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What You Need To Know About Corn, GMOs, and Healthy Popcorn

Updated on April 1, 2015
What kind of corn makes the best popcorn?
What kind of corn makes the best popcorn? | Source

Genetically Modified Corn Products - GMOs

Corn is in many of the food products that we eat including cereal, crackers, chips, snacks, popcorn and sweetened foods. There are dozens of corn derivatives that appear on food labels today. Corn production is cheap, making corn a cheap additive to packaged foods. Most of corn that is grown as a food additive is genetically modified or engineered in some way. We all know that avoiding packaged foods by eating a whole-foods based diet is the healthiest option, but we aren't going to abide by this all the time. By doing a little reading, we can figure out how to enjoy the best of both worlds while avoiding GMOs.

Copyright © 2015 Melis Ann

Most corn today is genetically modified. What kind of popcorn do you want to eat?
Most corn today is genetically modified. What kind of popcorn do you want to eat? | Source

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Genetically Engineered (GE) Foods

What is a GMO (genetically modified organism)? Although GMO and non-GMO foods look the same and share the same nutritional value, it's important to know that the DNA of the genetically modified food has been altered.

You might not need to know more than this one fact about corn and other crops to want to stop eating GMOs: DNA from animals, viruses, bacteria, insects or even humans are inserted into the DNA of the crop. The purpose of altering the DNA is to make the crop more productive or more resistant to insects or weather for example.

According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), the use of genetically altered foods should be halted immediately. Their official opinion is that genetically modified foods have not been tested properly and that they pose a significant risk to our health.

  • 85% of corn crops in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties
  • corn has been genetically modified since 1995
  • genetically modified corn is grown in 29 countries worldwide
  • organic farmers are having a tough time keeping GMO corn from migrating into their fields

Buy Organic Corn To Avoid Genetically Modified Food

You might think that buying organic corn isn't necessarily a priority if you look at the 'dirty dozen' list of produce. These are the crops identified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to have the highest use of chemical pesticides and/or fertilizers.

Part of the reason corn is not on this list is that corn crops have been genetically modified to withstand the common pests that would otherwise require heavy chemical use to kill. And this is the exact reason we want to only buy organic - to avoid eating genetically modified organisms.

For a product to meet USDA Organic certification, the use of GMOs is prohibited.

Homemade popcorn made with organic popcorn kernels is the healthiest option.
Homemade popcorn made with organic popcorn kernels is the healthiest option. | Source

What is Healthier Popcorn? A Popcorn Recipe

If you like to indulge in a bowl of popcorn, here is a recipe for making it more healthy.

  • buy organic corn kernels
  • pop using a stainless steel popcorn popper or stove-top pan of some kind
  • put a little (olive) oil in the pan on medium heat, let the kernels warm up while you stir using the crank on the handle until they are done popping
  • add a little salt and butter or just leave it plain

By popping it yourself at home, you avoid microwave popcorn bags which contain unhealthy chemicals. Also be sure to check carefully that the popcorn popper says stainless steel on the label, otherwise it is likely made of aluminum.

Get the True Food Shoppers Guide App for your iPhone
Get the True Food Shoppers Guide App for your iPhone | Source

Video: An 11 Year Old, Monsanto, and GMOs

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Health news | Source

Disclaimer
Note that this website portrays my opinion. I want to help others consider a new or different view. Any action taken based on these opinions is the responsibility of the reader.

Copyright © 2015 Melis Ann
Original content written by Melis Ann published only on HubPages at the following web address:
http://melisann.hubpages.com/hub/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-Corn

Conclusions on Genetically Modified Corn

As with other genetically modified foods, we all have a choice. If we want to avoid unhealthy side effects and diseases caused by long term exposure to GMOs, then we must support whole, healthy foods that do not contain them. Organic corn products are just one way to avoid GMOs. In the meantime, support movements against GMOs that are popping up in the media to take down the genetically modified food industry. Sign the petition below.

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    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

      I love popcorn and only buy organic popcorn. This is a great article, thoroughly researched and easy to read. GMO's are so scary...unfortunately not enough people are aware of this problem. Thanks for reaching out to people about this topic.

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Thanks for your comment Turtlewoman! I agree not enough people truly understand the dangerous effects GMOs are suspected to have.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      An interesting read and I was quite shocked to read "85% of corn crops in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties", my god that is scary!

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Very useful information. I love popcorn and I mostly put the popcorn bag in the microwave when I'm in my second home country, Germany. Thanks for SHARING.

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      I think you are not the only one to be shocked Brett. It is an astonishing fact. Thanks for your comment and for SHARING!

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      I'm glad you found the information useful Thelma! I think many people use microwave popcorn not knowing that there is a more healthy way to pop it. Thanks for your comment!

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Thanks for commenting peperuhi. It is scary that we are eating these foods without even knowing it. At least if GMOs were labelled we could avoid eating so many of them.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 5 years ago from India

      In India we get to buy corn from the roadside vendors.

      There is another variety which some of the shops sell and they say it is imported from U.S.

      Difficult to identify which is genetically modified and which is not.

      Thanks for SHARING:)

    • QualityContent profile image

      QualityContent 5 years ago

      GMOs really piss me off. I wish people would stop messing with mother nature. This is a direct threat to the future of mankind. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up and shared.

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Yes, thumbi7, it's great to be able to buy from local farms and know where the food is coming from, but I suppose you can't have complete confidence. I appreciate the comment and your time reading my hub!

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Well said QualityContent! Thanks for passing the word along. Real change won't happen until enough people are pissed off!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Thanks for making a hub about a very important issue. It's shocking and scary to find out what we are eating. Unfortunately, not enough people are aware of this problem and the dangerous effects of GMOs. Great hub. Voted up. Thanks for sharing!

    • chanroth profile image

      chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

      Very well written and useful! I'm surprise that 85% of corns were genetically modified. Scary! I don't like popcorn...because its addicting! I would try to stay away from popcorn as much as I could...but that aroma just can't stop my craving. Vote up and useful. I learn something out of this article! :) Thank you!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      I do a lot of research on health topics and have read quite abit about GMO's. You have taught me some additional, alarming information in this hub. Thank you - I'm sharing this on Facebook. You are a great writer. Voted up and useful.

      Thank you so much!

      Mekenzie

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      I really appreciate the share Mekenzie! It sounds like we share a passion for researching health topics and I'm glad you found my research a compliment to your own.

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Yes, SanneL, you're right. Not enough people know about the dangerous effects of GMOs. I hope this hub helps spread the word. Thanks for your input!

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Hi chantroth ~ I was also surprised that 85% of corn is genetically modified which is why I hope that this hub helps people realize how far reaching GM foods are. Everyone can make a better choice when it comes to simple foods like popcorn. Thanks for your comment!

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Great article. There can never be enough written about the potential hazards of GMO foods. Corn on the cob was one of my favorite foods for many years, but now that they have modified the DNA and corn is in many products that we buy, it is difficult to avoid it altogether. I WILL NEVER again eat corn, or its by-products if i can possible help it. Making shopping for healthy foods more difficult.

      Corn oil is used in just about everything, and a double whammy is when they hydrogenate it. We are being poisoned and experimented on as guinea pigs to see if there are any side effects from genetically modifying foods. Unfortunately, these will not show for many years, and even after a generation or so.

      Our government has thrown us under the bus for profit. Once these "genetic shifts" take place in our bodies there will be no way to reverse them. We could conceivably become a race of mutants.

    • Melis Ann profile image
      Author

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      d.william ~ Couldn't agree with you more. It has become extremely difficult to shop for healthy foods that do not contain corn products. It's amazing how much corn has infiltrated the entire food supply. I'm glad you're part of the group that refuses to be guinea pigs!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 5 years ago from Michigan

      Great hub! We need to get the information out about GMO's. Thanks for doing your part and doing it well!

      Blessings!

      Mekenzie

    • zaton profile image

      Zaton-Taran 19 months ago from California

      Never like popcorn anyway - always seemed like a waste of a perfectly good energy food in corn. I'll eat cobbed corn all day - but cannot stand the taste of popcorn. Nice hub.

      https://hubpages.com/food/Energy-Foods-to-Fight-Fa...

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