Healthytarian Minutes with holistic teacher Evita Ochel. This episode provides guidance and tips to avoid genetically modified foods for best health and wellbeing.

Further resources:

  1. Website: Institute for Responsible Technology
  2. Website: GMO Awareness
  3. Article: Scientist speaks out about GMO dangers

Learn how to eat an optimal diet for your health and weight with the Eat Real Food: Whole-Food, Plant-Based Eating online video program:

Video transcript:

Aside from eating the right foods for the human body, in the right amounts for our personal needs, we also need to consider the quality of our food on our journey of optimal health. In addition to eating organic, local, seasonal and fresh food, as much as possible, it is also wise to avoid genetically engineered food.

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, include plants and animals who have had their DNA changed to include the DNA of another organism. BT corn is a common example, where the corn includes the DNA of a bacterium. GMOs have been found to be hazardous to both our health and the health of our environment, resulting in various risks and negative consequences.

Currently, over 60 countries label GMOs, so that consumers can make smart choices. Unfortunately countries like Canada and the US do not, where GMOs are found in the majority of processed foods. Here is what you can do to avoid consuming and supporting GMOs.

Buy certified organic foods, which cannot intentionally include any GMOs. Such foods will include at minimum 1 organic certification label and if they are fresh fruits or vegetables will have a produce sticker that begins with the number 9.

Focus on real, whole and unrefined foods, as much as possible, and minimize or avoid processed foods.

If you buy any processed, packaged foods, aside from any organic options, choose ones with the “Non-GMO Project” verification label. Note that foods with this label are not automatically healthy or good choices.

If you eat any animal foods, know that unless they were certified organic, they are routinely fed with GMO foods, like soy, corn and alfalfa, which then end up in your body.

Avoid these high risk foods and ingredients, unless they are organic:

  • corn, including fresh, frozen, popcorn, corn starch, corn flour, corn syrup and corn oil
  • soy, including tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy protein, soy sauce and soybean oil
  • canola, specifically canola oil
  • cottonseed, specifically cottonseed oil
  • sugar beets, commonly listed as “sugar” on ingredient lists
  • Hawaiian papaya
  • yellow and green zucchini

Be mindful that many supplements, like vitamins and probiotics, also commonly contain GMOs. Always be sure to read all of your ingredients and make smart choices when dining out as well.

To learn more about GMOs, visit the Institute for Responsible Technology at

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