GMOs and Your Family

Make informed choices about what your family is eating

Photo Credit: Lindsay Stradtner

One of the most common concerns about the prevalence of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in North America is whether they are safe for our children and families to be eating.

Are my kids eating genetically engineered food?

The sad truth is many of the foods that are most popular with children contain GMOs. Cereals, snack bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunch meats, and crackers all contain large amounts of high risk food ingredients. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs.  If you are not buying foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified, most likely GMOs are present at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

What if I only buy organic?

Shopping organic is a great step towards ensuring that your family eats the healthiest foods possible. The challenge is that although GMOs are an excluded method under the National Organic Program, organic certification does not require GMO testing. Choosing products that are Certified Organic AND Non-GMO Project Verified is the best way to make sure you are getting the safest, healthiest, highest-quality food for your family.

What are the most common GMOs?

The most common GMOs are soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, alfalfa, and squash (zucchini  and yellow). Many of these items appear as added ingredients in a large amount of the foods we eat. For instance, your family may not eat tofu or drink soy milk, but soy is most likely present in a large percentage of the foods in your pantry.

GMOs may be hidden in common processed food ingredients such as: Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

I am overwhelmed by the prospect of changing our diet, where should I begin?

Take a step by step approach. For instance, many parents find it is useful to begin with looking at what their family is eating for breakfast.

There are many resources available to help you find non-GMO choices:

Social media can also be a great tool to find out about newly verified products and other people working to keep GMOs out of their home. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to connect with others who are committed to eating non-GMO.