Sometimes I think life would be easier if I were blissfully unaware: didn’t read labels, never heard of GMOs. I could just pick up anything off the shelf and believe that the manufacturer had my family’s well-being (and the environment’s health) as a priority. Unfortunately, I’ve heard of Monsanto, I’m extremely concerned about GMOs, and I’m conscious of too many chemicals in our foods.
I try to choose produce that is not genetically modified- helpful tip– Those little stickers on your grocery store produce actually mean something besides a price scan! PLU codes that are 4 digits (or 5 digits beginning with a 0) are conventionally grown. 5-digit codes beginning with a 9 are organically grown, and 5-digit codes beginning with an 8 are genetically modified.
But how do we know if packaged items contain GMOs? There’s no legislation mandating companies to inform consumers if the product contains genetically modified ingredients. Why not? Partially because many companies that use these ingredients by Monsanto.
Yes, the same company that brought us
*DDT (1944, banned in US in 1972)
*PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls- 1920’s, banned in the US in 1979)
and *Bovine Growth Hormones
also has a huge hand in many companies you’re probably familiar with:
Aunt Jemima, Aurora Foods, Banquet, Best Foods, Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Cadbury, Campbells, Capri- Sun, Carnation, Chef Boyardee, Coca Cola, ConAgra Duncan Hines, Famous Amos, Frito Lay, General Mills, Green Giant, Healthy Choice, Heinz, Hellmanns, Hershey’s Nestle, Hungry Jack, Hunts, Jiffy, KC Masterpiece, Kelloggs, Kid Cuisine, Kool-Aid, Kraft-Phillip Morris, Lean Cuisine, Minute Made, Nabisco, Nature Valley, Pepperidge Farms, Pepsi, Post Cereal, Power Bar Brand, Quaker, Stouffers, Tombstone Pizza, V8
Is this a complete list? Nope.
Scary right? What does this mean as a consumer? It’s nearly impossible to pick something off the shelf that Monsanto isn’t linked to.
Is is possible to boycott everything? No. But you can make choices. Maybe the products you buy most often (ketchup, cereal, or chips) you find a different brand. Or, maybe you make the choice that any sweets (cookies, cakes, brownies) in the house are made from scratch. #1- it’ll cut down on the accessibility of filling up on sweets #2- it’ll help keep a few dollars out of Monsanto’s pockets.
Baking a cake from scratch doesn’t take much longer than opening a box- and this time you control the ingredients.
Martha Stewart’s simple layer cake is my favorite all-purpose vanilla cake. Only instead of two 8″ layer cakes, I make one half sheet pan & bake approximate 25 minutes.
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for cake pans and parchment
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment (*if you change pan sizes, make sure to adjust baking time- I use a reusable silpat instead of parchment); butter parchment as well. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined. Add milk and vanilla and beat until just combined.
Divide batter between pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 33 to 35 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.
*See the Martha Stewart website for the frosting recipe.
No GMO ingredients or Monsanto necessary.