By now, you probably know about genetically modified organisms or GMO. They are very controversial as they are considered a solution to world hunger, while others think of them as very unhealthy. While the debate is still ongoing in many parts of the world, what’s more important is that you should know what GMO means and which among the foods and ingredients are genetically engineered.

GMOs, simply put, are plants and animals that have gone through a process where scientists change their genes by implanting DNA from other organisms, viruses, or bacteria. The process is performed in order to get the desired traits, such as the ability to fight diseases and strong pesticide tolerance. With this in mind, here are the genetically modified foods that you should watch out for when shopping at your local grocery store:

Aspartame

You know this as an artificial sweetener, which you use instead of sugar. Many people, including experts, question the safety of this ingredient to the body, especially now that it is linked to some cancers. It is injected with bacteria in order for it to be genetically modified.
Corn

Weight gain and disruption of organs are considered the aftereffects of modified corn. While not all corns are considered GMO, you should still be aware that half of the farms in the US grow genetically modified corn.

Cotton

Cotton is also modified, believe it or not. This is performed so as to resist disease and increase yield. While this is not food on its own, it is actually an ingredient found in cotton oil, which is used in cooking. Sometimes, it is also an ingredient in margarine. You should definitely avoid cotton that comes from China and India since they are found to have a much higher risk in health than the ones from other countries.

Milk

Many of the cows in the United States have genes that have been altered to grow faster and have more yield. Unfortunately, when you drink the milk from these cows, the hormones injected to them will also enter the body. According to studies, they behave the same way as they do in cows once they are in your body.

Papaya

Yes, papayas are also modified in order for the plant to resist the Ringspot virus. The modification also helps delay the fruit’s maturity, so that the suppliers will be able to ship it to many supermarkets.

Sugar

It was back in 2009 when GMO sugar beets were introduced. They are modified to be resilient against Roundup virus.

Yellow Squash

Prone to insects, yellow squash is modified, so that it will be able to resist pests. You can compare this to zucchini since they have been both altered by scientists to resist viruses as well.

Zucchini

Speaking of zucchini, this GMO food has a toxic protein, which allows it to stand strong against insects. Unfortunately, when consumed, the insecticide can be found in your blood, which can be dangerous to fetuses and pregnant women. As a result, it has been discovered that the insecticide is actually being distributed to the body and not expelled.

Most of the foods on the list may surprise you. It is always better to arm yourself with knowledge about the items that may be genetically engineered, so as to cross them out of your shopping list.

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