Saturday, March 29, 2014

4 Gen Farm

One thing that we say time and time again....EAT LOCAL.
Our lives revolve around food. We nourish our bodies with it, but we also celebrate, entertain and express affection with it. So it’s no surprise that we all want the healthiest, freshest, best-tasting food. To serve the best—and trigger other positive effects on the economy, the soil, wildlife and the welfare of those who raise what we eat—here are 8 reasons to shop for local foods:
  1. It’s better for everyone’s bottom line When we shop for local foods, we get the satisfaction of knowing that we are contributing to our local communities and economies. For example, research out of Brock University suggests $3 billion would be added to the local economy if 5 million Ontarians spent $10 of their grocery budget on local foods each week. You don’t always spend more to shop for local food; in some cases it can cost less because in-season foods are generally cheaper and travel costs are minimized. 
  2. It supports the future of farming The stronger our local farmer gets, the more we ensure local goods can be grown and raised for generations to come.
  3. It promotes biodiversity Our demand for local food creates greater variety. Farmers who run community-supported agriculture programs, sell at farmers’ markets and provide for local restaurants have the support they need to raise more types of produce and livestock than multinational commercial enterprises looking to squeeze every dollar out of one type of crop.
  4. It promotes cultural diversity Many local farmers are growing varieties of “culturally diverse” ingredients locally so traditional recipes from different heritages can still be honored and prepared—fresh—close to home.
  5. It empowers consumers Shopping locally gives us a chance to engage our growers directly. Building a relationship with farmers is fun—who doesn’t love a trip to the farmers’ market! We get to learn something new about our food, including when the freshest produce is in-season. And we are reassured when we ask growers directly about sustainable production, including whether pesticides are used. It’s important to ask about growing practices because buying local does not automatically mean the food is sustainably produced.
  6. It promotes a greater sense of family When we buy local foods, we are encouraged and inspired by our food. Who doesn’t spy a brimming basket of apples and think, “homemade apple pie!” We hit the kitchen, whipping up favorite family recipes and applying our creative juices. And then, we get to savor the bounty with loved ones, enjoying the experience slowly, talking about the effort and the end result (rather than wolfing down pre-made reconstituted food with the TV on!).
  7. It boosts our well-being Of course, when local foods are grown sustainably, using humane animal practices and without pesticides and chemical fertilizers, we can also be confident that our food is healthier and environmentally friendly. So every time you buy food grown in your region, you can feel good knowing you are making a difference.
  8. It tastes better! Finally, local foods taste better because they are in-season, recently harvested and didn’t have to travel far to get to our plates.

    Here is a great farm that was recommended by someone that we trust.

    4 Gen Farm is your local source of tasty, wholesome food for your family. Know where your food comes from!

    Know where your food comes from!

     Know your farmer!

     They are 4 generations working together, working with the land, and natural relationships (soil enrichment, water, animals, companion plants) in a transparent, responsible, trustworthy manner to provide wonderful, tasty, clean, nutritious food for local families.


    Contact Information
    Phone:  (743) 439-7674
    Get Directions:





    Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Happy World Down Syndrome Day!!!

    Annual Balloon Release
    Each year our Down syndrome families meet for a balloon release in honor of all our Down syndrome darlings.  This is the second year and we had an amazing time.  We are so blessed to have such support.  I love watching what God is doing in Arkansas.

    Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
    Mark 11:24
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
    Philippians 4:4     
     I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
    Philippians 4:13    
    Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
    Psalm 127:3-5

    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    Philippians 4:4-7
    Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!   
    Psalm 98:4

    Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    Ephesians 5:20     

    Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
    Psalm 106:1

    Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, +the fruit of the womb a reward. 
    Psalm 127:3

    Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 
    2 Corinthians 9:15     

    Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  
    Romans 15:2

    May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 
    Colossians 1:11

    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 
    Jeremiah 29:11
    For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.  
    Psalm 33:21

    My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.  
    Psalm 71:23
    The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song
    I give thanks to him. 
    Psalm 28:7

    You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.  
    Acts 2:28
    Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
    1 Corinthians 5:8

    “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.   
    John 15:12-13

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  
    John 14:12-14     

    And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
    Colossians 3:14

    And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.
    2 Corinthians 6:18     

    Let all that you do be done in love.   
    1 Corinthians 16:14

    A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.   
    John 13:34

    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.   
    1 Corinthians 13:13

    Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 
    1 John 4:11
    For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  
    Galatians 5:14     

    Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!   
    1 Chronicles 16:34   

    “For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.  
    2 Samuel 22:50     

    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
    Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
    Philippians 4:1

    This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
    Psalm 118:24     
      “Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently, nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” And the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” Exodus 4:10-12

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Homemade videos to teach everything

    I recently completed our 4th homemade video to help teach our 2 1/2 year old daughter who has Down syndrome. This method is effective for so many things, so I thought I would share it. My 2 and 4 year old daughters enjoy watching television, but they are usually only allowed to watch learning type shows or DVD's. I thought I would take this genuine interest and use it to my benefit.

    The videos I make are a combination of Your Baby Can Read (which is like Rosetta Stone for kids) and Your Child Can Discover, Brillkids, Brainy Baby videos, Baby Babble  and Watch Me Learn. They include video modeling, which is a visual teaching method that occurs by watching a video of someone modeling a targeted behavior or skill and then imitating the behavior/skill watched. Presley likes to toss things off the table, so I put several "on the table" clips in the video with plenty of praise. I continue to reinforce sight word recognition and explanations by saying flashcards in short bursts and reading books. I do songs and phrases with anticipated words that Presley likes, such as "Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you _______" and Presley says "are" and we continue to pull words out of her as we go through the entire song. Also, ready, set, ______ and she makes her sound for "Go" each time. She has participated more actively in the conversations after beginning the videos. I want my daughter to know how to say "I love you" and know that she is very loved, so there are many times it is said and displayed. She leans over to hug and kiss me and say "mmuwah" each time she sees it on the screen.

    I originally taught both my girls sight word recognition. After they had a grasp of words have meaning, I added some phonics. Presley is a very physical little girl, she walked and climbed early for DS, so speech was on the back burner for her. She can read over 150 words, knows her colors, shapes, numbers, and the alphabet with letter recognition and sound them out phonetically. However, talking has not flowed as quickly. To encourage talking, I made this video using the CVCS speech words with a close up of my mouth for imitation purposes. Presley is a very visual learner (as most children are with special needs), so saying it to her over and over did nothing. I had my 4 year old do what comes naturally for her, to be silly in front of the camera to explain each word immediately after I said it.

    We had fun taking photos to teach emotions and presented it three different ways within this last video. I also had my older daughter show how fun sequencing could be by using the Simply Smarter app ( and identifying different body parts. Also, what looks like two little girls just playing, is actually two girls learning and following directions, which will help improve sequencing.

    Suggestions you can accomplish:

    * teaching the alphabet letters, numbers, colors, shapes
    * teaching sight words or phonics
    * displaying positive behaviors that you want to promote (exclude the negative ones) and show the praise that follows
    * teaching emotions or feelings
    * how to react in certain situations and for social interactions
    * sequencing and following directions
    * enunciation of proper speech sounds or words
    * Teach them to properly clean or pick up their room, show them what you mean when you say to clean their room
    * Teach sounds of things like birds, trains, cars, airplanes, etc...
    * Teach songs and children's games like Ring Around the Rosy, Wheels on the Bus, etc...
    * Show family members in loud rooms and how they remain calm and socially interactive or someone getting into an elevator and pushing buttons if your child is bothered by situations like these
    * Reading books
    * Concepts such as in, out, up, down, on, off, above, below, etc...
    * Teach the five senses, days of the week, months of the year, seasons
    * Addition/subtraction

    We used Windows Live Movie Maker to make these videos. These homemade videos are really a family event as each family member is always in the video. It reinforces positive behaviors that are seen as well as positive feedback that they can see and hear over and over. It shows children it is ok for both children and adults to be silly. They have fun making it, and they LOVE watching themselves be the star of the show later. You will enjoy not having to repeat certain things numerous times, because they will see it on the video. You can slip serious learning in between the fun clips and they keep their eyes on the screen knowing the next clip features them. I hope this inspires you and helps your child accomplish new and great things. Good luck and happy learning! Blessings, Robin

    Here is a link to our latest video about emotions, following directions, and speech sounds:


    Here is a previous video to learn concepts such as in, out, on, off, above and more:

    Here we were teaching colors and reading sight words with left over party balloons:

    Here is Presley going through a book I made her of words I know she can say:

    Here is Payton reading to Presley. Payton made up her own version of "Pete the Cat and his four buttons".


    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    Brain Development in Down Syndrome May Be Enhanced, Doctor Suggests

    Emmalin is very excited with this latest article supporting our beliefs.

    TUCSON, Ariz., March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Genetic diseases are generally thought to be untreatable, but the underlying mechanisms are biochemical and thus can possibly be modified, writes Los Angeles obstetrician P.J. Baggot, M.D., in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
    Down syndrome results from an extra copy of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21), and thus three copies of each gene instead of two. Either excess or deficiency of various factors can have a detrimental effect on brain development, which involves both proliferation of nerve cells and selective pruning.

    Baggot provides three case reports of mothers who attempted to enhance their babies' brain development both before and after birth. They used nutritional supplements, including high-dose vitamins, and stimulation through music and reading aloud.
    Four babies (one set of twins) were born lacking typical facial features of Down syndrome, despite confirmation of the diagnosis through chromosome typing. 
    Intellectual development far exceeded expectations. One child at 34 months met some speech milestones for four-year-olds. A video demonstrated a 17-month infant reading and responding with gestures. A second video showed a 23-month infant reading aloud from flash cards. A third video showed a newborn crawling on the third day of life. These achievements would be admirable in children without Down syndrome.

    Previously, six randomized controlled trials showed no benefit from multivitamins in Down syndrome. However, treatments were limited in duration and given late in development; most had no patients under age five. According to Baggot's "five-square" developmental enhancement paradigm, it may have been too late.
    "In development, timing is everything," Baggot writes. A valid treatment given too late may have no detectable effect. But correction of nutrient deficiencies earlier, even prior to conception, may have effects years or decades later. Intrauterine factors may have a bearing on adult diseases at ages 60 to 80.

    There is now a mouse model for Down syndrome, Baggot writes. The Ts65Dn mouse is trisomic for most of the genes found on human chromosome 21. It has physiologic, anatomic, and functional impairments similar to those in human Down syndrome. Prenatal and postnatal biochemical treatment and environmental stimulation have led to behavioral and cognitive improvement, as well as brain growth and more neural connections.

    The replication, survival, and organization of brain cells can be enhanced in many ways, Baggot concludes. "Case reports suggest that several nutrients and drugs are promising. Experiments with mouse models may lead to effective treatments. Proper timing of treatment is crucial."

    Importantly, "better understanding of brain development could benefit all children, not just those with Down syndrome."
    The Journal is the official, peer-reviewed publication of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.

    SOURCE Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

    Where we started-June 2011-December 2013

    Emma Reading February 2013

    August 2013-Talking at 25 months

    August 2013-Reading at 25 months

    November 2013-Sorting-2 years 4 months

    November 2013-Strong girl sliding

    November 2014-Letters

    January 2014-Calling the HOGS!!

    January 2014-Naming objects

    February 2014-80 Word in 5 Minutes

    March 2014-Emma Reading First Book


    Read more:

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Blueberries before blood draws

    Wild Blueberry Polyphenols Improve Vascular Function

    The more easily blood flows through your arteries and veins, the less your heart has to work.  Now researchers from England and Germany have proven that less than a cup of wild blueberries can have an almost immediate and long lasting effect on how well your vascular system is circulating blood.

    Researchers from the University of Reading and the University of Dusseldorf conducted two randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover studies in 21 healthy men between 18 and 40 years old.[1]  They wanted to determine the impact of various amounts of wild blueberries on cardiovascular function.

    In the first study, some of the men drank varying amounts of blueberry polyphenols, ranging from the equivalent of 240 grams (3/4 cup) to 560 grams (1¼ cups) of wild blueberries.  Others were given a drink with the same macro and micronutrients but no blueberry polyphenols.

    The researchers then measured changes in the men's "flow-mediated dilation."  FMD is the gold-standard technique to measure endothelial function.  The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels.  FMD is considered a good predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.

    The researchers measured changes in FMD at 0, 1, 2, 4 and 6 hours after the men drank the blueberry polyphenols.  They found improvements in FMD at 1, 2 and 6 hours after consumption.  The beneficial effects correlated with levels of blueberry polyphenol metabolites in the blood plasma. In other words, as the blueberry polyphenols were broken down by enzymes into various metabolites, endothelium function in the men improved.  The benefits lasted at least 6 hours.

    A second study was conducted to investigate the dose of blueberry polyphenols needed to see beneficial effects.  The researchers tested the equivalent of 100 grams to 560 grams of wild blueberries at 0 and 1 hour post-consumption.  Their results showed that FMD improved in a dose-dependent manner up to the equivalent of about 240 grams of wild blueberries.  Then the effects plateaued.

    In other words, the men didn't get any additional benefit in endothelial function by eating any more than the equivalent of ¾ of a cup of wild blueberries. 

    Visit GreenMedInfo's database for more health benefits of blueberries.

    The current study used wild blueberries.  They are smaller than the cultivated versions most often found in your supermarket, with about twice the number of berries per pound.  They also have less water and a higher skin-to-pulp ratio.  That means the wild versions have more intense flavor and double the antioxidant content.

    In North America, the harvest season for wild blueberries is July and August in Maine and Canada.  But you can find fresh frozen berries in supermarkets all year round.

    [1] Rodriguez-Mateos A, Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activity.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1179-91. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.066639. Epub 2013 Sep 4.  PMID: 24004888

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    The Family Hope Center

    The Family Hope Center | An International Center for the Development of Children with Special Needs and Developmental Delays

    The Family Hope Center is dedicated to helping families of children with developmental delays and special needs. There are thousands of children with mild to profound developmental delays whose parents do not know where to turn, yet refuse to let go of their hope for a better future for their children. These children with developmental delays and special needs are indeed very special because their parents are determined for them to have the best life has to offer.

    The Family Hope Center is Here to Help.
    We are an international organization with special expertise in the treatment of children and adults. The treatment methods practiced at The Family Hope Center can be effective regardless of the cause of the condition, or the severity of the injury or impairment. We focus first on helping parents and Families understand how the brain grows and develops. Based on this unique understanding, the Team instruct and support the Family in a step-by-step, comprehensive home treatment program to help their Family member achieve an optimal level of function and quality of life. The programs are individually designed to meet each person’s specific needs and the Family’s specific circumstances, utilizing a primarily an in-home treatment program.

    The Guiding Principles of The Family Hope Center

    • The Family, because of their intense love for their child and natural motivation to help them, can, with the proper training and support, become the best therapists for their brain-injured child.
    • Most developmental conditions are caused by injuries to specific areas of the brain, and are not related to the muscles. Therefore the treatment must be centrally directed to the brain, not to the arms and legs. The brain develops and heals with the proper frequency, intensity and duration of sensory stimulation, and the opportunity to develop specific motor functions.
    • We put aside such labels as: comatose, vegetable, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, paraplegia, learning disabled, mentally retarded, autistic, ADD, ADHD, hyperactive, hypoactive, Rett syndrome, dyslexic, epileptic, Down syndrome, stroke, Parkinson’s, etc. These and similar labels, which are simply names given to collections of seemingly unrelated symptoms, can become almost overwhelmingly painful and discouraging.
    • Successful treatment of the brain can make these symptoms disappear. At The Family Hope Center we pinpoint the location of the injury in the brain, design and develop a highly individualized tailored treatment plan that specifically targets the injured area, and follow up with support, supervision and on-going counsel.

    Online video of open house February 2014

    The Family Hope Center

    Toll-Free 1 (800) 888-9370

    2490 Boulevard of the Generals, Suite 250, Norristown, PA 19403
    local: (610) 397-1737 fax (610) 631-1852

    Environmental Working Groups’s 2014 Shopper’s Guide To Avoiding GE Food


    Consumers have the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered. However, the U.S. government does not require labeling of GE foods or ingredients so that shoppers can make informed decisions. More than 60 other nations, including France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Russia, China and the United Kingdom, require GE labeling (Center for Food Safety, 2013a).
    Scientists have not determined whether GE food poses risks to human health. Still, consumers have many good reasons to avoid eating genetically engineered ingredients, including:

    Few safety studies: The federal government requires strict safety evaluations before new drugs go on the market but does not mandate similar safety studies for genetically engineered crops.  The government does not require that GE food be tested for carcinogenicity, for harm to fetuses or for risks over the long term to animals or humans.  Few such studies have been conducted by independent scientific institutions.

    Superweeds and more toxic pesticides: Genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant crops have spurred so-called “superweeds,” pest plants that have mutated to survive herbicides. More than 61million acres of American farmland are infested with Roundup-resistant weeds (Farm Industry News 2013).  A 2012 survey conducted by the marketing research group Stratus Agri Marketing found that nearly half of American farmers reported finding superweeds in their fields (Stratus Agri Marketing 2013). To control these hardy plants, many farmers have resorted to older, more toxic herbicides like dicamba, and 2,4-D. Both dicamba and 2,4-D are known to cause reproductive problems and birth defects and pose increased risks of cancer.

    Increased pesticide use:  Herbicide resistance has led to more, not less, herbicide use. According to estimates published in 2012 by Charles M. Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, herbicide-tolerant crops that stimulated superweed growth caused farmers to use 527 million pounds more herbicide between 1996 and 2011 than would have been the case if those farmers had planted only non-GE crops (Benbrook 2012).

    Cross-contamination: According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit group that records the global status of biotech crops, almost 70 million hectares of GE crops were planted in the U.S. in 2012 (ISAAA 2012), up from 64 million hectares in 2009 (ISAAA 2009). As GE crops proliferate, many organic farmers must struggle to prevent cross-contamination of their crops by GE seed or pollen spread by wind, insects, floods and machinery. Unintended GE contamination has become a major issue for organic growers hoping to sell their crops in places that strictly regulate or ban GE foods. According to an estimate by the Union of Concern Scientists, potential lost income for farmers growing organic corn may total $90 million annually (Union of Concerned Scientists 2001).

    The agricultural chemical industry developed genetically engineered crops and introduced them to the market with the promise of significantly higher crop yields. While crop yields may in fact be on the rise, the contribution of GE technology is a matter of considerable debate. Some groups attribute the increase in yields to improvements in conventional agriculture (Union of Concerned Scientists 2009).  Any benefits provided by GE technology have been overshadowed by increased use of toxic pesticides and proliferation of herbicide-resistant weeds.  


    Three ways to avoid GE food

    Until Congress or state governments enact mandatory labeling of GE ingredients in food, American shoppers are left in the dark. So if they want to avoid food with GE ingredients, what are they to do?
    USDA Organic LogoOption 1: Buy organic. National and state organic certification rules do not allow genetically engineered foods to be labeled “organic.”  When you buy organic, you buy food free not only of synthetic pesticides but also GE ingredients.
    Option 2: Buy food certified as “Non-GMO Project Verified.”  The non-profit organization Non-GMO Project operates a detailed, voluntary certification process so that food producers can test and verify that, to the best of their knowledge, they have avoided using GE ingredients in their products. The Non-GMO Project is the only organization offering independent verification for GMO products in the U.S. and Canada (Non-GMO Project 2014). (GMO stands for “genetically modified organism,” a term interchangeable with “genetically engineered” or “GE.”)

    Option 3: Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Avoiding GE Food to find foods made without ingredients likely to be genetically engineered. Eating only organic and certified GE-free food is not an option for some people. EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Avoiding GE Food helps consumers find products made without ingredients that are likely to be genetically engineered.  As well, it aims to help shoppers decide which products are the most important to buy organic or certified GE-free.


    The Factory Four: The most common GE ingredients in food

    Avoiding GE ingredients isn’t easy. In fact, some estimates indicate that more than 75 percent of the food in supermarkets is genetically engineered or contains GE ingredients (Center for Food Safety 2013b).  Consumers need to know what to look for to make informed purchasing decisions.
    Here are the four most common GE foods and ingredients:

    Field corn and corn-derived ingredients
    The U.S. is the world’s largest corn producer. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, last year, American farmers planted more corn than any other crop, covering 95 million acres.   (USDA 2013a).  Some 90 percent of corn grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered (USDA 2013b). Most of the crop is field corn cultivated for animal feed, but about 12 percent is processed to corn flour, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, masa, corn meal and corn oil that end up in foods consumed by people (EPA 2013). Consumers should assume that those ingredients in processed food are genetically engineered.  Less than one percent of the American corn crop is sweet corn, also known as table corn (Iowa State University 2011).

    Soybeans and soybean-derived ingredients
    Soybeans are the second most planted American crop, covering more than 76 million acres last year (USDA 2013a). Some 93 percent of soybeans grown in this country have been genetically engineered (USDA 2013b). Soybean-based products and soybean-derived ingredients are common on supermarket shelves.  Consumers should assume that products whose labels disclose the presence of soy proteins, soybean oil, soy milk, soy flour, soy sauce, tofu or soy lecithin have been made with GE ingredients unless they are certified organic or GE-free.


    About 55 percent of the sugar produced in the U.S. comes from sugar beets, 95 percent of which have been genetically engineered (USDA 2013c).  If a product label does not specify that it has been made with “pure cane” sugar, chances are significant that it contains GE beet sugar.

    Vegetable oils
    Consumers should assume that vegetable oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil and corn oil  are genetically engineered. About 90 percent of American oilseed production is soybeans, which are almost entirely genetically engineered (USDA 2013b). The remaining 10 percent of oilseed crops are cottonseed, sunflower seed, canola, rapeseed, and peanut.  Canola and cottonseed oil primarily come from GE varieties. More than 90 percent of corn oil is derived from genetically engineered corn.


    Watch list: Foods that could be GE

    Papaya: According to the Hawaiian Papaya Industry Association, more than 75 percent of Hawaiian papaya is genetically engineered to resist the ringspot virus (Hawaiian Papaya Industry Association 2013).

    Zucchini and yellow summer squash: A few varieties of squash are genetically engineered.   Without adequate labeling, concerned consumers can’t spot GE varieties. If you want to be sure, opt for organic varieties.

    Sweet corn:  Most sweet corn sold in supermarkets and farm stands is not grown from genetically engineered seeds, but a few varieties are, so it’s best to buy organic sweet corn.

    Many other GE foods could be coming soon to a grocery store near you.  These have either been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration or are being considered for approval. Among them: salmon, flax, plums, potato, radicchio, rice, tomato and wheat (FDA 2014).

    The FDA is considering a producer’s application for GE AquAdvantage salmon. Normal salmon produce growth hormones only in summer months. These fish produce them year round and grow at twice the normal rate. If the FDA approves AquAdvantage salmon, it will be the first genetically engineered animal available in American supermarkets.

    The FDA faces two other controversial decisions:  whether to approve apples genetically modified to not to turn brown when sliced, peeled or bruised and new varieties of corn and soybean genetically modified to resist the toxic herbicide 2,4-D (USDA 2013e, 2013f).

    Benbrook, C. (2009) Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S.: the first thirteen years. Available: Accessed January 6, 2014.
    Benbrook, C. (2012) Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. – the first sixteen years. Environmental Sciences Europe 2012, 24:24 
    Center for Food Safety (2013a) International Labeling Laws. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014.
    Center for Food Safety (2013b) About Genetically Engineered Foods. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014.
    Environmental Protection Agency (2013) Major Crops Grown in the United States. Available: Accessed December 3, 2013.
    Farm Industry News (2013) Glyphosate-resistant weed problem extends to more species, more farms. Available: Accessed December 8, 2013.
    Food and Drug Administration (2014). Completed Consultations on Bioengineered Foods. Available: Accessed January 9, 2014.
    Hawaiian Papaya Industry Association (2013) Hawaii Grown Papayas: The Rainbow Papaya Story. Available: Accessed November 25, 2013.
    International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) (2009) Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2009 – The First Fourteen Years, 1996 to 2009. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014.
    International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) (2012) Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2012. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014.
    Iowa State University (2011) Corn Production: Common Corn Questions and Answers. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014.
    Non-GMO Project (2014) The “Non-GMO Project Verified” Seal. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014.
    Stratus Agri Marketing (2013) Glyphosate Resistant Weeds – Intensifying. Available: Accessed January 7, 2014
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