How to avoid GMO foods at the store.

Finding produce that is local, organic and/or non-genetically modified at the grocery can be very difficult, not to mention time consuming as you turn little pieces of fruit over trying to find the tiny print that says where it was grown and what it is. Sometimes, it doesn't say. But you know those stickers with numbers on them that you always have to peel off? Well, turns out they actually tell you how the food was grown.

Here's what the numbers mean:

A four-digit code means the produce is conventionally farmed
A five-digit code beginning with 9 means it's organic
A five-digit code beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified

So A conventionally grown banana would be:
An organic banana would be:
And a genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be:

By 2001, over 1200 numbers had been assigned by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark, Delaware-based trade group for the produce industry.

GM foods have only been in stores a decade or so, so science is still unsure what long-term effects they may havae on the body. They also pose the great risksthrough cross pollination with non-gm crops of threatening biodiversity. Europe has banned them. Gee, think they may know something we don't? Or do they just value caution over profit? Personally, I am with Europe on this one -- I'd rather stick with the bounty of Mother Nature than take a chance on my DNA, which will be copied for generations down the line. I may not be able to control all pollution, peak oil issues, the national deficit, or other human ills that my children will inherit, but my DNA, that is something I think I should have some say in.

Don't you?


Jessie (stonefeather) said...

nice blog. thanx for the info :-)
too bad they don't have codes for gm meats. good thing there's a beef stand just down the road. oh and stuart family beef is now certified humane.

Anonymous said...

Now, this is actually news to me (which is surprising)! Do you have a source for this? I'd love to dig into it a bit further. The Real Food Media blog network is about to launch a nation-wide No GMO challenge, and this will be very helpful to people wanting to take it.

(AKA FoodRenegade)

Healing Green said...

I originally was emailed the basics by a colleague, and did more research -- you can find a bit more at http://www.plantea.com/genetically-modified-foods.htm, and on idealbite.com. I'm glad I could help!