Despite having gained a great deal of media attention in the last couple of years, the subject of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is still a confusing one. For those wishing to avoid GMOs in the foods they eat, it can be downright frustrating and may seem like GMOs are everywhere! Here are a few great tips to make the identification and avoidance of GMOs a bit easier:
1. In Canada, there are only four GMO crops grown; corn, soy, canola and sugar beets. And there are four more that can be imported into Canada from the S., and those are cottonseed oil, Hawaiian papaya, certain types of squash and milk products (produced with Bovine growth hormone or rBGH). Most recently, the non-browning Arctic apple has been approved for sale in Canada, though it has not yet hit the market. Knowing which crops have been genetically modified makes avoiding them in your diet that much easier.
2. Choose certified organic foods. According to the guidelines for organic certification, GMOs are prohibited in organic agriculture. Look for foods that have third-party certification such as Canadian Certified Organic, USDA Organic, Quality Assurance International and EcoCert.
3. Look for the Non-GMO Project verified seal. The Non-GMO Project is the only not-for-profit, third-party verifier of non-GMO foods. A product that is both certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified is your best bet
4. Get curious about your food. Learning more about who your farmers are can go a long way toward giving you confidence in the foods they grow. At Community Natural Foods, we highly value the relationships we have with our suppliers, and have a great deal of knowledge about the products we sell!
If you want to know more about GMOs in Canada, a great resource is the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and you can find a ton of information at www.cban.ca.
Also, ask for more information at Community Natural Foods; chances are, we have some highly knowledgeable staff members ready to answer your questions!
Photo credit: Nathan Elson