We know that the vast majority of corn, soybeans, and much of many other crops are genetically modified, but do we know how the how much GMOs are consumed each year? Actually, yes. Average Americans today eat about 193 pounds of genetically modified foods over 12 months—and that’s an underestimate, according to the Environmental Working Group.
EWG analyzed data from 2011 provided by the US Department of Agriculture to investigate how much GMOs Americans were eating annually. Four foods—sugar beets, corn syrup, soybean oil, and corn-based products—were selected for calculation, with 95 percent of sugar beets, 93 percent of soybeans, and 88 percent of corn grown in the US being some of the top genetically modified foods.
They found that the average American adult, weighing 179 pounds, consumes 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil, and 29 pounds of corn-based products each year. This means the average American eats more than his or her body weight in GMOs annually—likely more than that.
GMOs can be found aplenty in the average grocery store (and even Whole Foods, despite marketing claims). EWG did not include in their study the myriad other GM foods we eat every year; here are some GMO foods to add to your GMO foods list.
- Yellow squash
- Sugar cane
Neither did EWG include the animals we put on our plates that have been trapped on the equivalent of an economy airplane seat for two years while having GMO candies, sweets, and corn shoveled down their throats. (And no wonder factory farmers are happy to feed corn to their naturally ruminant cows—it makes them gain more weight!)
Children and Hispanic Americans at Greater risk
Research by EWG also indicates that children—who are increasingly experiencing obesity—are at greater risk of consuming more GMOs because of their superior sugar intake. It’s a small wonder if you know that children, who spend an average of seven hours in front of a screen daily, are exposed to more than 15,000 ads each year involving candies and snacks. Hispanic Americans, too, are at risk because they eat between two and three times more corn flour than do those of other ethnicities.
GMOs have been under fire for years as harmful for people and the environment. Numerous studies have implicated it with various conditions, including significant organ disruption (especially of liver and kidneys) and fertility problems. EWG brings up that these studies are difficult to conduct, especially in America where our own USDA is in bed with Monsanto, because the latter decides who gets to study or test what patented GMO.
With even the New York Times writer Mark Bittman apologizing for not calling out the flaws of the Stanford organic food study sooner, it’s becoming increasingly important for those of us who can to demand that our government allow us to decide for ourselves if we want to eat GMOs. Tell our government: just label it.