It’s been a long time since genetically modified foods have encroached into our households and bodies. If a food is designed to have longer shelf life then it’s toxic byproducts are more likely to linger longer in your body. However, with more awareness generation around the health hazards of GMO foods, many people are consciously choosing to buy organic produce. Here are 6 tips to look for when you are about to do some healthy grocery shopping the next time.
1. Know The Codes For Organic And GMO Foods
Stickers with 3, 4 or 5 digit codes are pretty common on foods. If the fruit or vegetable has codes with 3 0r 4 digits, it’s conventionally grown. This also means that it has a minimal amount of pesticides which can be effectively removed with proper washing.
If the label’s code begins with an 8 and has 5 digits in total, the produce is genetically modified. These are products you should strictly stay away from. On the other hand 5-digit codes that start with 9 means the fruit is organically grown in accordance with the USDA guidelines.1
2. Indulge In Cooking From Scratch
It’s hard to keep yourself focused on aisles filled with processed foods that have all kinds of ingredients which can pose various health risks. As a consumer, you have more power when you buy ingredients and cook them at home. Thereby you can choose organically or conventionally grown ones. There’s also no fear of having any non-GMO ingredients creeping into your diet.2
3. Look For The Right Labels
The USDA has made buying of organic, non-GMO produce easier for all consumers by following a stringent labeling policy. Labels like “Certified Organic” means about 95% of ingredients used in the product are organic except for water and salt. The remaining 5% ingredients belong to a pre-approved list by the USDA.
Another label to take note is the one that reads “Made with Organic”. These foods have about 70% of organic ingredients hence are not totally organic or non-GMO.
4. Shop At The Local Farmer’s Market
Just like you would have a reliable doctor to visit in case of an illness, you must also be familiar with the farmer who supplies produce to the local market. Knowing your farmer is as close as knowing all about your food, especially of you are mindful about your food choices.
Although many small farms are not organically certified they are more likely to follow authentic and healthy cultivation methods. Fruits and vegetables at the grocery outlets are usually days old and have traveled miles together to reach the store. But locally grown products are as good as the ones you grow at home and are freshly picked.
5. Opt For More Seasonal Foods
Every time you buy foods that are seasonal, you are not only saving money but are also being thoughtful to the environment and farmer’s community. Food that’s grown locally doesn’t need much manual assistance in the form of pesticides, waxes, chemicals, and preservatives.
Fruits and vegetables that are grown out of season or are imported to your town are expensive. They are loaded with chemicals to make them appear attractive and fresh for long durations. Follow a diet that’s surplus with produce that’s seasonal as this will further enhance your body’s natural repair and regeneration processes.
6. Steer Clear Of The Top GMO Foods
The worst GMO foods that shouldn’t be a part of your diet at any cost are corn and soy found in tofu, soybean oil, sauce, and flour. These are closely followed by sugar, aspartame, papayas, canola, cotton, dairy, papaya and zucchini squash. If your grocery list always features these products you have a bigger responsibility of buying non-GMO varieties of all the foods mentioned above.
Going grocery shopping shouldn’t be done within a matter of a few minutes. While you are at the market make informed choices about buying only foods that are non-GMO. This will positively impact your health as well as that of the future generations.3
|↑1||GMO Disclosure & Labeling. United States Development Of Agriculture|
|↑2||Hughner, Renée Shaw, Pierre McDonagh, Andrea Prothero, Clifford J. Shultz, and Julie Stanton. “Who are organic food consumers? A compilation and review of why people purchase organic food.” Journal of consumer behaviour 6, no. 2‐3 (2007): 94-110.|
|↑3||Dona, Artemis, and Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis. “Health risks of genetically modified foods.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 49, no. 2 (2009): 164-175.|