It’s Thanksgiving week and as families across the nation come together, the soaring rates of allergies, diabetes, obesity and cancer continue to impact the lives of our families, making it even more of a challenge to get a Thanksgiving meal on the table. But with Thanksgiving being one of the most significant meals of the year, there is so much that you can do to protect the health of your loved ones.

Because so many popular Thanksgiving dishes may use ingredients for which no long-term human trials have ever been conducted – ingredients that have been genetically engineered to withstand increasing doses of toxic weed killer or to create their own insecticidal toxins – a few simple ideas may be all that is needed to avoid these uninvited ingredients in your Thanksgiving meal until the FDA labels them, which is what a recent ABC poll indicated that 93% of the American public wanted.

So if you are looking for ways to avoid these ingredients in your Thanksgiving meal, here are a few suggestions. But remember, don’t make “the perfect” the enemy of “the good”. Since we’re already juggling so many dietary needs this holiday season, from allergies, to diabetes, to gluten-free, do what you can, with what you have, where you are, and focus on progress not perfection.

When you can, choose organic eggs, as they are not from chickens fed corn or soy that has been genetically engineered.

Cook with olive oil instead of conventional butter, margarine or vegetable oil which most likely contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Look for dairy products (milk, cream, butter) labeled “rbGH-free” or “USDA Organic” as they do not contain artificial growth hormones created from a genetically engineered e.coli bacteria.

Avoid products that contain conventional soy and corn (soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup) since most are likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Look for products labeled “non-GMO” or “USDA Organic” because by law they are not allowed to contain these genetically engineered ingredients.

Cook without the can (since canned foods often contain a lot of corn and soy derivatives).

Eat like your grandmother did and steer clear of processed foods.

Non-GMO Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving

And while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something. So until the FDA labels genetically engineered food for Americans as these foods have been labeled for eaters in over fifty countries around the world, pick one thing that you can do to get started either at home or online to protect the health of our families. Use the True Food Shopper’s Guide from the Center for Food Safety to find products that don’t contain genetically engineered ingredients, purchase “USDA Organic” products when you can (since by law they’re not allowed to contain these ingredients) and let the FDA know, as over 300,000 other Americans already have along with hundreds of organizations, just how much this issue means to you and the health of your family.

Because together, we can create the changes we want to see in the health of our families, our country and our food system.

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