As I heard more about GE (genetically engineered, or GMO, genetically modified organism) food, over the past 5 – 10 years and got more furious about it as well – (these people have some nerve feeding us and our children frankenfood that is not safe. It’s not been tested here and in Europe where is has been tested it’s been shown to cause many health problems) – I have tried to figure out how our family can cut out all foods with GE ingredients.
We started by joining a CSA. A CSA is a community supported agriculture program. This mean that you are buying, in advance, a share of a local organic farms crops. We love our CSA and get a wonderful box every week of local, organic and seasonal fruits and veggies. It’s introduced us to many new vegetables, and to my surprise, even our teens are eating new vegetables like swiss chard and kale. If you’d like to find a CSA near you visit Local Harvest, http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Our next step was to look at the meat we were eating. We try to have our meat, chicken & fish as a condiment to our meals, making sure we have lots of veggies and grains as the base. As most all the factory-farmed meat is fed GE soy we needed to find an alternate source of meat. We found a few. The first was our local health food store. They have organic grass fed beef, organic free-range chicken and fresh fish. They are more expensive but as far as I’m concerned, my family is worth is and I’d rather have us eat smaller portions of safer meats. We also found a wonderful source of bison and have added that to our diets also. Bison is a free range and very low fat meat that’s high in omega 3’s. The taste is very similar to beef and even our pickiest eater liked it.
Next up, was grains and beans; actual whole grains and beans were easy. Many health food stores, have bins full of organic rice, millet, couscous, and more and a wide variety of beans and lentils. It got trickier when we started looking at processed foods. I try to cook as much as I can from scratch (which is not as hard as you might think, if you’ve never done it before ;), but there are times we like processed items. Things like chips, cookies, or the occasional loaf of bread led me to really start reading labels. The first thing you want to make sure is not in anything you’re buying is high fructose corn syrup, or non-organic soy, and lately even sugar is suspect as many companies are using GE sugar beets. This is another reason is so important we all call and let them know we will not buy their products until they’re GE free (see What we can do, https://momsforsafefood.org/What_we_can_do!.html ).
After having done all this, I thought we were doing pretty well. Until I looked at condiments! Canola oil is GE unless it’s organic. And as most mayonnaise is made with canola oil unless it’s organic, same problem. Little by little, we’re making all the small changes too. I’m using organic safflower, or sunflower oil instead of canola, and we switched to a safflower mayo made by Hain. We’re not 100% GE free yet but we’re getting there, item by item. If the ‘Frankenfood Fifteen’ (https://momsforsafefood.org/What_we_can_do!.html) want our business, they’ll need to make sure their products are GE free. That will be a day to celebrate, for our health, our farmers health and the environments too.
Here’s a link for a terrific, free Non-GMO shopping guide: http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/Home/index.cfm