“Nutrition labels don’t always tell the whole story,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “Hundreds of chemicals [are] simply dubbed ‘flavorings’ [and] hormones injected into your beef, poultry or dairy go completely unlisted.”
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- crops that have been scientifically designed to be herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant -- are more commonplace than ever before. In the mid 1990s, the FDA approved GMOs for commercial cultivation and now more than 90 percent of certain crops, such as soy and canola, come from genetically engineered seeds.
Dr. Travis explains how GMOs amplify crop production and sustainability but, despite the agricultural benefits, no long-term studies have been conducted on the nutritional safety of the genetic engineering process.
The Doctors demonstrate how to interpret supermarket produce codes to know which PLU (Price Look-Up) stickers on fruits and vegetables are GMOs versus conventionally or organically grown.
4-digit code beginning with #4
Crop may have been exposed to synthetically manufactured pesticides but is not genetically modified.
5-digit code beginning with #9
“Organic” is usually visible on the PLU sticker. Crop may still have been exposed to naturally derived pesticides, but is not genetically modified.
Similar to antibiotic resistance, farmers are now beginning to see “superweeds” and “superbugs”, such as rootworms, which are increasingly devastating, particularly to GMO crops. In addition, the GMO seed line may inadvertently be spread via wind currents, causing cross-pollination with conventional and/or organic crops.
“The intent [of GMOs] is good,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. “We know that [there are] millions of people in the world, if not billions, who aren’t getting enough to eat, so if we can do those things to ensure that there are more crops growing [and] that there is more food available, then it’s a plus. But, do we know the long-term effects of this?”
"That may be one of the reasons why things like food allergies [and] autoimmune problems are skyrocketing,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears adds. "Peanut allergies in kids have tripled in the last decade."
Commercialized GMO Crops in the U.S.
Sugar Beets (95%)
Hawaiian Papaya (more than 50%)
• See how the Fooducate phone app scans grocery store product barcodes, analyzes and grades the ingredients, and suggests a more nutritious alternative.
• For a list of foods you should buy organic, aka “The Dirty Dozen”, click here.
• Learn more about dangerous chemicals and additives that could be lurking in your food.
• The shocking ingredient behind natural raspberry flavoring.
Other Healthy Phone Apps
• Restaurant Nutrition
• Food Additives
• HarvestMark Food Traceability
• What’s on My Food
• Good Guide
• CSPI Chemical Cuisine