Healthy Living

Eating GMO-Free? 6 Easy Ways To Avoid Genetically Modified Foods In Your Shopping Bag

Supermarket aisle view of shopping cart and shelves
Avoid adding GMO foods to your shopping cart by following these simple tips — from looking for a non-GMO seal of approval to considering the additives — for healthy eating. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

In a growing health-conscious society, more consumers are putting the pressure on food manufacturers to publicly disclose the ingredients used in their products. Fast food giants like Subway and McDonald’s are among some of America’s food corporations that have recently come under attack for using ingredients that pose health risks to the public. Even supermarkets contain a plethora of ingredients, specifically genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which have a DNA or genetic makeup that does not occur in nature, and may be detrimental to human health.

GMO crops are usually engineered to survive herbicides and resist pests and disease. Although Monsanto and other biotech companies claim these crops have no impact on the environment and are perfectly safe to eat, there are no conducted tests to confirm this “safety.” Since processed foods contain GMOs, our bodies may contain toxins that could pose a threat to our health.

Despite the fact that over 90 percent of people want GMOs labeled, this issue is still debated in the U.S. With over 70 percent of North America’s packaged foods containing GMOs, awareness about GMOs is growing steadily. In an effort to help America’s most health-conscious shoppers avoid GMOs in their food cart, Whole Foods gives the whole story on six easy ways how to shop if you want to avoid GMOs in its YouTube video, “How to Shop if Avoiding GMOs l Whole Story l Whole Foods Market.”

1. Go Organic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards prohibits the use of genetic engineering (GE), or GMOs in organic products.

2. Look For A Seal Of Approval

Choose products that have been verified non-GMO by a third party like the Non-GMO Project. This nonprofit organization independently offers GMO test verification and labeling for non-GMO products. Its verification is process-based, using traceability, segregation, and testing to ensure compliance with its standards, writes the company on its site.

3. Consider The Additives

The five most prevalent GMO crops are corn, canola, soy, cotton, and sugar beets. These all end up as additives in all kinds of packaged foods as corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents, thickeners, and other ingredients. Be sure to read your labels carefully.

4. Eat Most Of Your Fruits And Veggies

Most fresh produce is non-GMO. There are only five common produce items that are currently grown commercially from GMO seed. These include corn, zucchini, yellow summer squash, papaya, and edamame, also known as “soybeans.”

5. Choose Dry Dry Grains, Beans, Nuts, and Seeds

This is the best way to go if you want to consume non-GMO foods. Be sure to avoid corn and soy.

6. Consider Animal Feed

Animals eat soy, corn, and alfalfa that can be grown from GMO seed. GMOs are prevalent in the commodity grain market, which is 94 percent of soy and 88 percent of corn crops. Look for organic or non-GMO verified meat, dairy, eggs, and fish.

Keep these six tips in your back pocket the next time you go grocery shopping to choose healthy eating options. 

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