If you are avoiding GMOs, don’t assume that by shopping at a natural health food store, that you are in the clear. Sadly, GMOs are in just about every packaged food that is not labeled organic, even in foods found at stores like Whole Foods.
Does Whole Foods sell GMO foods?
While Whole Foods is committed to providing products that do not contain artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup, their commitment does not include GMOs. In their FAQ page here, they openly state the following in answer to the question “Do some of the products sold at Whole Foods contain GMOs?”: “Yes, nearly all grocery stores in the US sell foods with GMOs. They are pervasive — over 70% of packaged foods in the US contain GMOs. The US government does not require GMO foods to be labeled.”
Whole Foods, however, is committing to labeling all of their products by 2018 with information identifying if GMOs were used in that particular product or not. Until then, however, here are a few tips to avoid purchasing products with GMOs when shopping at Whole Foods.
Avoiding GMOs at Whole Foods
- Buy organic. When a product is labeled USDA Organic, it cannot contain any ingredients sourced from GMOs. Also, by purchasing organic meat and dairy products, you are ensuring that the animal was not fed any GMO foods.
- Look for the Non-GMO Project seal. Products are evaluated by a third party and certified that no GMOs are present in the product.
- Avoid buying non organic items that contain common GMOs. If you are buying non organic produce, avoid corn, soy, zucchini, papaya and alfalfa and yellow squash as these are common genetically modified products. Check packaged foods for common GMOs like corn, canola, sugar and soy or derivatives and buy organic to ensure they were not genetically engineered.
- Avoid “Natural” products. Products labeled all-natural or natural can still legally contain GMOs, so avoid any with common GMO ingredients.
Whole Foods also offers their signature line of natural and organic products, 365 Everyday Value. They state that any plant derived ingredients used in these products are sourced to avoid GMOs.
Bottom line, if it’s a common GMO or contains a common GMO product assume that it is genetically modified unless it specifically states organic or Non-GMO certified.
Here are some other ways to avoid GMOs.
- Grow your own. You can buy heirloom seeds to ensure the seeds are not sourced from genetically modified products and grown your own food. Start your own co-op with friends and neighbors and each commit to growing one food and sharing the bounty.
- Buy local. Many local farmers use heirloom seeds when growing produce and feed grass to their livestock instead of GMO corn. Request a tour of the farm and ask questions regarding their practices.
Buying non-GMO products can add up. Be sure to follow me on Facebook to keep up with the latest organic food deals.