List of Vegetables That Are Genetically Modified
Genetically modified vegetables have been engineered to possess qualities that are not naturally present in the food. Scientists are able to take the genes from one plant or animal and insert them into the DNA of another, making the modified organism grow faster and larger, or to be more resistant to disease. The FDA has deemed genetically modified foods safe, but they remain controversial. If you want to avoid genetically modified foods in your diet, beware of these frequently modified vegetables.
Soybeans are the most common genetically modified vegetable in the United States. According to The Center for Food Safety, 91 percent of soybeans are genetically modified. Soybeans are certainly not the most popular vegetable on an American dinner plate, but you might be consuming more soy than you think. Soy is a common ingredient in processed foods, for example. Read the ingredients list to check for soy before you purchase a packaged food.
Corn is the largest crop grown in the United States, and according to the Center for Food Safety, up to 85 percent of U.S.-grown corn is genetically modified. Like soybeans, corn is a widespread ingredient in processed foods and may show up in products such as corn starch, corn flour, corn meal or corn syrup.
Very few fresh fruits and vegetables in your local grocery store are genetically modified. Potatoes are one of the genetically engineered vegetables available in the United States, but only a small percentage of potatoes for sale to consumers have been modified. According to Healthy Child Healthy World, the Burbank Russet is the only genetically modified potato variety on grocery store shelves.
Other genetically modified vegetables that have been approved for sale in the U.S. are tomatoes, radicchio, zucchini and yellow squash. The majority of fresh fruits and vegetables on the market are not genetically engineered. Food manufacturers are not required to report on the label if a food has been genetically modified, but some manufactures voluntarily label products non-GMO for non-genetically modified organism. You can also avoid modified foods by purchasing organic foods.
Becky Bell is a registered dietitian with experience in the areas of diabetes, chronic kidney disease and general nutrition. Bell holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Olivet Nazarene University and a Master of Science in human nutrition from the University of Alabama.