You can find it printed on certain cereals, chips, vegetables, even canned goods—but what does the label really reveal about your food? “With many topics in the food industry it’s something to educate yourself on and make that decision at a personal level,” said Carrie Bloemers, a dietitian and Healthy Life Center manager.
GMO stands for “genetically modified organism.” If your food has GMO’s, it means the crop, plant, or seed has in some way been altered. “Potentially, to make it resistant to more insects or to make it more resistant to the pesticides used for those insects, so that the farmers have some perceived improved outcome—that could be larger harvests, reduced bugs that destroy them, or it helps them grow and perform in a better way,” said Bloemers.
But what does that mean for the consumer? “The thing about GMO’s is one thing they find is those types of foods may have more pesticides used on them because they are resistant to that, so our bodies may react to those pesticides,” she said.
Some of the highest GMO products are corn and soy—products that are often used to create other ingredients found in many of our processed foods. “People who have autoimmune type conditions or food sensitivities, food allergies, may be more susceptible to the GMO type crops,” Bloemers said.
In addition to noticing things like saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and calories in a product—health experts say it’s also important to look for the non-GMO label to ensure you’re getting the purest form of food.
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