It’s Memorial Day Weekend, a time for barbeques, picnics, and celebrating the beginning of summer with friends and family. Everyone wants to relax and have fun, not worry about the safety of everything you’re eating. This can be challenging when attending picnics and parties at the homes of, shall we say less aware people.
I am a vegetarian, so I was navigating picnics and dinner parties with special diet needs before I even heard of GMOs. The key is to let the celebration be the center of attention not your dietary choices. These are friends and family members. People who know and care about you. If they don’t already know about you limiting GMOs in your diet a quiet word beforehand is a good idea. I’ll admit the vegetarian conversation is easier than the GMO conversation. Assure your hosts you don’t want to disrupt their party. They will probably ask you some questions about what it means for their menu plans. You can tell them a few preferences or guidelines and let them know you’ll bring a dish (or two) that everyone can enjoy.
I have found bringing food to be the best solution to a happy time for all. It is the polite thing to do, contributing a food gift. It assures you will have food there you feel safe eating, and it takes pressure off your hosts to accommodate what may be a foreign food concept.
Once you are there just be strategic about what you choose, but you do that, or are learning to do that anyway. Then relax and enjoy the party.
Of course the safest bet is to do the shopping and cooking yourself so here are some shopping guidelines and resources.
Look for the Non GMO Project Label. This is the fastest growing label in the natural products industry. While it does not guarantee that the product is GMO free, they do require testing of all products know to be grown GMO in the United States. Then they require rigorous traceability and segregation practices to ensure the items tested are actually used in the product. For a full list of their standards you can go to their website here Understanding the Non GMO Project Seal
Since 2013 you can also look for the GMO Guard Label.
You can find their standards here GMO Guard Standards
They check products, factories, and even packaging to verify it is free of GMO corn products.
You can use a shopping guide like the one presented by The Institute for Responsible Technology. It is available as a PDF or as an app for your I-phone. Non GMO Shopping Guide Website
Finally, you can avoid GMO likely foods. Earlier this week I listed the top 5; here is the other half of the top ten list.
The Other Top 5 GMO Foods
Milk – 1/5 of the dairy cows in the US have been given rGBH a bovine growth hormone.
Aspartame – For uses and health risks check out the My Food Friend Post on Aspartame
Now you can greatly increase your ability to eat GMO free while voting with your dollars for a non-GMO marketplace.
Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday and don’t forget to join your local March Against Monsanto. To find the event near you go to the March Against Monsanto Event Chart