Sadly, you can’t win ’em all, and this past election cycle California’s Prop 37 to label GMO’s went the way of so many rotten tomatoes. However, all is not lost, and there are ways that you can avoid genetically modified foods with a little research, vigilance, and by asking the right questions.
Go organic: Anything certified organic is also free of genetically modified materials. Look for the label on processed foods, at your farmers markets, and opt for heritage breeds of fruits and veggies where you can find them.
Label it yourself: The website labelityourself.org is a decentralized, grassroots campaign that uses #LIY to show fellow consumers what contains GMO ingredients via the web. The site allows you to download and print your own labels, and encourages activists to stick them on products, snap a photo, and upload it to their Tumblr account.
Use your phone: For a little help identifying GMO’s, use your smartphone and the True Food Shopper’s Guide for android and iPhone, brought to you by The Center for Food Safety. The application is constantly updated to bring you the newest list of GM foods, activist campaigns, and tips on how to buy healthy, non-manipulated foods. Other programs include ShopNoGMO, and the Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide.
Buy whole, local foods: When you can, take a trip to your local farmers markets and buy whole, local produce. Make sure that the produce is grown to your standards, and do not be afraid to ask a couple of questions. We put our trust in Jerry Rutiz and the Rutiz Family Farms in Oceano. One of the best ways to avoid hidden GMO’s in processed foods is to bypass the frozen dinners altogether, and cook with fresh ingredients. Tastier, more nutritious, and supporting your local economy, opting for local fare is a healthy choice all around!