Health Advice Paula Owens

Genetically engineered (GE) foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs); an infective process where a cell is infected with foreign material triggering significant inflammation in the gut and visceral organs.

Twenty-six countries throughout the world restrict or ban the use of GMOs. Vermont is the only state in the U.S. that requires manufacturers to label products made with GMOs. Many of the world’s educated consumers are pushing for either banning GMO crops or at least requiring GMO labeling.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, which is widely used in yards and gardens across the U.S. In 1990, 35 million liters of pesticides were sprayed on fields; in 2013 over 300 million liters were sprayed and that number continues to rise.

Sources of GMOs

• Ninety percent or more of ALL corn (flours, syrups and sweeteners), soybeans, rice, canola and cottonseed oils, and sugar beets grown in the U.S. are genetically modified,

• GMOs are found in ALL processed foods, some fruits and vegetables, and in alarming quantities in animal feed. If you eat processed foods, you’re consuming glyphosate residues.

• Honey and bee pollen may have GM sources of pollen.

• Non-food items that may contain GM ingredients include personal care products, aspartame found in some supplements, children’s vitamins, OTC medications and laxatives.

Know what you’re eating

There are unique PLU codes on fruits and vegetables for organic, conventionally grown and GM, which is usually four digits. A fifth digit may be prefixed to the code to indicate whether the fruit or vegetable is organic (prefixed by the numeral 9) or GM (prefixed by an 8).

Conventional apple. Grown with chemicals. The PLU code consists of four numbers, such as 4021

GM apple. The PLU code consists of five numbers beginning with the number 8, such as 84021.

Organic apple. The PLU code begins with the number 9, such as 94021.

Processed foods are GM and don’t carry PLU codes. Ingredients in processed foods specifically corn, canola oil and soy are GM and should be avoided at all costs.

Other items containing GMOs include infant formula, peanut butter, conventional animal protein, candy, beer, alcohol, salad dressing, coffee, bread, cereals, crackers, cookies, chocolate, chewing gum, fried food, chips, juice, margarine, mayonnaise, hamburgers, veggie burgers, hotdogs, ice cream, frozen yogurt, tofu, soy sauce, soy cheese, tomato sauce, some protein powders, baking powder, vanilla, sugar, flour and pasta.

How to avoid GMOs

• Stick to real food. Real food has NOT been injected with hormones, antibiotics, synthetic hormones or sprayed with poisonous pesticides and glyphosate. Real food does NOT come from a factory farm and is NOT found at a drive up window. Real food does NOT contain dyes and colorings, soybean, corn or canola oil, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, chemicals, preservatives or HFCS.

• Educate yourself on how to avoid GMOs.

• Always buy the Environmental Working Group’s list of “Dirty Dozen” veggies and fruit as organic.

• Buy certified-organic products, grass-fed butter and meats, free-range pastured poultry and eggs.

• Read the list of ingredients on every single product and specifically avoid soy and soybean oil, corn (syrup, meal, starch), canola, cottonseed and all vegetable oils, sugar, and most Hawaiian papaya.

• Paula Owens, M.S., is the author of “The Power of 4” and “Fat Loss Revolution.” An Ahwatukee resident for 22 years, she is a leading expert in nutrition, with more than 20 years of experience. For more information, visit

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