The grassroots movement for food integrity has done a lot of good in the world, especially thanks to the powerful reach of social media.
Graphics, articles, and other content has reached countless millions of people and has helped light the way to a brighter food future at a time when awareness is needed more than ever.
Despite the vast amount of quality information out there, there is still a fair amount of misinformation, or at the least content that implies a truth that may not be reality.
These days there are plenty of people who know the top genetically modified crops on the market, including corn, soy, canola, sugar beets (listed as “sugar” on the label for many who still don’t know about this) and cottonseed.
But there are also plenty of food crops and foods in general that are typically not genetically modified, and may be a more ethical and smart purchase when organic and other non-GMO options aren’t available.
With that in mind, here are five foods you might not know are (mostly) non-GMO:
1. Tomatoes- The infamous “FlavrSavr” tomato was developed by a smaller company and eventually acquired by Monsanto, but the product never got off the ground after its approval and was scrapped.
The tomato had been created in order to prolong shelf-life, much like the controversial new “Arctic” GMO apple that is up for approval, but the product did not meet expectations and disappeared from the market after peaking in 1998.
According to the website GMO Compass, GMO tomatoes are not being grown commercially in North America or Europe.
You may see graphics showing GMO tomatoes on social media sites, but rest assured that tomatoes are safe for now.
While that is welcome news for popcorn (and movie) lovers, be warned that cross contamination is a very real threat for popcorn as noted in this article by the Organic Consumers’ Association.
So while buying popcorn is typically a better choice than buying other high-GMO products like “conventional” tortilla chips, be aware that you could be consuming small amounts of GMO material unless you buy from a trusted organic source.
3. Apples- Along with tomatoes and corn, apples are one of the most commonly seen types of produce in GMO-related graphics. Oftentimes these graphics feature a syringe sticking out of the food, but in the case of apples, no GMO variety is currently available.
Unfortunately, that could all change if the non-browning GMO apple is approved soon. For now, however, apples are safe (but strongly consider buying them organic; they’re one of the most heavily sprayed crops out there).
4. Sweet Corn- While Monsanto has gotten into the sweet corn market and growing it on large amounts of land, a 2013 Friends of the Earth sample revealed that only two samples out of 71 fresh, frozen and canned sweet corn products contained GMO sweet corn.
Sweet corn is a higher-sugar content crop that is eaten directly by the consumer, which is of course why the highly controversial Bt “pesticides in the corn” sweet corn sold at Wal-Mart has mostly been a flop so far.
Sweet corn is still mostly non-GMO, as most of the GMO corn goes to processed food products, animal feed and ethanol in the United States, but it’s still highly preferable to buy from a trusted, preferably organic farm that takes the proper steps to avoid GMO contamination.
5. Potatoes- One of the most important and popular food crops in the world, these were Monsanto’s first GMO crop, and also a colossal failure because they failed to deliver any economic advantages.
Production on GMO potatoes has ceased (and that’s great news according to the video below in which a scientist follow serious health risks in GMO potatoes), but some consumers still seem to think that potatoes may be GMO. That’s not the case…for now, anyway.
As noted in this article there is a plan in motion to bring the GMO potato back soon despite an admitted market disruption of around $1.6 billion in losses to U.S. potato farmers.
If that doesn’t sit well with you, please check out this article to learn more and sign the petition against GMO potatoes. Until then, take comfort in the fact that GMO potatoes are not currently on the market and press play on the video below starting at the 50:48 mark to see why GMO potatoes could be quite dangerous to your health.