The Environmental Working Group has just released their annual list of 15 fruits and veggies that they consider the ‘cleanest’ when it comes to pesticide residue.
The EWG recommends buying organic whenever possible. Not only is it smart to reduce your exposure to pesticides, but buying organic sends a message that you support environmentally friendly farming practices that minimize soil erosion, safeguard workers and protect water quality and wildlife. Knowing that organic is not always the affordable option, the EWG created the Shopper’s Guide to help consumers make the healthiest choices given their circumstances. That said, the EWG always recommends eating fruits and vegetables, even conventionally grown, over processed foods and other less healthy alternatives.
The guide is based on an analysis of more than 28,000 samples taken by the USDA and FDA. The EWG looked at six measures of pesticide contamination, gave each measurement a score from one to 100 and compiled the results. They found that no single fruit sample tested positive for more than four types of pesticides and seven percent of samples had just one pesticide detected.
And what about GMOs?
Here’s what the EWG says about GMOs:
Genetically modified plants, or GMOs, are not often found in the produce section of grocery stores. Field corn, nearly all of which is produced with genetically modified seeds, is used to make tortillas, chips, corn syrup, animal feed and biofuels. Because it is not sold as a fresh vegetable, it is not included in EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Nor is soy, another heavily GMO crop that makes its way into processed food.
The genetically modified crops likely to be found in produce aisles of American supermarkets are zucchini, Hawaiian papaya and some varieties of sweet corn. Most Hawaiian papaya is a GMO. Only a small fraction of zucchini and sweet corn are GMO. Since U.S. law does not require labeling of GMO produce, EWG advises people who want to avoid it to purchase the organically-grown versions of these items.
So what made the list for this year’s Clean 15? Continue reading
GMO: Genetically modified organisms (GMO) have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques.
Genetically modified foods (GM) are food sources that have been genetically altered for a number of different reasons. Those reasons include making fruit and veggies larger and seedless as well as making them resistant to certain kinds of pesticides.
Genetically modified foods were first put on the market in 1996. The most common genetically modified foods include soybeans, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and papaya. Continue reading
After last week’s disappointing attempt to label GMOs via California’s Prop 37 didn’t pass, many are left wondering what the next step is. The fight to get food labeled isn’t over and the conversation about the safety of genetically modified products has reached a whole new audience.
Until there are sufficient laws in place letting consumers know exactly what is in their food, there are several ways to proactively filter out foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
Here are three simple tips from the Non-GMO Shopping Guide for avoiding GMOs:
1. Buy organic. Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients. Buy products labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.”
2. Look for Non-GMO project seals. Products that carry the Non-GMO Project Seal are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance. The Non-GMO Project is a nonprofit organization committed to providing consumers with clearly labeled and independently verified non-GMO choices.
3. Avoid at-risk ingredients. Continue reading
In two weeks, Californians will head to the polls to vote on Proposition 37 and decide whether or not genetically modified foods (GMO) should be labeled. The following was originally posted on Yes on 37 – CA Right to Know site.
Prop 37 is a simple label for genetically engineered foods. Also called GMOs, these are plants or animals that have had their DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria, in ways that can’t occur in nature. Here are 3 reasons why we need to label genetically engineered foods.
1. We have a right to know what we’re eating and feeding our families. The right to know and the right to choose are fundamental American values; and 90% of Americans want to know if their food is genetically engineered. More than 50 other countries already require labels on genetically engineered food. California consumers have a right to this information too. If you think we have a right to know what’s in our food, vote yes on Prop 37.
2. Gambling with our health and our children’s health. A growing body of peer-reviewed studies link genetically engineered foods to allergies and other health problems. Despite these warnings, long-term health studies have not been conducted, and the US FDA requires no health or safety testing – even though the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association say testing should be mandatory. The companies claim their genetically engineered foods are safe, but many people are skeptical of these studies because the companies are allowed to control the science and suppress research. While we wait for independent studies, let’s label genetically engineered foods so we have the right to choose for ourselves whether to take these risks. Continue reading
If you live in California, you’re going to be seeing a lot of the number 37 from now until November. Prop 37 is the initiative that will appear on ballots in November giving consumers the option to vote on placing labels on genetically modified foods (GMOs).
If Prop 37 passes, food products using genetically modified ingredients would be labeled as such. Be prepared to see a lot of Yes on 37 advocates at your local farmer’s market and tapered to the cars of the majority of the general public. According to JustLabelIt.org, 92% of Americans want the FDA to label genetically modified foods.
According to KCET, opponents of Prop 37 include the companies that make GMOs, particularly Monsanto, who have incredibly deep pockets and the best marketers money can buy, so the passing of Prop 37, even in a consumer-friendly state like California, is not a given. Continue reading
Just last week, the Senate shot down a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to let states require labels on any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients. The amendment was rejected by an overwhelming 73 to 26 votes.
In the last year alone, 36 bills have been introduced in several states urging law makers to mandate labeling foods that have been genetically modified. California joins that list with an initiative on the ballot this coming November.
The Senate amendment, co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mark Begich (D-AK), would have given states the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering.
“This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate,” said Senator Sanders. “It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country. While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.” Continue reading