GMO secrets of corn snacks

August 14, 2013 |

Common sources of GMO

According to the Wikipedia 80% of Hawaiian papaya, 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, 95% of sugar beet and 88% of cotton produced in the United States are genetically modified. However potential GMO threat comes not only from the crops (fruits) but also from a numerous food ingredients derived from them. Here is the list of ingredients which may pose GMO threat:

Canola, corn, soy, papaya, sugar beet, corn flour, corn meal, cottonseed, cheeses (American), cheese cultures, chymosin (enzyme found in rennet), hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed corn protein, maize flour, maize, papaya, soybean, soy grits, soy flour, soy protein, soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, soy sauce solids, stone-ground corn meal, whole grain corn flour, whole grain cornmeal.

Commonly feared sources of GMO

In the same time please note that only protein and DNA containing ingredients are of concern. Canola oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, soy lecithin, corn oil, HFCS, sugars, starches and the like are highly refined products which contain no detectable amounts of GMO (transgenic) carriers. Although some people still may want to avoid these ingredients, DyeDiet does not support spreading concerns based on prejudices.

Doritos: Nutritional values and GMO threats

Doritos tortilla snacks are among extremely popular packed foods (over 4 million likes on Facebook – I am NOT one of them!). Let’s see how the two Doritos tortilla chips are ranked in three Food Rating Systems below.

Doritos Nacho Cheese


Doritos Toasted Corn

CONTAINS: Whole corn, cheeses, artificial colors, trans-fat; 34 ingredients total

CONTAINS: Whole corn, vegetable oil, salt; 3 ingredients total

Fooducate:     Red D Fooducate:     Green B-
ShopWell:      Red 35 ShopWell:      Yellow 65
DyeDiet: Health Risk=0.64; Nutritional Value = 0.83 (Low);

 Four GMO threats

Whole corn, Cheddar cheese, Romano cheese, Corn flour

DyeDiet: Health Risk=0.00; Nutritional Value = 1.60 (moderate)        

One GMO threat

Whole corn

 This is another case when all three approaches are in agreement – Doritos Nacho Cheese made of 34 ingredients is of significant health risk and low nutrition value, whereas Doritos Toasted Corn which contains only 3 ingredients is relatively healthy snack. Please click on the above results to see the original sources. You will have to type-in name ‘doritos’ in Dye Diet Calculator then choose the product from drop-down menu.

Dye Diet result and GMO warnings for Doritos Nacho Cheese

Dye Diet result and GMO warnings for Doritos Nacho Cheese – CLICK to enlarge

Dye Diet: GMO threat of Doritos Toasted Corn

Dye Diet: GMO threat of Doritos Toasted Corn – CLICK to enlarge

Both Fooducate and ShopWell list ‘whole grain’ (whole corn) ingredient among positive qualities. But what Fooducate and ShopWell do not tell you are possible GMO threats lurking in seemingly healthy ingredients like whole corn and cheese. Flashing warning signs in the Dye Diet Calculator results clearly indicate that you may be exposed to 4 possible GMO threats that come with Doritos Nacho Cheese and only 1 GMO threat hidden in Doritos Toasted Corn. This is another example in favor of an empiric rule which is often (but not always!) true – the shorter ingredient lists the better.

Why potato chips are better

While we do not know actual amounts of GMO present in the two Doritos, four GMO threats look certainly scarier than only one. Similarly, another Doritos – Cool Ranch looks no better. Anyway, a better choice is always nearby – Terra Sweets & Bits is our healthier alternative: Today there are no genetically modified (transgenic) potatoes on the US market for human consumption.

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Category: American diet, Chips

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