When cooking fresh meals for your family and friends, it’s natural to want to serve only the best to those you love. Cooking oils are critical for a wide variety of dishes, yet some may include GMOs you might wish to avoid. If you want to be more selective in the cooking ingredients you choose, this quick guide all about oil is for you.

A Quick Refresh: What Are GMOs?

GMOs are genetically modified organisms. According to the FDA, GMO is a term used to describe “foods that have been created through genetic engineering.” GMO plants are often grown from modified seeds.

GMOs are commonly found in plants that have been genetically modified to have desirable characteristics such as resistance to insects. The most common plants that contain GMOs include corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, apples, and even summer squash.

Which Oils Are Most Likely to Be Non-GMO?

Due to the common use of GMOs in plants and other food products, some of your favorite cooking oils will include GMOs. However, there are non-GMO cooking oils available that are safe and delicious for those looking to avoid genetically modified ingredients.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is non-GMO and will probably be that way for the foreseeable future. According to scientists at the USDA, sunflowers are recalcitrant to transformation, meaning they don’t cooperate well with the GMO process.

Another reason sunflowers remain untouched is due to the risk of contaminating other species of sunflowers which may become invasive to the environment. For these reasons, it’s safe to assume that the sunflower oil you’re buying is non-GMO.

We love using sunflower seeds in our own recipes, like our ginger and turmeric carrot soup and our vegan butternut squash mac and cheese.

Olive Oil

Currently, there are no varieties of olive that are created using genetic engineering of any kind across the globe. This means that the olive oil you purchase will be free of any GMOs. Olive oil is made by grinding olives and pressing out the resulting oil. It’s also delicious and a great source of antioxidants.

When purchasing olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is recommended for cooking. Many cooking experts agree that extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality available as no mechanical means are used in its production.

Olive oil is a key ingredient in recipes like our homemade sourdough croutons and our crispy potato salad.

Coconut Oil

According to Prevention, there are also no known genetically modified varieties of coconut out there. This means you can purchase your favorite coconut oil without fear of GMOs. For the best cooking results, we recommend buying extra virgin coconut oil which is as close to making the oil yourself as you can get.

Love coconut oil? You might enjoy Pacific Foods coconut beverages for cooking as well. They’re Certified Organic by the USDA and make the perfect addition to any recipe.

These Oils are Most Likely to Be GMO By Default

Earlier, we mentioned that some of the most common GMO plants included food products such as corn, soybeans, potatoes, and more. Some of these common plants are also required for the production of popular cooking oils. This means your favorite oil may be GMO by default.

Soybean Oil

According to the newest data, around 94% of all soybeans within the United States are genetically modified. This means that there’s a high chance that the soybean oil you purchase includes GMOs unless the label states otherwise.

Canola Oil

Most canola oil is also genetically modified. The FDA states that this is to help farmers more easily control the weeds surrounding these plants which may improve crop consistency.

Canola oil, also known as rapeseed oil, is the most common oil used worldwide. Not only is it used for cooking, but it’s also used as an ingredient in other products such as margarine and other packaged foods.

Corn Oil

According to the FDA, corn is by far the most commonly grown crop within the United States. And most of the corn grown is GMO to try and improve its resistance to pests and herbicides. Just like canola oil, corn oil is used for more than just cooking. In fact, it’s also used in various food products, including processed foods and drinks.

Avoid GMOs By Looking for Certified Organic Cooking Oils

If you’re looking for non-GMO cooking oils, we recommend purchasing products that are Certified Organic. These products have been certified by the USDA to be organic which means they won’t include any genetically modified organisms. They also won’t include any additives or fillers.

While shopping, you’ll notice that these products have a USDA Certified Organic seal. You can also check the label to see what’s included in the ingredients list. If you don’t wish to buy organic and still want to avoid GMOs, you can’t go wrong with sunflower oil, olive oil, or coconut oil.

Certified Organic & Delicious Products for Your Pantry

At Pacific Foods, we know that quality is important to you. Whether putting together your family’s favorite mid-week meal or fixing a beautiful new dish for Sunday dinner, the ingredients you use matter. That’s why our beverages, stocks, and soups are Certified Organic and include no GMOs.

Pacific Foods products are available in a grocery store near you. To restock your pantry with wholesome ingredients, shop our products today.