Celebrate Independence Day the Non-GMO Way!

Summer is officially here and that means it is time for family barbecues! Who doesn’t love eating outside on warm summer evenings? For most of us, one of the great pleasures of these meals is enjoying the comfort foods we ate as kids. When I was young a summer barbecue dinner might look like this:

The Classic Barbecue Menu
Salad with dressing
Potato salad
Hamburgers, Hot dogs, Veggie burgers (I was a vegetarian back then) with bun and all the fixings (ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard)
Juice for the kids
Beer for the adults
And maybe if we were lucky…strawberry shortcake!

Nowadays our barbecues look a little bit different. We still have lots of family and friends around, and yes, I still cook on an old Weber grill like my parents.  But now that I am chef, I really strive to make sure that our special occasion meals are as healthy as possible. Unfortunately, the classic barbecue is loaded with GMO risk ingredients, along with unnecessary sugar and additives. Let’s look at the GMO risk ingredients in the classic barbecue:

The Barbecue Menu Deconstructed

  • Salad with dressing (canola oil, soybean oil)
  • Potato salad (canola oil, soybean oil, soy derivatives, high fructose corn syrup in mayonnaise)
  • Corn on the Cob (GMO sweet corn is expected to make up 40% of all sweet corn sold this summer)
  • Hamburgers, Hot dogs, Veggie burgers (Soy, corn, and canola are common in all processed meats and vegetarian products, and cows are usually fed corn and soy)
  • Bun and all the fixings (Bread may contain soybean and canola oils. Condiments are often loaded with soybean oils, corn syrup, and canola oils)
  • Chips (Canola and soybean oil, corn in corn chips)
  • Juice for the kids (Corn syrup)
  • Beer for the adults (Frequently made with corn)
  • Strawberry shortcake (If you aren’t making your own shortcake, keep an eye out for beet sugar, canola, and soy products in your cake)

All of sudden this special occasion meal doesn’t feel so special. Clearly the classic barbecue needs a healthy non-GMO update! Here is what we will be having this 4th of July:

A Non-GMO Independence Day Barbecue

This version of the classic barbecue kicks out the GMOs (and a lot of the other unhealthy ingredients in a barbecue), but keeps the comfort food feel of the classic barbecue.

The Non-GMO Project wishes your family a safe, fun, and healthy Independence Day!

–Courtney Pineau, Communications Manager

– First published, July 3, 2012