Are you as concerned as I am about the rise of bioengineered non-food products in our food supply? It seems like more and more of our favorite foods are labeled as "made with bioengineered ingredients," and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. As an organic shopper, I prefer to know exactly what's in my food, and I want to be able to pronounce all the ingredients on the label!
Bioengineering, also known as genetic engineering, is the process of altering the DNA of an organism by adding, removing, or modifying genes. In the context of our food supply, this means that scientists are able to modify the genes of plants and animals to create new traits or characteristics, such as resistance to pests or tolerance to herbicides.
The use of bioengineering in food production has been a controversial topic for many years.
Proponents argue that it can lead to increased crop yields, reduced use of pesticides, and improved food quality. However, opponents raise concerns about the potential long-term health and environmental impacts, as well as the lack of transparency and labeling around bioengineered foods.
In the United States, the first bioengineered food product was approved for commercial use in 1996. Since then, many more bioengineered crops have been approved for use, and in 2019, a federal law was passed requiring that all bioengineered foods be labeled as such. The labeling requirement provides transparency for consumers and allows them to make informed decisions about the food they purchase and consume. It's a relief to know that we can now easily identify which products contain bioengineered ingredients, and it's important to spread awareness about this labeling requirement so that more people can be informed.
Last week I was opening a new container of Hellman's Mayo and I was shocked to see the bioengineering label, (is any food safe?) and that's why I've decided to take matters into my own hands and learn how to make homemade mayonnaise. I love Hellman's so I'm playing with some spices, paprika, celery salt, garlic, and...., it will take some time to get that flavor, texture and taste, but I'm willing to try. Now, I know, it may sound daunting to make homemade mayonnaise, but trust me, it's easier than you think. Plus, when you make it yourself, you know exactly what's going into it.
Here's a quick and easy recipe for homemade mayo: Add spice to your taste.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup neutral-tasting oil (such as avocado or grapeseed)
Salt to taste
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice until well combined.
While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture begins to thicken and emulsify.
Continue whisking until the mayo is thick and creamy. Add salt to taste.
That's it! Super simple, right? And the best part is, you can customize your mayo to your liking. Adding in some garlic or herbs for extra flavor, or substitute the oil for something different (just make sure it's a neutral-tasting oil).
One thing to keep in mind when making mayo is that it can be a bit finicky. If the mixture doesn't thicken up, it's likely because the ingredients weren't at the same temperature or the oil was added too quickly. But don't worry, just keep whisking and it should come together eventually. And if all else fails, a hand-held immersion blender can be a great tool to use for making mayo, that's what I used.
Homemade mayo is not only delicious, but it's also healthier than store-bought mayo. You can use high-quality ingredients and avoid all the additives and preservatives found in most commercial brands.
Homemade mayo can last in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks. It's best to store it in an airtight container and make sure it's not exposed to air. You can also store it in a glass jar with a lid. When you're ready to use it, give it a stir or a shake to recombine the ingredients. If it smells or looks off, it's best to discard it.
So, what can you do if you're concerned about bioengineered foods?
The next time you're at the grocery store and see that "bioengineered" label, don't fret. One option is to look for foods that are labeled as organic or non-GMO, as these are typically free of bioengineered ingredients. Another option is to try making your own homemade versions of foods that commonly contain bioengineered ingredients, such as mayonnaise. You've got the power to make your own mayo and take control of your food.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments-