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    You Ask, I Answer: Genetically Modified Beans

    beansI’ve been trying to eat more organic and “real”  food (as well as staying away from soybeans) since seeing the movie “Food Inc.”

    Are beans like pinto  beans, black beans, and kidney beans genetically modified?

    Should I buy organic?

    Susan (last name withheld)
    Grand Rapids, MI

    While I understand your concern about soybeans, there is no need to completely shun it from your diet.

    Keep in mind that the vast majority of genetically-modified soybeans are used to make processed food.

    Since soy is a subsidized crop, the production of soybean oil, soy flour, and soy protein isolate is extremely cheap.

    Next time you are at the store, take a look at processed “junk” food and you are bound to see some, if not all, of these ingredients.

    If you see the words “non-GMO” or “not genetically modified” on a package of tofu or tempeh, you can trust those soybeans have not been tampered with.

    While it is absolutely possible to have a healthy diet without a single soybean, tempeh (fermented soy) is chock-full of nutrition and healthy compounds.

    Companies like Lightlife and Turtle Island offer non-genetically-modified varieties.  If you like how it tastes, certainly continue to consume it!

    While genetically modified kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans certainly exist, they are not as rampant as genetically modified soybeans.

    Buying organic is a fairly good precaution — organic food can not, by definition, be bioengineered.  I say “fairly good” because there are some loopholes.

    I do want to point out that many conventional (meaning “not organic”) beans are NOT genetically modified.

    However, since there are currently no mandatory labeling guidelines for genetically modified food, consumers are kept in the dark.


    One Comment

    1. Christine said on February 1st, 2010

      Nice to see you back, Andy.
      And I will admit, beans are one of the hardest things to keep in my diet. I eat them regularly but I don’t particularly enjoy them.

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