While millions believe genetically modified food is benign, many more are convinced that they can be dangerous to your health in the long run.
Government authorities allow genetically modified (gm from here on in) for general consumption when huge agrochemical – pharmaceutical companies apply for production licences.
Reports are prepared, and presented, which may or may not be based on absolute facts.
Government agencies, sometimes under political pressure, approve gm foods without extended studies to determine whether or not they are detrimental to health.
Like it or not, there are many gm foods in the marketplace, and if you are concerned pay attention to the following when shopping:
• Processed foods generally contain gm foods i.e corn, soy, and cotton seed all blended into cookies, snacks
• Read labels carefully
• Soy lecithin (an emulsifier), soy protein, textured non-organic vegetable protein, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) and food starch should be avoided
• Try to buy organic vegetables and fruits if you are sure the origin of the product is properly inspected and certified (different countries have different standards)
• Avoid excessively sweet foods, and especially sugar substitutes like Equal, Nutra Sweet, and Amino Sweet.
• Xantan gum, citric acid, malto-dextrin and foods containing caramel colour, malt syrup, modified food starch, sorbitol and trigylcerides should be avoided if and when possible.
All of the above are employed to prolong shelf life. They help reduce distribution costs, and grocery stores love them. Their profit margins are lucrative, and storeowners don’t have to worry about moving them. Manufacturers advertise constantly to ensure fast inventory turnover.
As Mr Pollan the author of Omnivore’s Dilemma stated succinctly: “eat little, mainly plants, and nothing that does not rot”.
Read his book to understand how food production in modern economies has changed from natural to ambiguous or dangerous.