Genetic modification, or GM, is a process that alters the genetic makeup of organisms such as animals, plants, or bacteria. Genetically modified organisms, called GMOs, include medicines, fibers, and many foods. Benefits of GMOs include enhanced taste and resistance to pesticides, but they may pose health risks such as allergies and antibiotic resistance. Despite the controversy, many GMO foods, including soy and corn, are widely consumed. Only certified organic products are reliably free of genetic alteration.
Corn is a very common genetically-modified food. In Nebraska, genetically-altered corn represented over 90 percent of the corn planted in 2009. Corn-derivatives are commonly found in packaged goods, including chips, cereals, breads and pastries. Dextrose, hydrolized protein, maltose, maltodextrin and modified food starch are all ingredients that may indicate the presence of corn. Foods containing corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup include many soft drinks, jams, jellies, ice cream and ketchup.
Genetically-modified soy accounts for over 90 percent of soy grown in the United States. Soy is present both in whole foods such as tofu and soybeans, in addition to soy products, which include soy sauce, tempeh, soy milk and processed meat substitutes like soy burgers and soy dogs. Packaged foods that list soy protein isolate or soy protein concentrate in their ingredients include cookies, crackers, beef products, and breads. Soy oil often appears in dressings and sauces.
Canola, or rapeseed, is another of the most GMO foods. Over 80 percent of the acres in parts of Canada are devoted to herbicide- resistant canola. Foods in which canola oil appears include many margarines. Many commercial tomato sauces contain canola oil, including Lidia's brand, as do salad dressings like Newman's Own Ranch. Also, the generic term "vegetable oils" in the ingredients list of any food item may indicate the presence of canola oil.
- DrMercola.Com: Warning: This Common Food Causes Devastating Offspring Defects in New Research Study
- Fast Food Facts
- Northeast Independent School District: Food Allergens
- Non-GMO Shopping Guide: How to Avoid Foods with GMOs
- USDA: Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S.
- Canola Canada: Canola Quick Facts
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.