What You Need To Know About Corn, GMOs, and Healthy Popcorn
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
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.
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.
I Want Organic Popcorn Kernels
Making Popcorn At Home - I Want Popcorn!
The Best Shopper App: Tells You Which Foods Contain GMOs
- True Food App For Your Mobile Phone
Get the Center For Food Safety's True Food Shoppers Guide App for your iPhone or Android. Genetically engineered food in the U.S. is not labeled. Get behind the label with this app - it's your right to know.
More Information on GMOs
- 8 Steps to Take Action Against Genetically Modified Organisms in Food: No More GMOs
There are a few simple steps everyone can take against GMOs in the food supply.
Video: An 11 Year Old, Monsanto, and GMOs
- EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides | Environmental Working Group - EWG.org
Environmental Working Group’s 2011 Shoppers Guide helps you make informed choices about pesticides in your produce. Check our “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean 15” to shop smarter.
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.
- Tell the USDA to deny approval of 2,4-D-resistant GMO crops. | SumOfUs
New GMO crops resistant to 2,4-D are up for approval, including corn. Let Dow know you don't approve by signing this petition.