You hear the letters G-M-O thrown around a lot these days, but what does it mean? At Heroes Fitness we want our members to be healthy all of the time, including what you are putting into your body. Food is just as important as gym time and we want to help you make the right decisions outside of our gym too.
So this week we want to share with you the world of GMOs—what they are, where they come from, and what they are in. So let’s start at the beginning. GMO stands for “genetically modified organisms.” They consist of plants and animals that have been genetically engineered with DNS from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals to create an organism that otherwise would not be found naturally.
Essentially, GMOs exist to be able to withstand powerful herbicides or pesticides, and therefore be able to produce a product on a mass scale. The processed food industry is the largest abuser of GMOs, but they can be found in what would seem to be natural products, such as corn, summer squash, and papaya.
The top 5 most prevalent GMO crops in America are: sugar beets, soy, cotton, canola, and corn. These products then end up as common ingredients found in packaged foods.
- Corn = corn syrup, corn starch.
- Soy = hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
- Canola = canola oil.
- Sugar beets = processed sugar.
- Cotton = cottonseed oil.
- Various food additives including flavoring agents, nutritional supplementation, thickeners and pH regulators.
- Meat and dairy animals as well as farmed fish may eat GMO feed since GMOs are prevalent in the commodity grain market.1
At Heroes Fitness we suggest trying to avoid your GMO ingestion by eating clean. This means stick with your fruits and veggies, and try to fill out your diet with organic protein and grains. We understand that it is difficult and not always cost-effective, but the first step to eating more healthfully is being educated. Just being aware of the widespread of GMO products in the food that lines our local grocery store aisles will help you make better decisions.
Though no legislation has been passed on a federal level to mandate GMO labelling, it is a hot topic among the states. Here is some more reading about GMOs and their impact on the individual and global level. Be in the know, and say no to GMO!
If you have more questions about the nature of GMOs, come in to chat with one of our personal trainers and nutrition experts. We are here to help our members in any way that we can. Feel free to share your thoughts about GMOs and the future of our food industry. We’d love to hear what you think.
1. Whole Foods Market website, http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/gmo-quick-facts-what-why-where