Where Does My Stuff Come From: GMO Food
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that we were educating our family about where our stuff comes from, starting with our food.
We were learning that there are “strange” ingredients in many processed foods. Some of these ingredients you can learn about just by reading the labels and Googling what they are on the internet. Others you would not know about unless you ask someone.
So I started an endeavor to ask manufacturers what is in my food. Here are my results so far.
I had a package of Hy-Top corn in my freezer. Hy-Top and the Federated Group provide generic store-brand foods for WinCo, Lowes, and other stores.
Find stores here: http://www.hy-top.com/pages/where_to_buy/99.php
My request to them was a simple note:
“I was wondering if any of the Hy-Top Frozen Corn products were GMO Corn? “
Their response was also simple:
“Dear April, The Hy Top Frozen Cut Corn is not GMO free. Sincerely, Name Withheld, Federated Group, Consumer Concerns”
After taking the photo, the corn went into the garbage. Although I will still shop at WinCo as they are my primary store for many reasons, I will not be purchasing their generic Hy-Top products anymore.
We had a coupon for $1.00 off of General Mills cereals, and our little ones really like the Os. But, since I am committed to learning more about our food, I sent a note to GM that was similar to the one to Hy-Top.
Their response was a lengthy one:
Thank you for recent inquiry regarding General Mills′ position on the use of ingredients that have been modified through biotechnology.
First and foremost, all food must be safe. It is not only the law, but also an issue of ultimate importance to all food manufacturers. Second, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency have all concluded that food using ingredients from biotechnologically-improved crops is completely safe and no different in any meaningful way from other food. For that reason, the FDA does not require special labeling for it. However, if food has been significantly altered in composition or nutrient content, or if biotechnology introduces allergens into food, special labeling is required. None of our products requires special labeling. Accordingly, we do not test them for the presence of this material.
Because of the growing use of biotechnology by farmers and the way that grain gets commingled in storage and shipment, it′s certainly possible that some of our products may contain ingredients that have been improved through biotechnology. We can assure you, though, that every major regulatory agency, as well as independent scientific groups like the American Medical Association, has concluded that these ingredients are safe. For more information, you may wish to visit The Alliance for Better Foods website at www.betterfoods.org.
General Mills also believes in providing consumers with a variety of food options. Toward that end, we do offer organic products that, by definition, do not use ingredients that have been improved through biotechnology. Please look for organic Gold Medal flour and a wide range of products from our Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen brands. To get more information about our organic products, please visit us at www.smallplanetfoods.com.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us. Sincerely, Name Withheld, Consumer Services
They obviously believe what they are saying.
I do not.
Understand that I don’t think that a few bits of GMO food will kill us, but I do believe that there could be issues with GMO food with long-term use. So, the Cheerios did not go into the garbage and we will eat them up, but we won’t be purchasing any GM products in the future.
So what are you thoughts on GMO foods? Have you been eating something you like, only to discover that an ingredient could be bad for your health with long-term exposure (or even short-term)?
Want to know what foods don’t have GMO without a lengthy email campaign? Here is a GMO shopping guide from Dr. Mercola: http://gmo.mercola.com/sites/gmo/shopping-guide.aspx
I plan on continuing this series with other foods that make their way into our home, but the goal is to avoid as many foods with unnatural ingredients as possible. I mostly make that happen by cooking 90% of our foods from scratch. Come back soon for a Super Simple Recipe made from all natural ingredients.