Category: Where Does My Stuff Come From

Where Does My Stuff Come From: GMO Food

What are you feeding your children?
What are you feeding your children?

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.

 

 

 

GMO Cut Corn

Hy-Top:

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.

Tastes good, but not worth the risk.

General Mills:

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.

Where Does My Stuff Come From: Food

So you have signed up for a simpler life.

You have your chickens, your garden, your canning equipment and you are ready to go!

And then you realize that this is a LOT of work and you can’t possibly feed yourself and your family on just the food you are growing and raising, at least not yet.

Or maybe your idea of a simple life is purchasing all of your food pre-made and prepackaged.

Either way, you have to go to the market.

You Want Real Food

As you are standing in the market, you know that you want real, fresh food. Maybe you want some convenience foods too, but you want them to be natural, right?

So you start to read the labels of containers of things that say they are natural, and you realize that there are things in here that you weren’t aware grew in nature.

Or maybe you aren’t aware of what is in the food because it is cleverly labeled? I know that I fell for it…

The Article You Don’t Want To Read

My husband shared this link with me the other day. It is just a small list of “Natural Cereals That Aren’t.”

http://eatthis.menshealth.com/slideshow/9-natural-cereals-arent#sharetagsfocus

I read this and wished I hadn’t. I don’t always have time to make homeade granola (seriously) and have opted to purchased some of these cereals on this list in the past.

And then the idea came to me – why don’t I start a multi-part series on my blog about where our stuff comes from. Not just food, but everything – our clothing, our furniture, our electronics. What is in them, who made them, and are they good for us?

My next blog post on this topic will be the results of asking a couple of companies (for which I currently have a container of a food item that they produce) if their food contains any GMO ingredients or other additives that aren’t made from truly natural food.

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April Schroader is a freelance writer and blogger. She is available to guest post on your blog, write a quality article for your magazine, help with a non-fiction book project, or write quality content for your website. To contact her, visit her portfolio and click on the Hire Me link.