After educating myself on the detrimental effects of genetically modified (gm or gmo) food and where these gmo’s are hiding in my kitchen, I started replacing the bad with the good… one item at a time. Granted, I initially wanted to comb through and toss anything that could possibly contain gm ingredients. But it seemed a bit overwhelming to do it that way. However, if you have the time and resources to take action in such a bold manner, I salute you.
Start with Your Next Shopping Trip
To begin your vigilant change to non-gmo food, stop buying anything that could contain gm ingredients. It’s easiest just to buy organic for the sake of easy label reading (anything labeled USDA Certified Organic or the ingredients are specified as organic, contain no gm ingredients) or products labeled “non-gmo,” or simply avoid processed packaged foods. But sometimes organic isn’t an option, and we want to get some cereal or crackers (processed food). That’s where you may have to take extra time to read labels of non-organic processed foods.
Where You Shop Can Make This Easier
If you shop the large grocery store chains, finding non-gmo and/or organic foods can sometimes be a challenge. In fact, I recently read that certain large grocery store chains in Canada went out of their way to make this task even harder for consumers by boycotting any food that had a “non-gmo” label! Can you believe that? I’m serious. Look it up and get angry. I did. But on the contrary, some large chains are embracing the organic movement, thankfully, and are now carrying more organic and non-gmo items. Ask the manager to start buying more of these products. The more people ask, they more they are likely to meet their customers’ requests (you know, “supply and demand”).
Then there are smaller grocery store chains, specialty stores, local farmer’s markets, and independent stores and co-ops. These stores usually specialize in “healthier” foods (organic, non-gmo, “natural,” hormone-free, pesticide free, sustainable farming, etc.). If you’re not shopping at one of these types of places, maybe that should be your next “search” item in your area. These places make it much easier to purchase non-gmo food. And for fresh produce, there are also CSA’s (community supported agriculture. A CSA is where you pay an upfront fee and get a weekly box of locally grown produce).
My First Item to Replace
My first item I replaced was my cooking oil, which happened to be canola oil… one of the “big four” gm ingredients (corn, soy, canola, cotton). Since I couldn’t find organic canola oil where I was shopping, (it’s available, in fact, Spectrum make one.) I bought grapeseed oil to replace it. I figured since I use oil often in cooking, that would be a good item to start with. I’m actually glad the organic canola oil was not available, because I discovered that the flavor of the grapeseed oil is really nice.
What’s Your First Item Going to Be?
As I said, if you just try to replace one item at a time, you won’t get overwhelmed or over burdened. So today, choose a gm item that is in your kitchen and replace it with a non-gm version. Then move onto the next item. Before you know it, you’ll (hopefully) have a non-gmo kitchen! Good luck and get going!