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Seeking Food Ingredients That Aren’t Gene-Altered

By STEPHANIE STROM     Published: May 26, 2013

Food companies big and small are struggling to replace genetically modified ingredients with conventional ones.

Pressure is growing to label products made from genetically modified organisms, or “G.M.O.” In Connecticut, Vermont and Maine, at least one chamber of the state legislature has approved bills that would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, and similar legislation is pending in more than two dozen other states. This weekend, rallies were held around the globe against producers of genetically altered ingredients, and consumers are threatening to boycott products that are not labeled.

And so, for many businesses, the pressing concern is just what it will take to gain certification as non-G.M.O.

Lizanne Falsetto knew two years ago that she had to change how her company, thinkThin, made Crunch snack bars. Her largest buyer, Whole Foods Market, wanted more products without genetically engineered ingredients — and her bars had them. Ms. Falsetto did not know how difficult it would be to acquire non-G.M.O. ingredients.

ThinkThin spent 18 months just trying to find suppliers. “And then we had to work to achieve the same taste and texture we had with the old ingredients,” Ms. Falsetto said. Finally, last month, the company began selling Crunch bars certified as non-G.M.O.

The Non-GMO Project was until recently the only group offering certification, and demand for its services has soared. Roughly 180 companies inquired about how to gain certification last October, when California tried to require labeling (the initiative was later voted down), according to Megan Westgate, co-founder and executive director of the Non-GMO Project.

Nearly 300 more signed up in March, after Whole Foods announced that all products sold in its stores would have to be labeled to describe genetically engineered contents, and about 300 more inquiries followed in April, she said.

“We have seen an exponential increase in the number of enrollments,” Ms. Westgate said.

The shift is evident in prices of nongenetically modified crops, which have been rising as more companies seek them out. Two years ago, a bushel of non-G.M.O. soybeans cost $1 to $1.25 more than a bushel of genetically modified soybeans. Now, that premium is $2. For corn, the premium has jumped from 10 cents to as high as 75 cents.

“We’ve had more calls from food processors wanting to know if we can arrange for non-G.M.O. supplies,” said Lynn Clarkson, founder and president of Clarkson Grain, which sells such conventional grains.

In this country, roughly 90 percent or more of four major crops — corn, soybeans, canola and sugar beets — are grown from genetically engineered seeds, creating a challenge for companies seeking to swap to ingredients sourced from conventional varieties. A portion of the conventional varieties of those crops is exported, and much of the rest of those crops is already spoken for by organic and other companies here.

Additionally, the livestock industry is increasing its demand for non-G.M.O. crops to meet growing demand among consumers for eggs and meats sourced from animals that have never eaten genetically modified feeds.

On Saturday, at least two million people in 436 cities in 52 countries rallied in protests against the seed giant Monsanto and genetically modified food, according to the organizers of the “March Against Monsanto.” The company, based in St. Louis, is the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds and the pesticides used to protect them.

Farmers have long crossbred plants to improve genetics in an effort to increase productivity and resistance to pests and diseases, and decrease the need for water, among other things.

The type of genetic engineering done by Monsanto and its competitors, however, involves inserting genetic materials, sometimes from wholly different plant species and bacteria, directly into the DNA plants like corn or soybeans.

Regulators and some scientists say this poses no threat to human health, but a growing number of consumers are demanding increased information about what is in their food, whether it is gluten or genetically engineered ingredients.


Monsanto said it respected people’s right to express their opinion, but maintained that its seeds improved agriculture “by helping farmers produce more from their land while conserving natural resources such as water and energy.”

Mr. Clarkson said that, so far, there were more of those non-G.M.O. crops than buyers for them, and large companies like Silk and Hain Celestial that have long been users of conventional crops say they are not worried.

“I don’t think you can discount the number of companies that are not in favor of labeling, which is what is driving demand right now,” said Ellen Deutsch, senior vice president and chief growth officer at Hain. “But if demand does grow, we will need to maintain our longstanding relationships with our suppliers.”

Errol Schweizer, national grocery buyer at Whole Foods, said he was already seeing shortages in organic and conventional seeds, as well as in commodity ingredients sourced from conventional crops.

“Suppliers are going overseas to get what they need,” he said. “We know farmers need to feel secure that there’s a market for what they grow, and I’m saying, please plant these crops, there is a demand.”

Dealers in conventional crops say more farmers will switch to them if the demand is there, but it will take time. Most food-processing companies have an 18-month supply chain for crops like corn and soy, which means that if they begin making a switch today, the earliest they might get certification would be in 2015.

And farmers cannot simply replace genetically engineered seeds with conventional ones, because soil in which genetically modified crops have been grown may not be immediately suitable for conventional crops.

“There’s a transition period required,” said Richard Kamolvathin, senior vice president at Verity Farms, which sells meats, grains and other products derived from conventional crops, as well as natural soil amendments. “You don’t just stop growing G.M.O. seed and then start growing non-G.M.O. seed.”

Nor can companies simply replace, say, corn flour from genetically engineered corn with its non-G.M.O. cousin without wreaking havoc on things like taste, consistency and mouth feel.

Every ingredient in a product must be verified by affidavit, and storage and processing facilities, as well as transportation equipment, must be scrubbed of all traces of genetically modified supplies.

Those requirements may be too high a hurdle for some food processors. Big makers of pivotal ingredients like corn and soy oil, for instance, cannot easily switch back and forth between genetically engineered and conventional sources.

Even companies that use conventional crops in production have to work hard to get certified. Silk, a large maker of soy and nut “milks,” has used soy beans from plants that are not genetically modified since its founding.

But it took the company some eight months to gather and compile lists of all its ingredients, affidavits from suppliers, test records and other information, then go through independent testing for confirmation, before its products gained non-G.M.O. certification — and it helps underwrite the Non-GMO Project.

“It’s a pretty significant undertaking,” said Craig Shiesley, senior vice president for plant-based beverages at WhiteWave Foods, the parent company of Silk. “We make 100 million gallons of soy milk using one million bushels of soy beans, and this affects not only all those bushels of soy beans and other ingredients like vitamins and flavorings, but also all of our manufacturing and distribution.”

While Whole Foods tries to help suppliers procure non-G.M.O. ingredients, its labeling initiative is causing headaches.

“Whole Foods has come in the back door and inadvertently created something of a crisis,” said Reuven Flamer, the founder of Natural Food Certifiers, which certifies foods as organic or kosher and is now adding non-G.M.O. certification to its list of services. “People who make organic products support non-G.M.O. standards, but they are already paying a premium for their supplies and certification.”

Based on the demand he is seeing for non-G.M.O. certification, Mr. Flamer says it is almost certain the supply of conventional seeds and crops, and derivatives of those crops, is going to become an issue.

That worries Manuel Lopez, whose family owns El Milagro, a tortilla and tortilla products company in Chicago. “We’ve always used non-G.M.O. corn,” he said, “and our concern is about our supply.”

The cost of the corn El Milagro uses is roughly 1.7 times the cost of genetically engineered corn, he said, and the company cannot pass on all the additional cost to customers.

Mr. Lopez is hopeful, though. “I believe there are a lot of farmers who want to get away from G.M.O.,” he said. “If they see more demand, I think they will respond.”

A version of this article appeared in print on May 27, 2013, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: Seeking Food Ingredients That Aren’t Gene-Altered.

source: NYTimes


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March Against Monsanto Coming to a City Near You

Brandi, selected from Diets in Review   May 18, 2013
  
Those angered by the recent signing of the Monsanto Protection Act will have a chance to air their frustrations next Saturday, May 25. The March Against Monsanto is taking place in cities all over the world to protest the company and the act that many feel was signed to give it power over the law.

The March Against Monsanto website shows 44 countries taking part in the March. Most Marches are being held in the United States, taking place in 38 different states and Puerto Rico. These Marches have been organized just two months after the bill was signed into law by President Obama. Though spurred on by the signing of the Monsanto Protection Act, the March Against Monsanto is being held to also protest other aspects of the company. The website states the purposes of the March are:

Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.

In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-led research on the long-term effects of GM products.


Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.

For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.

Monsanto’s GM seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have contributed to Colony Collapse Disorder among the world’s bee population.

It is hoped that the March will unite those against Monsanto in their cause to eradicate genetically modified foods. The promotion of small and organic farms is also a rallying point, with many of the Marches being held taking place in or around farmer’s markets. The people behind the March Against Monsanto are also asking their followers buy organic and boycott Monsanto owned companies that use GMOs in their products. To find a March near you, visit the official March Against Monsanto website, www.march-against-monsanto.com

source: care2.com


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Curb junk food ads aimed at children, group says

Current generation may live ‘shorter, less healthy lives’ as a result poor diets
CBC News Posted: May 9, 2013

Canadian children under 13 shouldn’t be exposed to marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages, a coalition of medical groups says.

Thursday’s policy statement from the Canadian Medical Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Hypertension Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada and others calls on food companies to immediately stop marketing foods high in fats, added sugars or sodium to children.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments have said that protecting the health of children is a priority, said Dr. Norm Campbell, a hypertension specialist at the University of Calgary who led the campaign.

“They had this on their radar and yet absolutely nothing is done, and so this is really a call for action that they do what we already know is going to be effective.”

The groups say that in 1989, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that “advertisers should not be able to capitalize upon children’s credulity” and “advertising directed at young children is per se manipulative.”

Food companies in Canada, with the exception of Quebec, are not required by law to restrict unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children.

Dr. Marie-Dominique Beaulieu is the president of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and practices in Montreal, where she says companies have clear rules on what is considered healthy.


“Up to 80 per cent of food advertising actually advertises unhealthy food and we know that it has a direct impact on the choices that children make,” Beaulieu said.

Canada hasn’t acted

In May 2010, the World Health Organization released recommendations on the marketing of food and beverages to children and called on governments worldwide to reduce the exposure of children to advertising and to reduce the use of powerful marketing techniques employed by the manufacturers of foods and beverages high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free added sugars or sodium.

Canada has not acted on the recommendations, the health groups said.

The group’s statement describes the policy goal this way: “Federal government to immediately begin a legislative process to restrict all marketing targeted to children under the age of 13 of foods and beverages high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars or sodium and that in the interim the food industry immediately ceases marketing of such food to children.”

They plan to use WHO’s recommendations on high content of saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars or sodium.

“Right now, we have a voluntary ban on marketing of unhealthy foods to children from the food industry,” said Campbell. “The industries that have signed on to that are the worst offenders. What they’ve done is made their own definition.”

If enacted, the restrictions would apply to TV, internet, radio, magazines, mobile phones, video and adver-games, brand mascots, product placement, cross-promotions, school or event sponsorships and viral marketing.

Arlene Star of Toronto is careful about exposing her four-year-old daughter Jenna to TV ads but she still knows all the branded characters.

“It is up to the parents, but let’s try to make it easier for the parents so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a daily struggle,” Star said.

On Wednesday night, NDP member of Parliament Libby Davies’s bill to phase in lower sodium levels in prepackaged foods and add simple, standardized labels, failed to pass with a vote of 147 to 122, the Centre for Science in the Public Interest said.

With files from CBC’s Kas Roussy and Kim Brunhuber

source: CBC


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17 Essential Reasons to Eat Organic Food

Michelle Schoffro Cook   April 4, 2013

Organic food was the only option for thousands of years.  Now, with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and genetically-modified foods, organic is still the best option.  Here are 17 reasons to eat organic food:

1.  Genetically-modified foods were unleashed on the environment and the public by corporations like Monsanto without prior testing to determine their safety.  In other words, eating genetically-modified foods (which most people in in large amounts) is participating in a long-term, uncontrolled experiment. Choose organic to avoid participating in this experiment.

2.  More and more research is coming in about the health threat of genetically-modified food.  The results range from intestinal damage, allergies, liver or pancreatic problems, testicular cellular changes, tumors, and even death in the experimental animals. For more information, read the excellent books by Jeffrey M. Smith Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette. I’ll discuss more of the problems linked with GMOs in upcoming blogs. Eating third-party certified organic foods or those that are guaranteed to be grown from organic seed helps protect you from the health consequences of GMOs.

3.  Fruits and vegetables are real food, not pesticide factories. Eighteen percent of all genetically-modified seeds (and therefore foods that grow from them) are engineered to produce their own pesticides.  Research shows that these seeds continue producing pesticides inside your body once you’ve eaten the food grown from them! Foods that are actually pesticide factories…no thanks.

4.  They’re free of neurotoxins—toxins that are damaging to brain and nerve cells. A commonly-used class of pesticides called organophosphates was originally developed as a toxic nerve agent during World War I. When there was no longer a need for them in warfare, industry adapted them to kill pests on foods. Many pesticides are still considered neurotoxins.  Learn more about pesticides in The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan.

5.  They’re supportive of growing children’s brains and bodies.  Children’s growing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to toxins than adults.  Choosing organic helps feed their bodies without the exposure to pesticides and genetically-modified organisms, both of which have a relatively short history of use (and therefore safety).

6.  In study after study, research from independent organizations consistently shows organic food is higher in nutrients than traditional foods.  Research shows that organic produce is higher in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium. (For more information, check out The Life Force Diet).


7.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that pesticides pollute the primary drinking source for half the American population. Organic farming is the best solution to the problem. Buying organic helps reduce pollution in our drinking water.

8.  Organic food is earth-supportive (when big business keeps their hands out of it). Organic food production has been around for thousands of years and is the sustainable choice for the future.  Compare that to modern agricultural practices that are destructive of the environment through widespread use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers and have resulted in drastic environmental damage in many parts of the world.

9.  Organic food choices grown on small-scale organic farms help ensure independent family farmers can create a livelihood. Consider it the domestic version of fair trade.

10. Most organic food simply tastes better than the pesticide-grown counterparts.

11. Organic food is not exposed to gas-ripening like some non-organic fruits and vegetables (like bananas).

12.  Organic farms are safer for farm workers. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70% increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides. Choosing organic foods means that more people will be able to work on farms without incurring the higher potential health risk of Parkinson’s or other illnesses.

13.  Organic food supports wildlife habitats. Even with commonly used amounts of pesticides, wildlife is being harmed by exposure to pesticides.

14.  Eating organic may reduce your cancer risk.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of insecticides potentially cancer-causing.  It is reasonable to think that the rapidly increasing rates of cancer are at least partly linked to the use of these carcinogenic pesticides.

15.  Choosing organic meat lessens your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and drugs that find their way into the animals and ultimately into you.

16.  Organic food is tried and tested. By some estimates genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption. Genetic modification of food is still experimental. Avoid being part of this wide scale and uncontrolled experiment.

17.  Organic food supports greater biodiversity.  Diversity is fundamental to life on this planet. Genetically-modified and non-organic food is focused on high yield monoculture and is destroying biodiversity.

Adapted from  The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.
source: care2.com
 


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Splenda soon to unleash ‘Nectresse’ – Here’s what you need to know about this new ‘natural’ sweetener

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, maker of the artificial sweetener Splenda, is gearing up to introduce a new “natural” sweetener known as Nectresse that will cater specifically to those looking for a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners and sugar. But is Nectresse really as natural as McNeil claims it is, or is the product just another example of tricky marketing hype aimed at health-conscious consumers?

According to the Nectresse website, the product is “100 percent natural,” and is made from the heat-stable extract of an Asian melon known as monk fruit, or Lo Han. McNeil claims that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving, and that monk fruit is 150 times sweeter than sugar, which means that consumers do not need to use very much of it to effectively sweeten foods and beverages.

Nectresse contains other additives besides monk fruit

But monk fruit is not the only ingredient in Nectresse, nor is it even the primary ingredient. The first and most abundant ingredient in Nectresse is actually erythritol, a sugar alcohol commonly derived from corn, the vast majority of which has been genetically modified (GM) in the U.S. And the second ingredient in Nectresse is sugar, which is refined and more than likely comes from GM sugar beets.

The third ingredient in Nectresse is monk fruit, which McNeil explains is extracted using a natural process involving both water and heat rather than chemicals – this is good. But the fourth and final ingredient in Nectresse is molasses, which once again is a sugar that more than likely was derived from GM sugar beets – producers that use sugar from sugar cane, after all, typically indicate this on their ingredient labels.


Nectresse, not so natural after all

So three out of the four ingredients used in Nectresse appear to be derived from bioengineered crops, and two of these ingredients are refined sugars. And since erythritol is a sugar alcohol, as well as the most abundant ingredient in Nectresse, McNeil can legally claim under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines that Nectresse contains zero calories per serving.

But the fact that Nectresse more than likely contains ingredients derived from GM sources means that it is hardly the “natural” product that McNeil is hyping it up to be. Sure, Nectresse contains a little bit of monk fruit which, like the stevia plant, contains compounds that are naturally very sweet, but that do not provide the body with calories in the same way as sugar. But the other ingredients found in Nectresse can hardly be considered natural.

According to MonkFruit.org, (http://www.monkfruit.org/monk-fruit/68/food-beverage-manufacturers) monk fruit can actually be up to 200 times sweeter than sugar because it contains natural antioxidants known as mogrosides that have a strong, sweet taste, but that are not actually considered to be sugar. These mogrosides are unique to monk fruit, and they also contain zero calories.

By itself, in other words, monk fruit appears to be viable as a healthy, alternative sweetener that, because of its heat stability, can work better than stevia in certain food applications that require baking, sauteing, or other forms of heat cooking. Nectresse, on the other hand, appears to be an adulterated version of the monk fruit that represents the corporate food industry’s latest attempt at trying to cash in on the health-conscious.
Sources for this article include:  http://www.nectresse.com/   http://www.naturalnews.com/stevia.html



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The Economics of Organic Food

Published on Thursday, August 27, 2009 by Portland Press Herald (Maine)
Conference Takes on Economics of Organic Food
by Avery Yale Kamila

Only rich people can afford to eat locally grown, organic food. Have you heard that one before? I have, and it’s sure to come up during the “Can Maine Feed Itself?” keynote discussion taking place at next month’s Maine Fare festival in the midcoast.

The panel brings together a number of movers and shakers from Maine’s food scene for a conversation centered on how the state can become more self-reliant when stocking our grocery stores and filling our dinner plates.

According to well-known organic Maine farmer and author Eliot Coleman, who farms year-round in unheated greenhouses and will participate in the panel, the No. 1 barrier preventing more Mainers from eating food grown and raised locally is the competition from cheap eats trucked in from California.

A whole book could be written (and has been) about the reasons factory farms and agribusinesses can produce food that costs so little. However, the simple answer, as Coleman pointed out, includes physical scale, illegal immigrant laborers, polluting farm practices and government subsidies.

At the same time, the idea that only the well-off can eat fresh, locally grown eats ignores the obvious and inexpensive solution of growing your own garden. You can’t get any more local than food grown steps from your kitchen. And with seeds that sell for pennies apiece and with compost an essentially free fertilizer that anyone can make from table scraps and dried leaves, it becomes clear that price alone is not the true issue.

I’d argue that the real barrier is psychological. Part of this can be traced to the American obsession with animal protein.

Meat, dairy and eggs are all expensive ways to include protein in our diets, and these ubiquitous staples of our national cuisine can be produced cheaply (think a dozen eggs for $1.69 at the grocery stores versus $4.50 at the farmers’ markets) only when the farms cut costs. That can lead to mistreating the animals, the workers or the environment. The price at the checkout may be low, but we pay the full cost eventually in food poisoning outbreaks, slaughterhouse workers with post-traumatic stress disorder and polluted rivers.

The other piece of this mental obstacle comes from our national cult of convenience. Our 24/7 consumer culture means we expect markets to be open whenever the shopping whim strikes us. We expect their shelves to be stocked with items that haven’t been in season for the past six months.

So I wasn’t surprised when John Harker, a development agent for the Maine Department of Agriculture, said research shows that the current market for direct-to-consumer sales from small farms in Maine is confined to the pool of consumers with higher incomes and higher levels of education.

These are the folks who have read books such as “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “Fast Food Nation” and know shelling out a little more for high quality food saves a lot of headaches and heartaches (literally) down the road.

But what about the moms who are too busy changing diapers to tackle such troubling tomes? Unfortunately, many still view food as a commodity similar to back-to-school clothes rather than the ultimate in preventative health care.

“In the consumer focus group we just finished up in Bangor, young mothers with children said, ‘Price, price, price,'” Harker recalled.

Since Americans on average spend less than 10 percent of our disposable income on food, a case can be made that a frugal home cook can find a way to pay more for better quality food.

At the same time, Harker sees opportunities for lowering the price of locally grown food and getting it into supermarkets and convenience stores (where he said 97 percent of food in Maine is purchased).

His message to farmers: “You’ve got to either get bigger or get together as a collective.”

He points to the Locally Known organic salad farm in Bowdoin as an example of a farm that got bigger to become more competitive on price. He cites the group of 10 organic dairy farmers who lost their contract with Hood and are now forming a limited liability corporation in hopes of getting their milk into supermarkets as an example of collective marketing.

On the consumer side, Harker said the department is encouraging neighbors to form buying clubs, such as the Portland Food Co-Op, where they can purchase food at or near wholesale prices.

“One of the projects I’m working on is online ordering for consumer buying clubs,” Harker said.

Aside from price, Maine farmers and eaters do face other obstacles to achieving food independence.

Cheryl Wixson, the resident chef and marketing consultant for the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, is working on a report that will look at 20 categories of Maine food to determine whether or not farms are producing enough to meet local demand.

If they’re not, the report will also help figure out what factors stand in the way. These obstacles are varied and include lack of food processing plants, limited distribution opportunities and inadequate storage facilities.

But when it comes to price, Wixson is blunt: “You’re either going to pay for it now, or you’ll pay for it later.”

Or as Coleman said: “Local food is more expensive because it’s better.”

MaineToday Media, Inc.



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7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat

1. GMO FOODS (Any of them)
The Situation: GMO foods encourage the massive spraying of herbicides on our topsoils, polluting the ground, waterways, animals and humans. Scientific studies have shown the RoundUp Ready genes in GMOfoods to transfer to our intestinal flora and the pesticide producing genes, called Bt-toxins, to be present in both unborn fetuses and their mothers. In short, GMO foods pollute our environment and out bodies. No long term health studies of GMO foods have been performed on humans. In addition to polluting our bodies with mutant DNA, eating RoundUp Ready GMO foods insures a hefty dose of herbicide given that GMO crops are even more heavily sprayed than conventional non-organic crops. The environmental, political, economic, and social damage by GMO foods is staggering. GMO foods include corn, soybeans, sugarbeets, potatoes, alfalfa, canola, potato, papaya, rice, honey, squash, rapeseed, tomatoes, sweet corn, tobacco, peas, and more in the pipeline.
The Solution: Check that all the food you purchase is non-GMO. Demand a halt to GMO foods any chance you get. Support mandatory labeling of GMO foods.  Buy ORGANIC. Plant a garden
For further insights and details on the disastrous company Monsanto ( the leading company of GMO seeds), please click here
GMO Foods written by WuW contributing writer Jack Adam Weber of PoeticHealing.com
2. CANNED TOMATOES
The Expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The Situation: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
The Solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.
3. CORN-FED BEEF
The Expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.
The Situation: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. More money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.
The Solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

4. MICROWAVE POPCORN

The Expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.

The Situation: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.
The Solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.
5. FARMED SALMON
The Expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The Situation: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.
The Solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

6. MILK PRODUCED WITH ARTIFICIAL HORMONES
The Expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.
The Situation: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. “There’s not 100% proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”
The Solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.
7. CONVENTIONAL APPLES
The Expert: Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods
The Situation: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.
The Solution: Buy organic apples. If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them first.

Source : First section on GMO food is written by WuW contributing writer Jack Adam Weber of poetichealing.com
All other points were sourced from Shine on Yahoo