potential problems with genetically engineered food crops, according to reports from

 The Union of Concerned Scientists. These problems include the possibility of introducing new toxins or allergens into previously safe foods, increasing toxins to dangerous levels in foods that typically produce harmless amounts or dimin- ishing foods’ nutritional values. Many scientists have raised environmental con- cerns about these crops, as GM crops tend to dominate over wild plants and conventional crops, potentially disrupting natural ecosystems. To avoid these foods, be a food detective. Look for labels that say “GMO free” or organic.
Bon Appetit, Ya’ll
Noa
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