HOW TO IMPLEMENT A GMO-FREE DIET INTO YOUR LIFESTYLE
In today’s culture, it’s hard to not hear the term non-GMO. But what does that even mean? And how do you start and maintain a non-GMO diet plan? It’s a lifestyle change, and it’s one that may seem difficult at times to implement.
The term non-GMO stands for a non-genetically modified organisms. The GMO definition is organisms that have been genetically modified and engineered in a lab.
Unfortunately, these “frankinfoods” are not as healthy as first intended, which means more and more people are demanding GMO-free foods be made available. When that’s not possible, they are insisting that clear labeling be used, so that it’s easier to figure out where to buy non-GMO products. While labeling can help, it’s important to remember that it’s not fail-proof.
TIPS FOR STARTING A NON-GMO DIET PLAN
Though adhering to a GMO-free diet will look a little different for everyone, there are a few things you can begin doing now to eat healthier.
CHOOSE NON-GMO PROJECT FOODS
The Non-GMO Verified Project is a 3rd party organization that guarantees their foods are 100% GMO free. Foods that carry this label are rigorously tested and free from contamination. Always look for the Non-GMO Project’s recognizable butterfly icon when shopping at your local grocery store.
PURCHASE LOCAL PRODUCE
You can get fresh fruits and other crops from your local farmer’s market, and not only find GMO-free foods, but support your local economy and community. Some communities offer a Community Supported Agriculture program that allows you to pay a membership fee to get locally grown and organic produce as well.
EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGGIES
One way to avoid genetically engineered foods is to eat more fruits and veggies. It should be noted that most produce is GMO free already, with a few exceptions. Produce like corn, alfalfa, arctic apples, innate potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cottonseed, radicchio, beets, edamame (soy beans), and Hawaiian papaya should be avoided because the risk of being GMO is much higher. If you do buy any of those fruits or veggies, make sure they are labeled 100% organic, or that they sport the Non-GMO Project Verified seal.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
Another way to eat non-GMO foods is to avoid processed foods that are not Non-GMO Verified whenever possible. This is especially important regarding foods that contain ingredients like soy, corn, canola, cotton, and sugar beets. These ingredients enter processed foods often as unhealthy additives, including oil, sugar, corn syrup, and thickeners or flavoring agents. When buying processed and packaged foods, make sure you read the ingredients, and do a label check.
UP YOUR FIBER GAME
Grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are largely free of GMO contamination, but you can buy Non-GMO Verified items to be safe. Eat more of these and not only will you increase your fiber intake, you’ll reduce your GMO consumption! However, be careful of rice, as conventional rice is contaminated, and you should only buy Non-GMO Verified rice from brands deemed safe and trustworthy.
GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
Another easy way to ensure you are eating food that is safe and GMO free is to grow your own! There are a lot of urban agriculture projects popping up that you can get involved with, or you can start your own backyard garden. Some people even grow fresh produce on their back porch in planters.
There are many sites dedicated to selling only 100% organic and non-GMO products. Just do a Google search on where to buy non-GMO food and see what pops up. Sometimes you can buy food items at bulk pricing and save money, as well as find certain GMO-free foods you might be hard-pressed to source at your local grocery store.
Adhering to a GMO-free diet can be a challenge, but with these tips, you can get started as early as today.
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