How to Avoid GMOs (for real)

In the U.S., GMOs are everywhere in our supply chain. According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, 75-80% of all conventional, processed foods contain some form of GMOs. In this post, I’ll tell you how to avoid them.

First, a bit of background

GMOs are plant or meat products with DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, resulting in foreign compounds found in these foods. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature and hasn’t been studied extensively.

In this post, I’m not going to argue the merits of going GMO-free. Some believe that GMOs help to feed world hunger. Some people disagree with this theory. If you want to read up more on the GMO studies, here is a list of past studies and this appears to be the most recent study. Finally, here are some peer-reviewed studies that link GMOs to increased allergies, organ toxicity, hormonal disruption and other health problems.

Bottom line, if you chose to consume GMOs, that’s your prerogative. Our family still ingests them occasionally since we like to go out to eat once a week or so. Having said that, we make lifestyle accommodations so that we can consume mostly organic, GMO-free food. There’s enough evidence for me to avoid these guys as much as possible.

Going GMO-free ain’t easy

This post is a response to the concerned mamas who watched this video about GMOs in surprising places. And the truth is, it takes a lot of sleuthing to figure out what is truly GMO-free.

You know that USDA Certified Organic symbol? Sorry, it’s not fail-proof.

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that’s responsible for organic certification allows up to 5% by weight of remaining ingredients to be part of their USDA’s National List which gives some wiggle room for GMO contamination. They can make exceptions due to pressure from powerful pro-GMO lobbyist groups and companies who want that organic certification without adhering to the strict guidelines.

Organic is big business, and money corrupts the process.

But I digress… let’s get down to brass tacks.

How to avoid GMOs

  • Buy food labeled “100% organic” or labeled by the 3rd party non-GMO project. These are the ONLY labels that legally guarantee food is 100% GMO free.
  • Buy meat that say the animals were fed 100% organic fed or grass-fed/finished. Or better yet, find a local farmer here and buy your products closer to the source. Be sure to ask them if they’re committed to producing non-GMO products.
  • Buy 100% organic eggs that state “from 100% organic feed.” Safe grocery store brands include Organic Valley, Eggland’s Best, and Land O’ Lakes Organic eggs.
  • Buy 100% organic dairy products (grass-fed is even better) or European products from Switzerland and Greece (100% GMO-free) and France (mostly GMO-free.) You can see a global GMO-free map here. Kalona Farms, Organic Valley, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods’ 365 Brand are safe brands.
  • Shop at farmer’s markets and remember that most produce is safe from GMOs, even conventional varieties, with the exception of corn, radicchio, beets, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini and yellow summer squash.
  • Organic whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are safe. One caveat… conventional RICE which has been contaminated with GMOs. Buy organic rice only… safe brands include Lotus and Lundberg.
  • Keep eating out to a minimum.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods/beverages.

On a budget?

  • Buy lots of fruits and veggies… even conventional produce is pretty safe from GMOs with the exception of corn, beets, zucchini, summer squash, radicchio and Hawaiian papaya.
  • Buy organic grains, legumes, nuts and seeds from bulk sections or online.
  • Invest in good quality, 100% organic butter, eggs and whole chickens. These are less expensive and go the distance. For example, use the chicken carcass for broth. Also, buy cheaper cuts of organic meat like chuck roasts, shanks, etc. and use bones for broth.
  • Eat more gelatin. Either from organic-fed animals or from this source. Soup bones such as oxtail, shanks, necks, backs and feet are cheaper than muscle meat and are just as nutrient dense.
  • Buy cases of coconuts from local Asian grocery stores. Use the juice, pulp, and fat for a variety of recipes including this one and this one. You can also buy a gallon of coconut oil at bulk prices.
  • Grow your own food! Here’s a resource for safe seeds since many are contaminated with GMO strains (thank you Monsanto!)

Guaranteed Offenders:

  • Most conventional processed foods.
  • Any conventional product that contains sugar… nearly all sugar in the U.S. is derived from GMO sugar beets. This means “no” to anything with ingredients labeled: sugar, fructose, dextrose, glucose, caramel color, mannitol, maltodextrin, etc. Fortunately, you’re safe if ingredients are listed as 100% sugar cane, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar. That’s because the sugar cane plant is more complicated to genetically modify. But, Monsanto expects to have a Roundup Ready/Bt variety on the market by 2015 :( Beware of inexpensive or highly processed honey because the bees could have feasted on GMO vegetation.
  • Any conventional product containing soy or derivatives. This includes their oils and by products like soy lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone, as well as, tofu, tempeh, and soybean oil. This would include most vitamin E supplements which are derived from soybean oil.
  • Any conventional product containing corn. This includes conventional corn muffins, fresh corn, high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch and corn starch products like infant formula and Cheerios, foods commonly given to babies and toddlers. Vitamin C supplements in the form of corn-based ascorbic acid can contain GMOs.
  • Any conventional dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, pork, or other animal products. These animals’ diet contain GMO corn/soy. Also be sure your dairy is free of rBGH, a Monsanto genetically-engineered growth hormone that forces cows to artificially increase milk production by 10 to 15 percent. Even dairy products that are listed “rBGH-free” can contain GMOs because, again, the animals feed on GMO grain. Organic Valley, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Brand dairy are both rBGH and GMO free. Keep in mind that some vitamin B12 supplements use GMO microorganisms.
  • Farmed-raised fish/seafood because they most likely are fed GMO meal. This would include salmon, trout, carp, cod, turbot, halibut, shrimp and tilapia. Be sure to purchase only “wild caught.”
  • Canola/rapeseed oils. Canola is a modified “food” derived from the rapeseed. Ever heard of mustard gas? Yeah, it’s part of the same family. Over 80% of the Canola/rapeseed in the US has been genetically modified and it’s better suited as an industrial product than food.
  • Aspartame… not only is it a neurotoxin, it’s created using a genetically modified bacteria strain.
  • Alfalfa. Even organic alfalfa is at risk of cross-contamination by the GMO crop. Unfortunately, the USDA didn’t think this was a big deal.
  • Conventional cotton, particularly from India and China. This includes processed foods that contain cottonseed oil.

Surprising “safe” foods:

  • Tomatos
  • Potatoes
  • Wheat

While Monsanto flirted with GMO tomatos and potatoes, they weren’t popular due to their bad taste and susceptibility to spoilage. For now, these foods are relatively safe. Of course, organic is better to be sure.

Wheat is often lumped into the GMO category, but the truth is there hasn’t been a successful attempt to make GMO wheat. While many are allergic to our highly tampered wheat crop today, it’s due to the high levels of gluten and starch, not GMOs.

What about eating out?

Not easy to avoid GMOs when eating out, unless you go to a place committed to serving local, organic foods.

The oils are the biggest problem since most restaurants use cheap corn, soy, or canola oils. Keep in mind that while these GMO oils contain harmful GMO-derived toxins, they don’t contain the more harmful DNA and proteins found in the actual pure corn or soy products.

Try to find restaurants that make food from scratch. Italian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants are safest due to their reliance on olive oil.

Some safe bets at most restaurants:

  • Vegetable plate (sans zucchini/summer squash)
  • Fruit and cheese plate (if dairy is imported)
  • Baked potatoes. Use olive oil to top with versus dairy products since they’ll most likely contain GMOs.
  • Most salads if you bring your own dressing or if the restaurant uses real olive oil.
  • Nuts and seed dishes like hummus, nut butters, peanut sauces, etc.
  • Wild seafood/fish
  • New Zealand or Australian lamb since they are usually grass-fed
  • Pasta dish with fresh vegetables and olive oil/herbs

Want to check out your favorite brands?

This is a great non-GMO list. This is a great GMO list.

GMO-Free Shopping Lists

Here are some GMO-free shopping lists for everything from groceries to baby and beauty products.

I like this list best.


So, there you have it… the GMO breakdown. I hope this post was helpful (and not overwhelming :) .) While avoiding all GMOs could lead you to the brink of insanity, we can empower ourselves with knowledge and then make the best decisions for ourselves and family. Let’s hope and pray that Prop 37 passes in California as this will ensure transparent and truthful GMO labeling!

How about YOU? Do you avoid GMOs like the plague? Or is it not top of mind?





About Genevieve

After battling weight, digestive, and immune system issues for years, I know firsthand the harmful effects of conventional life. Through a long road of detox, I discovered the healing power of natural living. This transformation spread into every area of my life - physical, emotional & spiritual. Now I'm on a mission to help other mamas live happier, healthier lives.

Please note: Many links on this site, especially those to Amazon, are affiliate links. Should you click on these links and purchase something, the price is no different for you and I earn a small commission. Thanks for supporting Mama Natural!

Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


  1. Diane August 3 at 11:21 am

    There is no Gmo rice it is still in testing you can identify it by the golden yellow carotenoids added to enrich it

  2. Tim March 19 at 12:40 pm

    I liked this write up a lot. Tons of great information in an easy to understand format. I’d have to differ a bit with wheat. Yes many do have issues with it due to how heavily tampered with it is. But I think it’s silly to think that it has to do with high levels of gluten and starch, as opposed to high level of glyphosate (round up) that is sprayed on it just prior to harvest.

    • Rebecca April 11 at 1:06 pm

      there was a study done (don’t remember the name of it) that showed our wheat has 60 times the amount of gluten now compared to when i was a kid in the 50 and 60’s. Combine that with the fact that as we age we get aging stomach” and not enougj enzymes to break down food. The post i read today said the pancreas is robed of ensymes if we don’t have enough to breakdown our food , that causes diabetes and other issues. I am a nurse and didn’t even know that information. No wonder i have such difficulties eating it.

  3. MarinaP March 10 at 7:43 am

    This is fantastic text. A looked so long to find something like this. I recently started to avoid GMO and eat only organic food. At the beginning, it was very difficult. I work all day long and I just don’t have enough time to go every day to grocery and prepare fresh food. Then, I found this site where food is always fresh and wonderfully prepared. My colleagues even started ordering. Anyway, I would like you to keep posting more about GMO and organic food. Many of us need help.

    • Jake March 13 at 5:01 am

      This site is pretty good, but some of your info about trader joe’s is incorrect. Their dairy products are not guaranteed non-gmo fed cows. Also they have not been 3rd party verified so everything on their shelves that isn’t organic or from a gmo free country is in question. They do claim that all their produce and any of their non meat and meat by products that have their label on them are non-gmo but to what degree? If you shop there don’t expect everything to be in the “safe” category. Anything that has milk in it including granola bars and chocolates are still in danger of being from cows that were fed gmos. Anything they sell without the trader joe’s name on it could be full of gmo ingredients like soy lecithin and Isolated soy protein or corn starch. I only found one granola bar that was actually ok out of the many choices. I don’t know about whole foods or the others, but I have done my research on tjs.

  4. jennifer January 28 at 2:27 pm

    I have been reading up on GMOs and visiting a bunch of sites, non-GMO lists, etc. This post was the clearest, simplest, most organized info I’ve found for a crash course. Thank you so much!

  5. pietas January 1 at 12:05 pm

    if it was certified organic by Quality Assurance International, does that mean that it is not organic if it also says on the label that it was processed in the same facility as soy. Or grown in a facility with soy? For example trader joes usually lists allergens on the label, but it says made in shared facility. so how can that be organic? Should I stop buying these things? please email me back since there is no subscribe button here devotionforjesus at gmail dot com

  6. msjacque October 10 at 4:58 am

    So overwhelming …I shall use this knowledge…and pray.

  7. Allie September 28 at 11:56 am

    I am of Greek background so EVOO from Greece has always been a staple in our house and cooking, but besides that, I am now committed to eating as gmo free, clean, and organic as possible. Living in Boca Raton, I often find myself walking by large, upscale, popular local chain restaurants in the morning, and literally getting nauseated by the smell in the air of the horrible industrial oils most restaurants use. I would say that it is probably impossible to expect pure EVOO cooking in any restaurant in the USA (knowing their inside little tricks and lies/even in Mediterranean/Greek, etc. restaurants for more profit) outside of a few health type restaurants. In Greece, where people care more about quality over quantity, and restaurateurs don’t expect to become millionaires at the cost of their health conscious and discerning local clientele, one can eat clean food, non GMO food, and EVOO exclusively, in inexpensive to expensive restaurants with from the villages to the islands to the cities, and it is paradise! No wonder every one who comes back from a vacation there not only boasts about the freshness of the food, but also claim to lose weight despite eating out at every meal!

  8. Wholegrain Foods Supplier Delhi March 15 at 2:44 am

    Yes, I know that GMOs (Grocery Manufacturers Association) are artificial genetic plant and animal food in other way we can say it inorganic food. So we always have to see the tag mark of organic on the food items. Always buy organic dairy products from dairies. Inorganic products are not healthy and can also make you weak. Inorganic products are artificial foreign compounds. So, Always buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the market. Thanks for sharing this post…………

  9. Pam March 13 at 3:03 pm

    I’m all on board with eliminating GMO foods in our supply. Unfortunately, it’s a long dirty political battle, putting peoples health at risk.

    I wanted to comment on the soy issue. I noticed you do have another Shaklee link showing the use of non-GMO soy protein which is excellent. The other side to soy, is it needs to be processed properly. Even if a product lists non-GMO soy, and it’s processed at a higher heat, it becomes toxic. Shaklee does not heat the soy because of this. Just something to be aware of.

    Additionally, I have just done further research on the Canola oil issue. From what I have found, it is safe. You can pull it up on snopes and read for yourself why I say this. Complete with reliable references. Again, Shaklee 180 Products do contain some canola oil, and if it wasn’t safe, they wouldn’t include it. They do test each one of their products 350 different ways before bringing them to market. I honestly don’t know of any other company that provides this type of testing.

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  11. stephanie March 2 at 7:14 am

    Just want to point out you forgot eggplant as far as produce containing GMOs.

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  13. Al Ortmeier December 13 at 9:27 pm

    Hi, I don’t know if anyone is looking for non gmo beef but we have it and raise it ourselves. We are part of the non gmo project group and love what they are doing. I read some of your story and some of the facts are true but Organic dose not mean non gmo. Gmo’s are passed for use on organic farms. To me this is a crime but also not my problem. We test and test every thing that we use in our feed and have been doing this for over five years. Now we can truthfully say that we are the only NHTC, All Natural, Gap certified Non Gmo project verified, corn fed beef producer in the US. Look us up. Our web site is not much, but our product is. Every child should be able to eat beef free of any contamination.

  14. Andrew Vajda December 8 at 9:05 pm

    I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to have found your article about GMO vitamins.

    I am so passionate about the subject that I’ve opened an online store called and so far my only product is certified GMO free ascorbic acid from the last Western manufacturer left outside of China.

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    I’ve put this online just last 2 weeks ago and work with a very small markup to compete with the Chinese.

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  15. Tracy November 7 at 8:20 pm

    Your post is very informative, thank you! I am still navigating this very complicated food field – however, as you say potatoes, tomatoes and wheat might be safe from GMO’s, Potatoes and Tomatoes are on the Dirty Dozen list from EWG. If its not one thing, its another. It’d be great to have a go-to guide for all things ‘safe’ for foods…

  16. Kristen November 4 at 10:30 am

    Great post! I had a question. On the shopping guide app from the Non-GMO Project website, they specify that there are no genetically modified popcorns on the market so I have been buying non-organic to save money. You say in your article to be careful for popcorn, just wondering why? Thank you!

    • Genevieve November 6 at 7:48 pm

      I might have worded wrong… popcorn isn’t GMO BUT conventional popcorn is loaded with pesticides as corn is a heavily sprayed crop so I’d go for organic if you can.

  17. heather November 3 at 8:15 pm

    Great post however I find it concerning that you say trader Joe’s and whole foods 365 brands are safe when independant studies have shown them to be contaminated

  18. Dana November 3 at 8:00 pm

    Genevieve, You Rock! Thanks so much for this! :)

      • marie September 15 at 2:22 am

        You can get the update about Trader Joes products at Food Babe-She contacts food companies about harmful ingredients.

  19. Bree November 3 at 7:30 pm

    I just wanted to share that wheat is actually just as bad as our modern GMO’s. They altered it in the 60’s, to make it easier to harvest with combines. But since it was their first attempt it was a very “botched” job, this gave wheat it’s high gluten content, and made it much harder for the body to assimilate. The only reason they don’t call it GMO is because they did it before they had this classification. They also didn’t have the same technology that they do today.

    • Wendi November 3 at 8:27 pm

      Bree, it’s been my understanding that today’s wheat isn’t a GMO, but rather just hybridized. Where can I find more information on this?

      Thank you!

  20. farmer kenny November 2 at 8:48 pm

    Yes, i also avoid GMO’s like the plague.

    unfortunately you are wrong about the 100% organic label “guaranteeing” a product to be GMO free. organic foods are regulated in a “process” based system not a results based system. for example if i were to grow organic sweet corn and a neighbor farmer grew gmo corn that cross pollinated my corn due to wind drift. i could still label my corn as organic because i followed the “process” and did not intentionally grow with gmo plants. this HAS happened and even worse much of the organic seeds for organic corn and other foods have been contaminated in this way. sadly organic certification requires no testing to see if there has been contamination. the ne “non-gmo project” has begun doing some testing and is a far safer bet to find non gmo foods.

  21. Ama September 28 at 1:26 pm

    You state that products from Switzerland and Greece are 100% GMO-free. I’m wondering if you know if that includes the feed given to cattle that produces milk for yogurt originating from those countries?

  22. Charlene September 22 at 11:20 am

    Depressing indeed. I live in a rural area in a northern climate, and while I am able to find local organic produce (good variety “in-season”, less so in the winter), I am finding that even the locally raised beef, pork and poultry are fed GMO diets. I have all but eliminated any processed foods from my diet but am finding it increasing difficult to follow a “healthy” and varied non-GMO diet as the foods are just not available. I’ve committed myself to raising awareness of the issue because it will NOT go away until EVERYONE knows about it and speaks with their wallets by not buying any foods with GMO’s.

    • Lili September 22 at 5:03 pm

      Good for you! My daughter today said that none of her friends buy the foods that I buy; the “healthy” stuff. I fear ignorance is the culprit. Education is key!

    • marie September 15 at 2:24 am

      Try drinking a Organic Green Super-food powder mix.It is a great way to drink your veggies if you are not getting enough.It also gives you great natural energy.

  23. Lili September 17 at 7:29 am

    I’m just now opening my eyes to gmo foods and your blog has been very informative. I cant believe the prevalence of gmo in our food supply; very depressing, but I can now educate my two teenage girls.

    • Genevieve September 17 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks Lili! It can be depressing… but with more of us aware, the more things can change :) XO

  24. Green Child Magazine August 17 at 11:37 am

    One of the most comprehensive, real life lists we’ve seen. Thanks for all your efforts on this. We pinned it for our readers :)

    • Genevieve August 18 at 9:09 pm

      Oh good! Thanks so much! I worked hard on it :)

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  32. John Carman June 20 at 8:48 pm

    As many of you are aware, Whole Foods Market has wonderful organic produce and features thoughtfully selected pre-packaged prepared foods made by venders who are conscious of our desire to purchase Organic, NON-GMO, minimally processed foods. For this, Whole Foods has earned the distinction of being America’s first national Certified Organic Grocer. However, I recently discovered, while talking to one of the cooks for Whole Foods take away and eat in cold and hot foods, that, and he stated, “NO, WE DO NOT USE ORGANIC INGREDIENTS in our ready to eat hot and cold foods, not unless the item card is specifically labeled as having an organic ingredient”.

    If you’re like me, you simply assumed that their ready to eat hot and cold foods are made with 100% Organic ingredients, however a quick survey of Item Name/Ingredient cards revealed the use of non-organic soy, soy oil, canola oil, canola-olive oil blend, conventional vegetables, conventional meats and conventional diary products. Worse non-organic foods such as corn, canola oil, corn oil, soy beans, zucchini and yellow squash likely contain GMO’s.

    My intuition tells me that they are unlikely to fix something that nobody is complaining about. My decision was easy, I simply stopped eating the hot prepared foods and soups that Whole Foods sells; nearly every item they make has canola or soy oil that is not labeled organic, and that likely means that there is a high probability the oil is heavily sprayed with pesticides or made from GMO seeds.

    What are your thoughts? Are you, like me, going into Whole Foods for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and thinking you’re eating a meal made with thoughtfully selected organic ingredients?

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  38. Vicki May 2 at 11:06 pm

    Someone may have already asked this but I didn’t see it. You say that Trader Joes and Whole Foods are GMO free and safe to eat. Does this mean that foods known to have GMO’s such as rice, soy lecithin, etc., are safe to eat if they are from these two stores?

    • Rita May 29 at 3:55 pm

      Unless the description of the soy lecithin says “non gmo soy lecithin”, it is safe to assume it is GMO

    • Kayla Block June 3 at 7:28 am

      Whole Foods has lots and lots of GMO stacked on their shelves. You must read labels – ask yourself, is this product organic? Does it have a Non-GMO Verified label? In the case of the former, its most likely to have very small amounts of GMOs, if any. There’s always a small allowable percentage which may be even found in the form of these small additives: Maltodextrin (from corn); Citric as well as Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C (from corn); Glycerin (from canola); Lecithin (from Soy); Tocopherol (Vit. E ( from corn, soy and/or cotton) just to name a few!! Of course these could be made with Non-GMO plant material, so the thing to do would be to call the manufacturer and ask where they got that ingredient from, for instance, maltodextrin – usually the company that creates maltodextrin will tell you that they get their corn supply from a “pool” of corn from all over, and they don’t know whats in it. I think I can guess. About 88% of corn grown in the US in GMO, so if its an even pool they’ve got there, im guessing 88% of their maltodextrin product is probably made from GMOs. Check out It’s where I got this info from. Very comprehensive and informative – though at this point they need to update on the GMO wheat issue and how they are finding it in shipments to other countries and in boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese. As far as Whole Foods though, I’ll be interested to see what comes of Whole Foods plans to start labeling it’s products that include GMO ingredients in 2018. Can’t come soon enough, and good luck!

  39. Jaclyn May 2 at 4:08 pm

    You mentioned conventional cotton being something to avoid. What about Cotton Burr compost for the garden? I assume that would be made from conventional cotton. It’s made out of all the extra cotton plant parts. I work in my family’s garden center, I better research this for the customers that want to grow organic veggies!

  40. leslie February 26 at 7:55 pm

    so my frosted mini wheats are safe? i was just going to throw them out because their customer service couldn’t tell me if it was gmo free. they just said they purchase on the open market so there is no telling if it is gmo free. i am happy to think i can still have wheat:)

    • Wendi August 16 at 7:31 am

      Leslie, your Frosted Mini Wheats are NOT safe for so many reasons, the GMO content being only one of those reasons.

  41. Kayla November 11 at 9:57 am

    It is thought there are no field trials in the US currently for this GM wheat variety. Though my heart goes out to all those who currently live in Australia! In Australia, human feeding trials are currently planned and may even be underway as the effects are already being documented. Idle Hands are the Devils Workshop. Money mongrels and their minion scientists need something better to do with their time and pronto.

  42. Ranjani November 7 at 4:21 pm

    Ah, you know all the thingz! :-) Thank you so much–I’ll still be buying organic, of course, but it’s good to know that I have an option.

    PS: I’m unable to find anything about the impact of Bt cotton in clothing. I know that back home in India, there have been several studies undertaken (and consequently undermined by resolute, gung-ho biotechnologists) on how cattle died after consuming Bt seeds. I wonder if the Bt strain actually affects the quality/allergenic nature of the cloth in a way that (presumably) cotton grown with pesticides may.

    • Ranjani November 7 at 4:23 pm

      PPS: That was meant to read “non-allergenic,” but you know what I mean. :-)

    • Genevieve November 7 at 4:06 pm

      Yes, I saw this in my research. Nearly all of the GMO organizations said that tomatoes are currently safe and that the Monsanto tomato actually didn’t meet shelf/taste preferences from suppliers/consumers. Of course, like wheat, the crop has been tampered with the exception of heirloom tomatoes.

  43. Raine November 7 at 2:12 pm

    Unfortunately, foods like wheat are a problem because although no transgenic wheat has been officially approved for the consumer market, Monsanto and other companies like Syngenta have test plots for transgenic wheat. Unless you have it tested, it’s impossible to know if the wheat you are eating is contaminated. But since it’s a likely possibility, if you want to avoid GMOs, it’s best to avoid wheat also. My naturopath has stated over and over again that many common health issues including obesity, diabetes & other auto-immune disorders, cancer, and others are at least partially to blame from consuming wheat due to various factors – GMO being the biggest culprit – also the pervasiveness of wheat in our food supply (found in so many processed foods), gluten content in wheat being much higher than the historical past, grains are not properly prepared by most people (and even when they are they still leach minerals from the body), and the fact that so many people already have digestive issues.

    • Tracy November 9 at 9:41 am

      Wheat that we have is not GMO but a hybrid that contains very high gluten. If you were to try heirloom types (at least before WWII), you probably will not experience the problems of the modern wheat.

      The only test plots I know of for GMO wheat are in New Zealand and in England. But I think the England one was old and not a current study.

      Anyway, you would be very hard pressed to find any GMO wheat in any form outside of those plots. Main reason is that they are rare at the moment.

      The other “good” thing when it comes to wheat as compared to many other crops, it is going to be much more difficult for the pollen to contaminate a field of wheat. The pollen-depending on variety-lives very shortly, from 15 minutes to a few hours. Wheat varieties can be spaced by feet and not cross pollinate. And the wheat fields would also have to be in the same pollination cycle (meaning pollinating) at the same time. Much less of a chance than corn.

      If you can find it, try Kamut wheat. It is one of the oldest varieties known to man and it can usually be found in a health food store. It is a 2 chromosone wheat, modern wheats are 8.

      Sorry for any spelling errors–long day already! lol


  44. Kaitlyn November 7 at 12:54 am

    When will we know the results of prop 37?

    • Genevieve November 7 at 4:04 pm

      Didn’t pass by a 54/46% margin :(

  45. Cari Loose November 3 at 9:34 am

    One word of caution about olive oil: The Sicilian mob, yes the Italian gangs, have taken over olive oil production in Italy. According to an article I read recently, that was passed on to me by my daughter who is all over this type of research, most Italian Olive Oil is made from soybeans. Who knew? It’s safer to purchase Olive Oil from other countries, like Spain or Argentina. Just some more info about our continually contaminated food sources.

  46. Allison November 2 at 5:39 pm

    Just posted about Prop 37 in CA, today! Can you please expound a bit more how wheat is non-GMO?

    • Genevieve November 4 at 11:53 am


      They haven’t been able to crack the code in a major way on wheat because it’s a more complex grain. So, according to the no GMO project, there’s not currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically engineered wheat on the market. Of all “low-risk” crops, this is the one most commonly (and incorrectly) assumed to be GMO. It is a key commodity crop, and the biotech industry is pushing hard to bring GMO varieties to market.

      To read more up on, you can check out these two links:

      • Allison January 16 at 1:18 pm

        Thanks for responding! It has taken me this long to come back and check out your reply :) We had just started reading Wheat Belly when you posted this, so I was curious :) Even thought it was not modified in a lab I think the hybridization has wreaked major havoc for many Americans. We do try to avoid it on our family (I can’t even physically tolerate it anymore!) Great post!

  47. Melissa November 2 at 4:59 pm

    Great article. I found a list of companies that donated money to oppose Prop 37 and ones that gave to support. That was very eye opening and surprising.

    • Genevieve November 4 at 11:53 am

      Amen! Loved seeing that Dr. Bronner’s just donated another $250,000 for Prop 37!

  48. Wendi Wilkins November 2 at 4:47 pm

    This post is very thorough yet simple to understand; thank you for all the work behind it. I have GMO questions that I can’t find answers for anywhere on the ‘Net and I hope you can tell me where to find them. My questions are 1) are there GMOs in nutritional supplements? I have a couple friends who sell MLM supplements (Juice Plus and Orenda, to be exact) and they are told by their “higher-ups” that their products don’t contain ANY GMOs, yet when one looks at the ingredient labels for a number of their products one will read many instances of (not organic) corn and soy as well as derivatives thereof. And 2) if there are GMOs in these products, will supplements have to be labeled with the “partially produced with genetic engineering” label when Prop 37 passes? My Juice Plus friend says that Juice Plus will not be labeling their products with that label (which should leave him questioning why they would need to clarify that if none of their products contain GMOs).

    Thank you for any answers you can guide me to.

    • Genevieve November 4 at 12:04 pm


      Thanks for your thoughtful response.

      From what I’ve researched, yes, GMOs are currently in many supplements in the form of soy and corn (think vitamin C, vitamin E, and many, many others). Unless the supplement is listed as “organic,” I would be weary. I would stick with brands you know and trust. I know that New Chapter and MegaFoods are pretty solid.

      In terms of the Prop 37 labeling, I think that is still open to debate and if it passes the California courts will have to determine if supplements are included as food items, etc.

      • Wendi Wilkins November 4 at 3:00 pm

        Thank you very much for your informative response. It explains why I haven’t been able to find the answers on the ‘Net anywhere (’cause they’re not out there yet)!

        Thank you again.

        • Tracy November 9 at 9:35 am

          You also should be aware that many supplements and vitamins are made in China. That was recently pointed out to me by someone complaining that they could not find a good brand to use in health food or drug stores. They had to go to a chiropractor to get decent ones.

          • Wendi Wilkins November 9 at 3:42 pm

            Thank you, Tracy, I didn’t know that.

            Does anybody have any information on Juice Plus or Orenda, specifically?

            Thank you!

        • Emily November 16 at 11:45 am

          As far as Juice Plus+ (I’ve never heard of Orenda), they are actually in the process of getting their non-GMO label for their products. If you give their customer service a call, they would be happy to talk to you about it. SOME of their ingredients are organic (where possible) but it is also NSF certified so it is free of herbicides/pesticides/contaminants. It’s really a quality product and I’ve done a LOT of research on it before I would even think about touching it (currently pregnant). :) Hope this helps!

  49. Margaret M. November 2 at 1:26 pm

    Thanks for this! I have already been in the process of limiting my family’s exposure to GMOs and hoping to eliminate it completely. The shopping guide is fantastic and I’m glad to see some of my family’s favorite brands are GMO free.

  50. A Mom in Michigan November 2 at 11:28 am

    I think I’m doing a pretty thorough job of avoiding GMOs in the foods and ingredients that I buy for us to eat and cook with while at home. But I sure wish that there was at least one restaurant in our local area that served organic non-GMO foods. I’m envious of people who live in cities like Asheville, North Carolina.

    • Jennica January 4 at 9:49 pm

      In Grand Rapids MI there are quite a few restaurants that are farm to table and/or feature made from scratch kitchens. We love Marie Catribs, Bartertown, and so many more.

  51. Mollie @Sprinkles of Life November 2 at 9:09 am

    This is a great post! I’ll be using it many times and also the links you provided! Thanks! I am now a regular follower :)

    • Genevieve November 2 at 9:41 am

      Thanks so much Mollie! I worked hard on this post so happy to hear that it’s helpful :) I learned a ton writing it too! XOXO

  52. Jessica November 1 at 10:52 am

    I love the thought of Organic Valley dairy (which is readily available around here), unfortunately I feel like it is useless to buy their dairy products because they are ultra-pasteurized. I try hard not to buy ultra-pasteurized anything, seems like it “defeats the purpose.” How much goodness can possibly be left when it’s been U-P?

    • Genevieve November 2 at 9:43 am

      I know…. bummer! BUT, they are testing totally grass-fed, low-heat vat pasteurized products (including milk, cream, etc.) in Colorado and California. Hopefully people go for it and it will spread throughout US.

    • Genevieve November 2 at 9:44 am

      Oh, another thing, do they have Kalona Farms milk where you live? They also use a low-temp vat pasteurization so much better than UP.

    • Narapong January 6 at 11:43 pm

      They won’t label them because they know peploe won’t eat them. Why else would they have a problem with it!Basically if it doesn’t say NO GMO it more than likely contains GMOs. It’s shocking how many peploe know nothing about this. I’d say 9 out of 10 peploe I talk to have no idea.When Monsanto threatens lawsuits such as Fox News/bovine story no wonder we don’t hear much about the horror that is actually taking place. Go away Monsanto. You want to feed your wallet not the World. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE A MONOPOLY OVER OUR FOOD SUPPLY THE WAY YOU DO.

  53. Tamara @ oh lardy November 1 at 9:35 am

    I had no idea radicchio was possibly gmo.
    Interesting…and sad :(
    Great post!

    • Genevieve November 2 at 9:44 am

      I know! I didn’t know about that one too :) Not that I buy it that much but still surprising… XO

  54. Cait November 1 at 8:42 am

    Thank you SO much. This is a great summary to pass on.

  55. Nicole October 31 at 11:35 pm

    Loved this post, very informative stuff! I hate how companies can write “all natural” “vegetarian diet” on so many packaged foods and animal products and it can all be lies- so frustrating!

    Thank you for the tip on where to buy coconuts! I never thought to visit an Asian market around here – I just thought I had to wait until our yearly trip to Mexico for fresh coconut deliciousness!

  56. Monica October 31 at 9:24 am

    This is great! It’s nice to have it all in one place, thank you.

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