You have probably heard of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and how different experts have opposite opinions on whether it is extremely dangerous or completely harmless. Anyway, until they settle their opinions, most people choose not to use these products. However, it seems impossible not to use GMO products since they are almost everywhere. Here are some foods you may be using every day without even knowing that they mostly contain GMO.
Soy products. Soy is usually grown from genetically modified seeds because they have a higher resistance to a herbicide called glyphosphate. You have the right to be confused by this statement, but it will get clearer soon. Namely, glyphosphate manufacturers want to sell more of their herbicide and that is why they also make GMO soy seeds in order to make the farmers to buy higher amounts of the herbicide. Long story short, almost all soy products on the market are GMO.
Dairy products. Dairy products also contain GMO, because cows in some farms receive the hormones, which help them produce more milk or grow faster. This is why about 20% of dairy products contain GMO.
Sugar. Similarly to soy products, sugar beets were not spared from the abuse from big GMO companies in order to extract more money. Unless labeled as GMO free and glyphosphate free, you cannot be sure that the sugar you use does not have GMO.
Papaya. If you enjoy a delicious papaya, you should also know that it can be GMO. Papaya is genetically modified in order to prevent a common viral infection of this plant and to prolong its natural maturation time.
Corn. You probably already know about the corn being genetically modified, but we should mention it anyway. About 50% of corn in the US has been genetically modified in order to resist diseases and increase yields.
Zucchini. The reason why Zucchini is often genetically modified is to increase the resistance to insects, which can damage this plant. Use of insecticides instead of genetic modification carries its own risks too, but it is an alternative which you can choose if you want to avoid GMO.
We are yet unaware whether GMO is really harmful for human health. On the other hand, organic products are safe for sure so you should use them and avoid GMO whenever you can.
Jones L. Genetically modified foods. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 1999;318(7183):581-584.
Dona A, Arvanitoyannis IS. Health risks of genetically modified foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Feb;49(2):164-75. doi: 10.1080/10408390701855993.
Kramkowska M1, Grzelak T, Czyżewska K. Benefits and risks associated with genetically modified food products. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(3):413-9.