Seven Steps You Can Take to Reduce Cooking with Genetically Engineered Ingredients at Thanksgiving
It’s Thanksgiving week and as families across the nation come together, the soaring rates of allergies, diabetes, obesity and cancer continue to impact the lives of our families, making it even more of a challenge to get a Thanksgiving meal on the table. But with Thanksgiving being one of the most significant meals of the year, there is so much that you can do to protect the health of your loved ones.
Because so many popular Thanksgiving dishes may use ingredients for which no long-term human trials have ever been conducted – ingredients that have been genetically engineered to withstand increasing doses of toxic weed killer or to create their own insecticidal toxins – a few simple ideas may be all that is needed to avoid these uninvited ingredients in your Thanksgiving meal until the FDA labels them, which is what a recent ABC poll indicated that 93% of the American public wanted.
So if you are looking for ways to avoid these ingredients in your Thanksgiving meal, here are a few suggestions. But remember, don’t make “the perfect” the enemy of “the good”. Since we’re already juggling so many dietary needs this holiday season, from allergies, to diabetes, to gluten-free, do what you can, with what you have, where you are, and focus on progress not perfection.
- When you can, choose organic eggs, as they are not from chickens fed corn or soy that has been genetically engineered
- Cook with olive oil instead of conventional butter, margarine or vegetable oil which most likely contain genetically engineered ingredients
- Look for dairy products (milk, cream, butter) labeled “rbGH-free” or “USDA Organic” as they do not contain artificial growth hormones created from a genetically engineered e.coli bacteria
- Avoid products that contain conventional soy and corn (soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup) since most are likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients
- Look for products labeled “non-GMO” or “USDA Organic” because by law they are not allowed to contain these genetically engineered ingredients.
- Cook without the can (since canned foods often contain a lot of corn and soy derivatives, click here for some No-Can Recipes)
- Eat like your grandmother did and steer clear of processed foods
Or try a few of the tips below:
Cranberry Sauce: Because most fresh fruits are not genetically engineered, you can use fresh cranberries and 100 percent sugar from sugar cane to make a cranberry sauce without any genetically engineered ingredients. This is an easy and delicious way to avoid canned cranberry sauces, which may contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup which could contain genetically engineered corn. And it’s a great way to get family members involved!
Oven Roasted Vegetables: Chop up and cube some sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, broccoli and potatoes and throw them into a casserole dish. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper before roasting in the oven on 400 for about 30 minutes.
Green Bean with Carmelized Onions: Slice and sautee some red onions in a little bit of olive oil while boiling green beans for about 6 or 7 minutes. Add some water or vegetable broth to the onions and mix in some sugar before adding in the green beans. Quick and easy without any genetically engineered ingredients.
And while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something. So until the FDA labels genetically engineered food for Americans as these foods have been labeled for eaters in over fifty countries around the world, pick one thing that you can do to get started either at home or online to protect the health of our families. Use the True Food Shopper’s Guide from the Center for Food Safety to find products that don’t contain genetically engineered ingredients, purchase “USDA Organic” products when you can (since by law they’re not allowed to contain these ingredients) and let the FDA know, as over 300,000 other Americans already have along with hundreds of organizations, just how much this issue means to you and the health of your family.
Because together, we can create the changes we want to see in the health of our families, our country and our food system.