Saturday, November 30, 2013

The low down and dirty on diapers

Babies wear diapers nonstop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Diapers cover some extremely important body parts and the delicate skin on their tushes is very absorptive. Definitely not a place I want to expose to toxins….

I learned about what conventional diapers are made of from The Honest Company's website and it's an eye opener. The basic anatomy of conventional diapers (Huggies, Pampers, etc) is an absorbent core covered by plastic, plastic and more plastic then doused with synthetic dyes, lotions and fragrances. The core, where all the tinkle gets sucked into, is made of a highly absorbent compound made from tree cellulose and synthetic chemicals. Those gel crystals found in many diapers are made up of sodium polyacrylate (SAP), which is a common irritant. It is then covered with a petroleum based woven plastic to keep the moisture in and then covered with a different plastic to allow the tinkle through. Pretty much the whole diaper is composed of several types of plastic and the shady plastic industry doesn't reveal ingredients, RED FLAG! (for more on plastics read this post).  In 1999 The Archives of Environmental Health found that conventional disposable diapers release the VOCs toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene, which are all linked to asthma. GREAT! Diaper makers then add fragrances (read about the hormone disrupting phthalates here), lotions (read about parabens here) and synthetic dyes. Conventional diapers must be perfectly white so they are bleached. This process creates one of the most potent cancer causing chemicals known to man - dioxins. To summarize, conventional plastic diapers emit VOCs, are linked to asthma, skin irritation, cancer and endocrine disruption - we're supposed to put these on our precious babies?

Four years ago when my sister Molly was pregnant and said she was going to use cloth diapers I thought she was CRAZY. What a huge hassle and poop in your washing machine?! Twenty years ago I babysat for a family that used cloth diapers (I was only 5 years old…) and remember being paranoid about pricking the baby with safety pins. They had this huge, smelly cauldron in their basement used to boil diapers and I constantly dealt with leaks. Not a positive experience. Never would I have imagined I would become advocate myself - I was so wrong and my sister so right!  Cloth diapers have come a LONG way in just the past decade and no more intimidating safety pins thanks to great new options like velcro and snaps. I LOVE the cloth diapers we use for Olivia. They're cute, easy to wash, non-toxic and have saved us boatloads of money. If you have time to do one load of laundry every other day and two minutes to stuff diapers with inserts you can fit cloth diapering into your schedule. It's that easy! Not to mention you'll be saving your baby from exposure to synthetic plastic conventional diapers full of chemicals. For me it's a total no-brainer!

My daughter Olivia in her Fuzzibunz pocket diaper with hemp liner
The most overwhelming part of the whole process for me has been choosing which type of diaper to buy. I have a hard time making decisions and suffered from severe baby brain so I selected my sister's favorite - Fuzzibunz. They've worked out great for us and I've never looked back. Many people suggest trying several different brands and types to see what you prefer. The website Kelly's Closet has a 30 day money back guarantee to try out cloth diapers - zero risk! In Charlotte we have a family run children's store called The Milky Way that focuses on cloth diapers and nursing - they offer a monthly cloth diapering class and are a wealth of knowledge for mothers.

There are three basic types of cloth diapers: prefolds, pockets, and all-in-ones. Fuzzibunz are pockets and the only type I have experience with. My friend Whitley uses the prefolds with Thirsty brand covers and swears by them. Another great hybrid option that my friend Cassie loves are G-diapers which are reusable diaper covers with disposable inserts that you flush or toss G diapers website.

Prefolds and flats:
  • The most economical diaper system available. A pack of 6 Bummis organic cotton prefolds go for about $40 and a Thirsty cover costs about $12. 
  • This "old school" method uses a piece of rectangular, absorbent cotton folded into thirds and laid inside a waterproof cover. 
  • Traditional pre-folds are cotton but bamboo and hemp have recently joined the market because of their super absorbent qualities and softness. 
  • This option takes up very little space and washing is easy because the covers are reused.  
I found a great blog called Elisa Loves that details everything you need to know about this easy option.
My friend Whitley's darling son Worth and his truck in his Thirsties cover/ Bummis hemp liner
Pocket diapers:
  • The most popular style of cloth diapers 
  • Bargain brands like Kawaii cost about $12 each, Fuzzibunz that I use cost about $15 each and a deluxe Blueberry cost $24. 
  • Feature a cover that has a wicking pocket that you stuff with an insert. It takes me about 2 minutes to stuff a dozen pocket diapers, so easy!
  • Typical inserts are made of absorbent microfiber, which is a fabric that you don't want to directly touch your baby's skin. I like to place an additional hemp insert on top of the inner layer of the pocket for extra protection. Olivia went through a heavy wetting phase and had a leak almost every day - adding this hemp layer immediately solved this problem.
  • Some pocket diapers are one size fits all that adjust with age and can be used on babies ranging from 10-35 pounds. Others are available in sizes and tend to be more fitted (this is what I use).
  • Some pocket diapers use snaps and others close with Velcro.
  • I have heard great reviews on Kawaii, Sunbaby, and Rumparooz.
My precious niece Evie getting into the toilet paper in her FuzziBunz
All-in-One (AIO):
  • Easiest to use with no stuffing or folding
  • No cover required and the absorbent material is sewn into the diaper cover
  • Great option for anyone thinking cloth diapers are too much work
  • Tend to be more expensive, the popular BumGenius is about $20 each
  • Require more laundry, take longer to dry and take up a lot of space in your drawers
bumGenius one size pocket diaper
  • A hybrid between a disposable and cloth
  • Feature a reusable diaper cover with disposable inserts that you can flush or toss
  • When the insert is soiled, remove from the gPant, dispose and tuck in a new insert for a fresh change. Use the same gPant through multiple changes and change when dirty
  • A pack of 32 inserts cost $15 and the gPant cover costs $15
Ben, my friend Cassie's sweet little boy, striking a pose in his gDiaper
The process:
  • We have about 16 diapers that I keep in the top drawer of Olivia's changing table stuffed and ready to go. 
  • I keep a Fuzzibunz hanging diaper pail on the back of her bedroom door and I love it. There is a zipper across the bottom of the bag, so when you do laundry you just unzip it and dump the diapers - you don't have to touch anything dirty! The bag gathers up tight at the top to help manage the smell. I also carry a "wet bag" in my diaper bag for dirty cloth diapers on the go.
  • For poopy diapers you just drop the poop into the toilet. (I can't really describe this without it sounding gross) The poop just peels off the liner and falls into the toilet. The only time we've had problems with poop sticking to the diaper is when Olivia has been sick. Some parents use a little sprayer that attaches to the toilet water line to rinse off the poop, but we've never needed one (I'm convinced this has to do with Olivia's clean and healthy diet).
  • I do a load of laundry every other day and use Molly's Suds detergent. You cannot use traditional laundry detergent like Tide because they build up a residue that cause the diapers to repel moisture not absorb it. Plus conventional detergents are loaded with artificial fragrances and dyes that are harsh and toxic to little one's skin. For more on detergent check out the diaper jungle website.
  • There are many different washing techniques and I follow the instructions suggested by Molly's Suds.
    • Warm rinse with no soap
    • Hot wash with soap
    • Warm rinse
    • Warm rinse again
    • Dry in laundry machine 
  • For pocket diapers you do not have to separate the insert from the cover before washing - thankfully the wash cycle does this for you! I usually have two or three inserts that don't come out and I make sure to remove them for the dryer or else they won't dry.
  • Every few months you may have to strip your diapers if they start to smell like ammonia (trust me, you'll know when it's time). We've only had to do it once and there are many different techniques. I scrubbed the diapers and inserts with blue Dawn and did three hot washes - this did the trick for me. 
  • Not all diaper rash creams can be used with cloth diapers because the ingredients can build up and cause the diapers to repel moisture - avoid zinc oxide and cod liver oil. For additional info on specific creams and recommendations check out this link. We use Ava Anderson Non-Toxic diaper cream and love it.
There are thousands of handmade cloth diapers available on Etsy for amazing prices. I'm a member of a cloth diaper coop that I found on Facebook - do a google search and you'll find tons of buying options! Another great way to save money is to buy gently used diapers on Craigslist or Ebay. I bought very gently used Fuzzibunz pocket diapers on Ebay for about $5 each and bought new inserts and hemp liners - they've worked great! I found a lovely lady named Adriana that sews hemp inserts and may also make cloth diapers - her email is

We do use disposable diapers when we travel, when Olivia goes to the church nursery and overnight. The only diaper brands I trust are The Honest Company and Seventh Generation. I LOVE the Honest Company's diapers which they describe as "ultra absorbent, eco-friendly, extra soft, hypoallergenic, free of chlorine processing & risky additives (like fragrances, lotions, and latex). Oh, and did we mention how adorable they are?" I only wish they offered overnight diapers for heavy nighttime wetters like my daughter. For bedtime we use Seventh Generation diapers, which aren't as cute or soft as Honest but definitely get the job done. We've never had any problems with leaks and Olivia has only had minor diaper rash a handful of times. I always buy them on eBay for much cheaper than Amazon or Target prices. The Honest Company has a bundled deal with wipes for $79.95 a month, which is very comparable to conventional diapers.
My friend Courtney's munchkin Miles admiring his Honest diaper 
We are very happy with the diapering choices we've made for our daughter. My husband Ed surprises me with how much he prefers the cloth over disposable - he raves about how they are so much more comfortable for Olivia and easy to use. I would have never in a million years thought I would be such a fan!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tips for perfecting roasted veggies

Roasted vegetables are an excellent addition to any traditional Thanksgiving dinner - or any meal for that matter! This is my absolute favorite way to eat my veggies. I love the way a little time in the oven concentrates their flavor and their natural sugars caramelize. Here are some tips to master this cooking technique….

  • Most recipes call for a temperature between 375 and 450. I have found the middle at 400 to be just right for my convection oven. It is important to have the oven completely heated before adding your vegetables.
  • Chop your veggies to be be uniform in size otherwise they won't cook evenly. 1 inch chunks work best me. Bigger chunks = longer roast time, smaller chunks = shorter roast time
  • Spread the veggies in a single layer and give the vegetables plenty of space on the tray because air is what will help it caramelize. If you pile on too many veggies, they'll steam instead and get mushy.
  • Lightly coat the veggies with olive oil - for every 2 pound of veggies, toss with 1 tablespoon (remember each TBS has 100 calories, so don't go overboard!). I put them in a bowl and use my hands to make sure they are completely covered. Many cooks love a Misto sprayer, but I haven't had much luck with them.
  • I prefer to season with salt and pepper only - sometimes I like to add fresh rosemary.
  • You can roast different vegetables together if their roasting times are similar. Denser root veggies like carrots, potatoes, butternut squash take 30-40 minutes, so I put them in first. After they've been in the oven for about 10-15 minutes I'll add my cauliflower and onion which takes about 20 minutes. Then for the last 10 minutes I throw in some garlic, which are notorious for burning in our household. The Heal With Food blog lists roasting times for every vegetable imaginable and has been a great reference for me.
    • 10-15 minutes: asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, okra, yellow summer squash, zucchini
    • 15-20 minutes: brussel sprouts, 1/2 inch carrots, green beans, mushrooms, parsnips, radishes, shallots, zucchini
    • 20-30 minutes: artichokes, 1 inch carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, turnips
    • 30-40 minutes: butternut squash, potatoes
  • Give the veggies a turn with a wooden spoon about every ten minutes.
For a delicious, healthy dinner I love to put my roasted veggies over quinoa (cooked in vegetable broth) drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar - I eat this once a week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quinoa & Pear Salad

This recipe is from Eating Well Magazine, Nov/Dec 2011 compliments of Nutritionist Stacy Kolbash of Johnson & Wales. The recipe I have printed out from her cooking demonstration is now wrinkled and stained from the multiple times I've prepared this awesome dish! So good for you, so delicious and so easy to make - a cooking triple threat.

Quinoa & Pear Salad

14 ounces reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons walnut oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon fruity vinegar such as pear or pomegranate
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 ripe but firm pears, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa has popped, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk oil, vinegar, chives, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add pears and toss to coat.

3. Add the quinoa to the pear mixture; toss to combine. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve topped with nuts.

*** This dish is best served within the 15 minutes recommended in step #3 above - otherwise the pears and walnuts get a little mushy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A lesson in GMOs - be informed!

Until last year I didn't understand what GMOs were - I had heard the acronym before but had no idea what the fuss was all about. My ignorance is EXACTLY what major food manufacturers and bio-tech companies want - for consumers to be in the dark about what is in their food.

Simply stated a genetically modified organism (GMO) is when a seed is manipulated in a laboratory to do something not intended by nature. DNA of one species - including bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or humans - are forced into the DNA of unrelated plants or animals for a desired trait, such as insect resistance, starch content, ripening or resistance to herbicides, viruses, or fungus. This is very different from traditional hybrid seeds that naturally cross two similar species and has safely been used by farmers for hundreds of years. For example, the bio-tech giant Monsanto spliced soil bacteria into corn to create a GMO designed to produce poisonous insecticide in every cell. The insecticide, called Bt-toxin breaks open the stomach of certain insects to kill them. Bt Corn is classified by the EPA as a pesticide and is commonly used as feed for livestock. This is an important concept to understand: Bt toxin is not sprayed on the plant, the plant is genetically altered to produce it in EVERY cell in the plant - it's impossible to wash off. Consumers then eat the eggs and meat from these animals that were fed the pesticide laden Bt corn and it enters their bodies. 

In 2011, doctors at Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec found Bt-toxin in the blood of 93% of pregnant women tested, Bt in 80% of umbilical blood in tested babies, and in the blood of 67% of non-pregnant women. There have been no long term human studies performed to confirm the safety of Bt corn, but Monsanto swears up and down its safe for human consumption. If Bt genes are indeed capable of transferring into the bacteria colonizing the human digestive tract, scientists believe it could result in:  

  • Gastrointestinal problem
  • Food allergies
  • Childhood learning disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
Interesting how all of these problems have drastically increased in prevalence in recent years.....

Last month I attended a gardening class at Renfrow's Hardware & General Merchandise lead by owner David Blackley. Renrow's has been a downtown Matthews institution since 1900 and is as down home Americana as you can find - I LOVE this place and they have been a wealth of knowledge in my gardening endeavors. David is an organic farmer and spoke very passionately against GMOs in the class. I decided to interview him because he has a very interesting perspective as a farmer and seed expert, plus I have loads of respect for his opinion. Here is what he said (all of his statements will be in purple):

"Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO seeds are seeds that have been developed by bio tech to be used under their direction and under their control forever. Traditionally for the last 10,000 years we've been able to grow things and save our own seeds. At the very least if we had a hybrid seed for some food we wouldn't have to pay any royalties, or you wouldn't have to worry about using pesticides on them. So its a marketing thing. The big companies say it's going to help feed the hungry and it's going to help reduce pesticide use. There are lots of buzz words, but the fact remains that these modified seeds haven't been thoroughly tested enough to know what its doing to animals or humans."
To expand on David's quote about feeding the hungry, GMO farming is not the answer. Sustainable agricultural practices are the answer to world hunger. Farmers who plant GMOs are not able to save their seeds from year to year due to patent infringement and poor fertility in the seeds. Many farmers have been sued by Monsanto (they actually have an annual budget of $10 million dollars and a staff of 75 devoted solely to investigating and prosecuting farmers). So after getting a first year of good harvests, the following year farmers must continue buying seeds which leads to perpetual debt. This has caused enough financial despair in India (the Bt cotton scandal) that an Indian farmer took his own life every 30 minutes (a total of 17,638 in 2009). India is now considering a ten year ban on all GMO crops.
"Most of the modified seed grown goes to animals - cows, pigs, chickens. So we're eating the eggs or meat from those animals and they've eaten the genetically modified corn and soy. But now it's creeping into our diets as well because any high fructose corn syrup, which is in everything is coming from GMO plants. There are basically two kinds. There is one GMO that is for herbicide resistant, so that Roundup and other chemicals can be sprayed on the plant and it kills all other plants, collateral damage so to speak. But it is absorbed into that plant, so it is in what we are consuming. The other type of genetic modification is for insecticide, for insect control. That's the one that seems to be causing problems the most. If the bug spray is basically in the plant then we're consuming that and the consumption of this bacilis BT is causing a lot of problems - reflux, digestive issues. Because in nature BT doesn't persist - you can spray it over a crop, it will kill the worms but it's gone. You can eat the crop the same day - basically it's on the exterior of the plant. But when its bred into the plant, every kernel of corn or every cotton seed that's pressed for oil has that insecticide in it, and that's just not good."

My main concern is the toxicity of GMOs. Are they safe in moderation? How do we know what that threshold of moderation actually is? No long term studies on humans have ever been done and the animal studies are appalling. GMOs have been shown to accelerate aging, cause organ failure, cause tumors, affect unborn babies, affect fertility and weaken the immune system. When fed to hamsters, the 3rd generation were not able to produce babies. I strive to avoid them for my family whenever possible, which is becoming increasingly difficult. 
"The testing for consumers... I'm not satisfied has been done completely. The Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department passes all of this because the big chemical companies say we'll do the testing for you to save you money. Most of the big wigs in the Department of Agriculture and the FDA are former Monsanto employees, so the fox is guarding the hen house."
Monsanto has incestuous ties to the US Government. Despite blatant conflicts of interest, Monsanto executives have held Cabinet, judicial and policy-making positions in the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations. These commissioners, directors and secretaries of these agencies are put in place to grease the wheels for the wealthy bio tech firms - the abuse of power is disgusting. Unfortunately if the FDA, USDA or the EPA approves something now, I view it with more suspicion than acceptance. Something is amiss if they say that radiation and pesticides are acceptable in your food, but raw milk isn't safe for consumption?!

  • Michael Taylor: VP of Monsanto > Deputy Commissioner of the FDA
  • Roger Beachy:  Director of the Danforth Plant Science Center (paid for by Monsanto) >director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Elena Kagan:  Obama Solicitor General (when she famously took Monsanto’s side against organic farmers in the Roundup Ready Alfalfa case) > US Supreme Court justice.
  • Clarence Thomas:  General Counsel for Monsanto > US Supreme Court justice.
  • Margaret Miller:  Monsanto supervisor > Deputy Director of Human Food Safety
  • Donald Rumsfield: Board of Directors for Monsanto’s Searle Pharmaceuticals > US Secretary of Defense
  • Ann Veneman:  Monsanto Board of Directors > US Secretary of Agriculture
  • Linda Fisher: Assistant Administrator at the EPA >VP of Monsanto > Deputy Administrator of the EPA
  • Dr. Michael A.Friedman: Deputy Commissioner of the FDA > Senior VP of Monsanto
"The way to avoid it is buy organic, grow your own or buy from a farmer's market. In the grocery store you don't know what you're buying unless its labeled organic because the Supreme Court and Congress said we don't need to label because they're scared to because they know what consumers will do. The state of Washington is currently the latest state that is trying to pass GMO labeling. North Carolina is one of them - there are 13 or 14 states. The Europeans require that - if you go to England or to Germany it will tell if it's GMO or not. The rest of the world requires labeling - we'll get to that point..."

There are at least 26 countries that have total or partial bans on GMOs, including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico. Significant restrictions exist in about sixty other countries. Not included on this list are the United States and Canada where GMOs are embraced by the government - their citizens are denied the basic right to know what's in their food. The Agriculture and Bio-tech industries have spent over $572 million dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying to make sure they don't get labeled. Last year California voted on Proposition 37 to label GMOs, which lost by a tiny margin. On Tuesday, November 5th Washington State will cast their votes for people's initiative 522, "The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act." The opposition has spent over $68 million dollars on these two campaigns in attempts to confuse voters and defeat the bill. General Mills, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Nestle, Kellogg, Hershey's, ConAgra Foods, Heinz and Campbell Soups were among last year's anti-labeling campaign top contributors and spent millions to prevent labeling. One parent sated in a comment on Cheerio's Facebook page:
"So sorry that the food my kids loved as toddlers is one I can't support anymore. I can't believe that General Mills has the well-being of its customers in mind when it contributes to movement against labeling of GMOs."
Couldn't have said it better. What's frustrating to me is that these same companies already label their products in 64 other countries around the world. The big question stands: Why are they spending so much money to not disclose to the American public what is in their products? Click here for a comprehensive list of products with GMO ingredients - time to clean out your pantry!!
"sugar beets, soy, corn, cotton which you think, oh that doesn't matter but cotton seed oil is in everything. And alfalfa, alfalfa is a new one. Alfalfa is a tremendous amount of feed for cows and now there is no way of knowing. We sell alfalfa meal here as a fertilizer and now we're selling GMO alfalfa, so we're about to quit selling it cause we don't agree with that. Alfalfa is the latest it was approved last summer by the Supreme Court and congress and there is no stopping it. A lot of the yellow crook neck and straight neck squash and zucchini in grocery stores some potatoes, but they've kinda gotten away from that. But when you buy squash out of season at the grocery store its probably GMO and that's only come on the scene in the last couple of years - its got the Bt in it for the worms."
In one form or another GMOs are found in nearly every non-organic item at your grocery store. The most common:
  • Cotton - 94% (cotton seed oil)
  • Soybeans - 93%
  • Sugar - 90% (beet sugar - i.e. refined sugar)
  • Canola - 88%
  • Corn - 88%
  • Papayas (from Hawaii)
  • Dairy (conventional American cow's milk and cheese)
  • Aspartame
  • Zucchini and Yellow Squash
  • Conventional meat (they are fed GM corn and soy)
  • Alfalfa (recently approved by the FDA; widely fed to animals to produce meat and milk)
  • Kentucky Bluegrass (recently approved; widely fed to animals
  • Farmed salmon (slated for approval by the FDA)
Corn and soy are most prevalent ingredients in food processed in the US today - here is a list of corn and corn based products and soy based products. We're not just talking corn on the cob and edamame... 
"Its like cloned animals, we'll be seeing cloned hogs before long. I'm not sure that's the best way either because when you have 1,000 hogs in a hog house and they're all genetically the same the diseases could all run rampant. You could kill off a population in no time and you've got genetically modified animals like this GM salmon being fed GM feed, well nobody has done the research to these salmon that are already super duper "franken-salmon" and you're feeding them "franken-food" whats gonna happen? Now what happens when that salmon escapes into the wild and starts breeding with nature? It's the genie out of the bottle and you can't get it back." 
How I avoid GMOs:
  • We strive to eat "old school" like our Grandparents did - we make the majority of our food using real whole food ingredients. The blog 100 Days of Real Food is an incredible resource for cutting out processed food and has tons of great recipes.
  • Any processed foods are almost guaranteed to have GMO ingredients (especially if made by big name companies like Kraft, General Mills, etc) unless they are organic or have the Non-GMO label. I avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store and avoid processed foods. 
  • All Trader Joe's brand foods are GMO free although they are not labeled Non-GMO. Blogger and food advocate "Food Babe" does not believe this and you can read her thoughts at this link. I however feel liability wise they would not make that claim if it was not true - they have way too much to lose and hopefully I'm not being naive here….. Many companies that claim to be "natural"  have lost millions class action suits because they use GMO ingredients. I was personally duped by Barbara's Naturals cereal - all natural since 1972. I paid a premium for their "Shredded Spoonfuls" and "Puffins" cereal and was very frustrated to learn they use GMO ingredients - I submitted my claim. Anyways, I love Trader Joe's and think they're on a great track of providing healthy choices for consumers. 
  • I shop regularly at our local farmer's market. Any local small farmer will be very anti-GMO.
  • Eat from our own raised bed gardens (what's left after the rabbits have their lunch....)
  • We rarely eat out at restaurants. The Food Babe blog has some great tips on how to avoid GMOs when you eat out. She offers a few questions to ask including: Is your cheese imported? If it's French, you're safe. What oils are used to make your food? Most restaurants use the cheapest, which are soy, corn and canola oils. 
  • I just added the Non-GMO shopping guide app to my phone to help me identify products safe to buy at the grocery store.
For additional information check out these articles:
GMOs not even in moderation
10 myths GMO companies want you to believe
Former "Pro-GMO" scientist speaks out about GMO Dangers
Robyn O'Brien on Kids and Food Allergies from GMOs
Are GMOs killing the bees?