According to a very recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey, more than 70 percent of Americans say they don’t want genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their food. 92 percent say they want GMOs labeled. The problem is, it’s hard to avoid them – they’re lurking in everything from breakfast cereals to chips.
Three common food labels were discussed in the study: “natural,” “USDA Organic” and “Non-GMO Project Verified.” 64 percent of people surveyed believed that natural means no GMOs. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There is actually no standard for foods labeled as “natural.” The results were more promising for the “USDA Organic” label. Because USDA Organic guidelines legally prohibit the use of GMOs, the tested products qualified as non-GMO. Similarly, products with the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal were true to their claim.
So, how do you navigate the grocery store aisles to shop for non-GMO foods? Here’s a start:
1. Organic Means No GMOs – The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit the use of GMOs. Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients. Buy products labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients.”
2. Look for a Seal of Approval – Products that carry the Non-GMO Project Seal are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance, including testing of at-risk ingredients. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to providing consumers with clearly labeled and independently verified non-GMO choices.
3. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies – Most fresh produce is non-GMO. Even novel products such as seedless watermelon are not genetically modified.
4. Check the Source on Meat, Dairy and Eggs – Milk, cheese, eggs, beef, chicken and pork could all be from animals that were given GMO feed. Look for dairy products labeled “No rBGH or rBST,” or “artificial hormone-free.” If you’re concerned, choose organic or non-GMO verified.
5. Go for Dry Grains, Beans, Nuts and Seeds - Choosing dry beans, grains, nuts and seeds is a great way to go non-GMO.