Above is the backside of a tub of Smart Balance spread, a very common margarine of sorts, one I bet we’ve all eaten at one time or another. As for me, I used to purchase this product armed with full confidence that it was good for me, that it was the healthier alternative to butter. My husband recently bought a brand new tub of it, in fact. So just for kicks, I put my readers on and “turned the tub around” to inspect the ingredients. Well, the news is not so good here folks.
It turns out that Smart Balance is chock full of GMOs. Everything highlighted in yellow is a GMO by-product, meaning it comes from a crop that is genetically modified. In this case, two of the four main genetically modified crops are represented – soy and canola. Given that tocopheryl acetate is derived from multiple vegetable oils, it’s likely that engineered corn and cotton are in the mix as well. How do we know these are GMO products? The Center for Food Safety reports that currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). The article goes on to say upwards of 70 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients. Source Article.
Elsewhere on the carton, this product boasts of being gluten-free, gelatin-free, and, this just kills me, containing no chemically modified oils. Of course, the label is referring to the fact that there are no trans-fats and that is a good thing, but my point is that it is SO misleading to read “no chemically modified oils” when every oil in the product is genetically modified!
I have blogged about GMO ingredients before (see These Foods are GMO and Spotting the GMO ingredients) but am hitting this point again because it’s so important. GMOs are everywhere, and it’s time we all knew!