As much as the term GMO tends to scare most of us, the truth is that the jury is still out on just how bad genetically modified – and genetically engineered – organisms really are to our health. This is especially true since many genetically modified or engineered foods, like the new-to-the-GMO-party, non-bruising modified potatoes, are developed with things like the reduction of cancer-causing chemicals in mind.
Still, as research continues working to prove the harm (or lack thereof) of GMOs in food, it doesn’t hurt to at least know what’s on your plate, regardless of what side of the GMO debate you fall on. And while a desire to steer clear of GMOs might have you skipping the chips aisle at your grocery store, some of the foods that are highest in GMOs might be the ones you didn’t realize had any at all. To clear that up, here are a few of the foods that you may not have known are actually pretty high in GMOs.
Of all the GMO foods in the U.S., corn may not come as the biggest surprise, though the extent to which it is modified might: it actually tops the list of GMO foods in the country. With 92 percent of the corn in the U.S. being genetically modified, the crop is then used to produce the ingredients – like high fructose corn syrup – that go into a lot of processed foods that are high in GMOs as a result. This is in addition to genetically modified corn being eaten as a food on its own, and being used in things like livestock feed and biofuel.
While the production of genetically modified sugar beets stopped for a bit back in 2011 as a result of health concerns – the crop made up about 95 percent of the sugar beets in the U.S. at the time – it eventually picked back up, and now accounts for over 50 percent of the sugar in the country.
Though most GMO papayas in America come from one place – Hawaii – the fruit is especially high in GMOs due to the fact that it was modified in an effort to prevent ringspot virus. As of just three years ago, in 2013, genetically engineered papayas made up about 77 percent of the papaya crop grown in Hawaii.
As an animal product and not a crop, milk seems like a strange component on the list of foods high in GMOs, but the reason that it ranks so high is because of the fact that the feed consumed by livestock producing milk tends to be high in GMOs. This is in addition to the use of growth hormones, like rGBH, that are injected into cows to increase milk production. These factors make not only milk high in GMOs, but other dairy products like cheese and ice cream, too.
In 2015, salmon became the first genetically modified animal to be approved by the FDA. The salmon was modified in Panama with the intention of producing a fish that would grow to market size in half the amount of time as non-GMO salmon.
Regardless of your food sources, it’s still important to maintain your nutrition. Learn more about how WellPath can help optimize your health through customized vitamin packs and shake mix.