Well, GMO's are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria.
For example, many vegetables have been genetically modified which contain a pesticide, called Roundup that cannot be washed off.
Most GE (genetically engineered) foods grown in the U.S. is "Roundup Ready," meaning it can withstand spraying of Monsanto's Roundup pesticide and live, while weeds around it die.
Over time, just like the viruses we catch and the antibiotics we take, the weeds have become resistant and are now known as superweeds!
This means farmers have had to increase the amount of pesticides on their GE crops, which means, we as human beings, become more toxic each day.
Scientists have linked GMOs to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health issues (like cancer).
The biggest problem? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for GMO's.
Market watchers estimate that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods in your local supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients.
These are typically the middle aisles of your grocery store.
However, there's no way to be sure of the percentage because no labels are required to inform consumers about the presence of GMO's in food.
The top three GMO crops grown in the U.S. are soy, corn and cotton.
During the past 12 years, the percentage of acreage planted with GMO crops increased over 80 percent for all three.
Interesting how illnesses and cancer rates have raised during this time.
Here are the Top 7 Genetically Modified Crops:
1. Corn: Corn is the No. 1 crop grown in the U.S. and nearly all of it -- 88 percent -- is genetically modified. In addition to being added to innumerable processed foods, genetically modified corn is a staple of animal feed. It's hard to find organic corn. If you can't, just don't buy it.
2. Soy: 93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins. Look out for soybean oil or hydrogenated soybean oil. You want to avoid consuming this.
3. Cottonseed: According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cottonseeds are culled from cotton, and then used for vegetable oil, margarine or shortening production, or frying foods, such as potato chips. Look for natural and organic oils like sunflower, olive, coconut, safflower or avocado oils.
4. Alfalfa: Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk, butter, yogurt, meat and so much more. Alfalfa is the fourth largest crop grown in the U.S., behind corn, soybeans, and wheat (though there is no genetically engineered wheat on the market). You want to look for organic alfalfa.
5. Papaya: 75 percent of the Hawaiian papaya crop is genetically modified to withstand the papaya ringspot virus.
6. Canola: (STAY AWAY!) About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as biofuels. In North Dakota, genetically modified canola has been found growing far from any planted fields, raising questions about what will happen when "escaped" GE canola competes with wild plants. Go for safflower or sunflower oils in replacement. Make sure to check labels on your food because most pre-made foods are cooked with canola oil.
7. Sugar Beets: More than half -- 54 percent -- of sugar sold in America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to increase after a USDA's decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed.
I shared a few ways to avoid some of these products and produce, however you should always look for organic grown produce or anything that is natural. If you can't read the label because it looks like you're reading a bunch of chemical names, it means it's not good for you.
It's important for your body to eat clean, otherwise it doesn't recognize the foods you are putting in it and can cause you a lot of health problems down the road.
Since we are in the voting year, VOTE for Prop 37. It's a measure that would require labeling on foods containing GMO's. Go organic and ditch your processed foods!
Taryn, owner of Dream To Be Fit in Agoura Hills, has been in the fitness and health industry for over 7 years and has transformed many lives. She started her health journey when she was 23 and got certified as a trainer when she was 29. She started her fitness and coaching business when she was 31 and has been successful for the past 6 years. Her calling and passion is to help people see the value and benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
Phone: (818) 441-1644