Editor’s note: Wellness Brief is a monthly column that will look at all aspects of health and living well, and offer tips on how to bring well-being into your daily life.
By now, you’ve likely heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the health controversy swirling around them. Learn more about this debate below:
What are genetically modified organisms? GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides.
Am I eating GMOs? Most likely. Since several common ingredients, like corn starch and soy protein, are derived from genetically modified crops, it’s difficult to avoid genetically modified foods altogether. In fact, GMOs are present in 60% to 70% of foods on U.S. supermarket shelves, according to Bill Freese at the Center for Food Safety. The vast majority of processed foods contain GMOs.
How long have I been eating GMOs? Scientists conducted the first genetically engineered food trials in the late 1980s. Modified corn, soy beans, cotton, and canola are a few of the results.
Is our food safe? Some scientists fear that GMOs could cause autoimmune/allergic reactions in humans due to the fact that our bodies find these organisms foreign and attack them just as they would a bacteria or virus. Considering the significance of this health debate, however, I urge you to do further research before making any dietary decisions.
Are food companies required to let me know whether their products contain GMOs? Not in the U.S. Sixty-four other countries require GMO food labeling, according to Freese. The recent string of “Right to Know” bills in state assemblies across the country deal with this issue—the bills are aimed to require food companies to label any products that contain genetically modified organisms.
If a product is certified USDA-organic, however; it is GMO free.
Check out Lorraine’s website. AttainYourVision.com. She has a pdf of the full version of this article, along with videos. One of her videos illustrates how to shop at Whole Foods Market and purchase organic, non-GMO foods without spending your whole paycheck. Email her at Lorraine@AttainYourVision.com, or find her on social media: Twitter:@LorraineDAversa; YouTube: bit.ly/11leRDF.
Common Food Myths — Busted!
Myth: It is too expensive to shop at health food markets like Whole Foods and Sprouts.
Why it’s busted: A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive, on behalf of Whole Foods Markets, Inc., showed that Americans continue to spend money on organic food, in spite of the challenging economy. It also included the results of a nationwide, competitive pricing study of national supermarket chains. Completed by an independent, third-party firm, the study evaluated the prices of a basket of 14 products, nearly all of which were organic: Seattle, WA: Whole Foods: $35.87; Fred Meyer (Kroger): $39.26; San Francisco, CA: Whole Foods: $35.86; Safeway: $46.06, Fairfax, VA: Whole Foods: $35.66; Wegmans: $40.66; Atlanta, GA: Whole Foods: $36.76; Publix: $39.66.
Whole Food, Plant-Strong Recipe of the Month: Confetti Vegetable SaladOffered by Courtney Gibb, CBA/DBA’s Communications & Marketing Specialist, December’s Whole Food, Plant-Strong Recipe winner.
- • 6 C corn
- • 1 C edamame beans (shelled)
- • 2 C skinny green beans, blanched
- and cut into pieces
- • 1 C grape tomatoes,
- halved lengthwise
- • 1 avocado, cubed
- • 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
- • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- • 1 t honey
- • 1 t kosher salt
- • 1/2 t ground black pepper
In a bowl, toss together corn, edamame, green beans, tomatoes and avocado. In a second bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add vinaigrette to salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to let it marinate.
The winner of this month’s $25 gift certificate to Whole Foods Market for her delicious, plant-strong and nutritious recipe is Andie Shore. Look for Andie’s recipe in next month’s Docket.
Please send your favorite Whole Food, Plant-Strong Recipe to Lorraine D’Aversa at email@example.com. Each month, we will select one recipe to appear in The Docket. Winners receive a $25 gift certificate to Whole Foods Market.