One of the hottest trends is eating foods closer to how they are found in nature. Many of us are choosing freshly milled oats for breakfast instead of highly processed bagels, or making dinner with farmers’ market finds instead of supermarket convenience foods. Our grab-and-go snacks, however, often miss the mark. These tips will help you find bars, chips and sweets that are made with wholesome ingredients such as non-GMO grains and Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. GMO-free snacking just got a little bit easier.
1. Look for snacks made with quinoa, rye or oats. There are no genetically modified (GM) varieties of these grains so you can be guaranteed that what you’re consuming is 100 percent GMO-free. Genetically engineered corn accounted for 92 percent of U.S. corn acreage is 2016, so you may want to think twice about corn snacks. While there are no GM varieties of wheat and rice being used in the U.S., the Non-GMO Project reports that these varieties do exist and could potentially infiltrate our farm fields.
2. Choose snacks made with natural fats such as sunflower, peanut or Malaysian palm oil. Soy, canola and corn oils are likely to be made with genetically modified crops. An astonishing 94 percent of soybeans and 90 percent of canola fields are GM, according to the USDA. Due to its naturally long shelf life and creamy texture, many food manufacturers now use Malaysian palm oil in their products. This healthy oil is also naturally trans fat free and loaded vitamin E tocotrienols.
3. Sweet snacks have a 50-50 chance of being GMO-free. According to the USDA, about 45 percent of the U.S.’s total sugar production is derived from GMO-free sugarcane. The other 55 percent comes from sugar beets, of which 90 percent are genetically modified. What’s a snacker to do? If a sweet snack is on your list, you’ll look for products made with natural sweeteners such as raw honey, molasses, dates or maple syrup.