How To Shop if You're Avoiding GMOs

A department-by-department guide.

Produce | Packaged Foods | Meat | Dairy, Eggs & Cheese | Seafood
Wine & Beer | Prepared Foods | Bakery | Body Care & Supplements

11 Basic Ways to Shop if You're Avoiding GMOs

1. Go organic!

The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit the use of GMOs.

2. Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

Third-party verification that a product is made without the intentional use of GMO ingredients.

3. Choose 365 Everyday Value® brand Food Products

All plant-derived ingredients in food products are sourced to avoid GMOs. (Note: If a product has meat, eggs or dairy ingredients, they could be from animals that were given GMO feed — unless the product is organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.)

4. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Most fresh produce is non-GMO; sweet corn, Hawaiian papaya, edamame, zucchini and yellow summer squash are the only produce items currently grown commercially from GMO seed*. We are working to provide verified non-GMO versions of these in our produce departments.

5. Check the Source on Meat, Eggs & Dairy

Milk, cheese, eggs, beef, chicken and pork could all be from animals that were given GMO feed. Choose organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

6. Consider the Additives

The five most prevalent GMO crops of corn, canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets end up as additives in all kinds of packaged foods as corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents, thickeners and other ingredients. Choose organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

7. Feel Good About Frozen

Most frozen fruits and vegetables are non-GMO. Frozen fruits and vegetables without additives are good non-GMO choices unless from one of these five high-risk crops: sweet corn, Hawaiian papaya, edamame, zucchini and yellow summer squash. Choose organic or Non-GMO Project Verified for those five.

8. Go for Dry Grains, Beans, Nuts and Seeds

As long as you avoid corn and soy, choosing dry beans, grains, nuts and seeds is a great way to go non-GMO.

9. Go Wild

Some farmed fish eat GMO feed. Choose wild-caught seafood or farmed oysters, mussels and clams (they aren't given supplemental feed).

10. Drink Responsibly

All wine and beer labeled either "organic" or "made with organic" or "Non-GMO Project Verified" must use non-GMO yeast. Wine grapes and the grains used to make beer are not typically GMO.

* Some GMO versions of apples and other crops are being tested but are not currently approved to be planted for commercial production. GMO versions of tomatoes and potatoes have been approved for planting, but are not currently in commercial production.

PRODUCE: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

Very few GMO crops end up in your local produce department. These five are considered to be "high-risk" for GMOs unless they are grown organically:

  • Sweet corn
  • Hawaiian papaya
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow summer squash
  • Edamame (soy)

Eat lots of these! Here are just a few of the MANY fruits and vegetables that have NOT been planted from GMO seed in 2013:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Avocadoes
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Leafy greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Cucumbers
  • Peas
  • Celery
  • Melons
  • Apples

*Some GMO versions of apples and other crops are being tested but are not currently approved to be planted for commercial production. GMO versions of tomatoes and potatoes have been approved for planting, but are not currently in commercial production.

WHAT TO KNOW

Fast fact: In 1994, the transgenic FlavrSavr tomato hit the market and they were last grown in 1997. Currently, no GMO tomatoes are in commercial production.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN PRODUCE

We are working to provide verified non-GMO versions of these five high-risk produce items in our stores and, in the meantime, ask us about the source or buy organic.

PACKAGED FOODS: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

Find over 4800 Non-GMO Project Verified products in our stores.

Over 70% of packaged food products in North America contain GMOs. To avoid them:

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs.

  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

    Third-party verification that a product is made without the use of GMO ingredients.

  • Choose 365 Everyday Value® brand Food Products

    All plant-derived ingredients in food products are sourced to avoid GMOs. (Note: If a product has meat, eggs or dairy ingredients, they could be from animals that were given GMO feed — unless the product is organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.)

  • Feel Good About Frozen

    Most frozen fruits and vegetables are non-GMO. Frozen fruits and vegetables without additives are good non-GMO choices unless from one of these five high-risk crops: sweet corn, Hawaiian papaya, edamame, zucchini and yellow summer squash.

  • Check the Source on Meat, Eggs & Dairy

    Milk, cheese, eggs, beef, chicken and pork could be from animals that were fed GMO feed. Choose organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

  • Consider the Additives

    The five most prevalent GMO crops of corn, canola, soy, cotton and sugar beets end up as additives in all kinds of packaged foods as corn syrup, oil, sugar, flavoring agents, thickeners and other ingredients. Choose organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.

  • Go for Dry Grains, Beans, Nuts and Seeds

    As long as you avoid corn and soy, choosing dry beans, grains, nuts and seeds is a great way to go non-GMO.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN PACKAGED FOODS

  • Since 2012, we've encouraged national suppliers sourcing conventional, at-risk ingredients to seek Non-GMO Project Verification.

  • The majority of our grocery items launched nationally in the last two years have been Non-GMO Project Verified and/or Organic.

  • All alternative meat products launched nationally since 2011 have been organic and/or Non-GMO Project verified and produced without hexane.

  • Pioneered products from animals fed Non-GMO feed (eggs, yogurt, milk) and launched over a dozen Biodynamic products, which have zero tolerance for GMOs (with many more in the pipeline).

* Some GMO versions of apples and other crops are being tested but are not currently approved to be planted for commercial production. GMO versions of tomatoes and potatoes have been approved for planting, but are not currently in commercial production.

MEAT: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs.

  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

    Third-party verification that a product is made without the intentional use of GMO ingredients.

  • The U.S. National Organic Standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs, and the Non-GMO Project verifies meat items.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Animals eat soy, corn and alfalfa that can be grown from GMO seed.

  • GMOs are prevalent in the commodity grain market — 94% of soy and 88% of corn crops.

  • There is limited availability of verified Non-GMO feed at this time.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN MEAT

  • We are working with all of our national suppliers to encourage the use of Non-GMO Project Verified feed, and the availability of feed will affect how soon they are able to comply.

  • A few of our major suppliers are already using Non-GMO Project Verified feed and many more are in process.

  • Some of our local and regional suppliers are in the process of becoming Non-GMO Project Verified. Their size makes it easier for them to work with a small mill to provide Non-GMO Project Verified feed.

DAIRY, EGGS & CHEESE: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs

  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

    Third-party verification that a product is made without the intentional use of GMO ingredients

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Animals eat soy, corn and alfalfa that can be grown from GMO seed.

  • GMOs are prevalent in the commodity grain market — 94% of soy and 88% of corn crops.

  • There is limited availability of verified Non-GMO feed at this time.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN DAIRY, EGGS & CHEESE

  • Working with all of our national suppliers to encourage the use Non-GMO Project Verified feed, and the availability of feed will affect how soon they are able to comply.

  • Supporting Organic Valley in getting all of their feed Non-GMO Project Verified, which means that our largest supplier will be organic and Non-GMO.

  • Pioneering new products from animals fed Non-GMO feed (eggs, yogurt, milk).

SEAFOOD: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go Wild We offer a range of sustainable wild-caught seafood from marine fisheries that maintain healthy fish populations and ecosystems.

  • Chose oysters, mussels and clams (since they are not given supplemental feed once placed in farms for grow-out).

WHAT TO KNOW

  • There are no USDA organic standards for seafood.

  • Some farmed fish eat GMO feed.

  • GMOs are prevalent in the commodity grain market.

  • There is limited availability of verified Non-GMO feed at this time.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN SEAFOOD

  • We've reached out to all of our aquaculture suppliers to discuss feed.

  • We are working to launch Non-GMO Project Verified seafood products.

WINE & BEER: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs.

  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

    Third-party verification that a product is made without the intentional use of GMO ingredients.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Grapes and the grains used to make beer are not typically GMO.

  • Wine and beer use yeast in their processing and many commercially available yeasts are GMO.

PREPARED FOODS: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • All canola oil used in the preparation of products made in our stores and our commissary kitchens is Non-GMO Project Verified. (We are working with our vendor partners on this as well.)

  • We've pushed for more organic chickens and organic now accounts for 18% of all rotisserie chickens sold.

  • We offer organic hot soup in many stores and cold organic soup for reheating in all stores.

  • We have organic ingredients on salad bars in almost all of our stores.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN PREPARED FOODS

  • We've communicated with vendor partners about our goal to use Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients as much as possible and as soon as possible.

  • We're working to use our 365 Everyday Value® brand (all plant-derived ingredients sourced to avoid GMOs) wherever possible, including canned and frozen vegetables, beans and tomato products, as well as Non-GMO Project Verified mayo, both egg-based and vegan.

BAKERY: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs.

  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

    Third-party verification that a product is made without the intentional use of GMO ingredients.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Areas of potential GMO risk in bakery could include canola, soy and dairy ingredients.

  • The best way to avoid GMOs in these products is either to buy certified organic or to choose Non-GMO Project verified items.

  • Some of our bakehouses are certified organic facilities that ship organic bakery goods to our stores.

BODY CARE & SUPPLEMENTS: How To Shop if Avoiding GMOs

WHAT TO CHOOSE

  • Go organic!

    The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit GMOs.

  • Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal

    Third-party verification that a product is made without the intentional use of GMO ingredients.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Due to a very complex supply chain, there are fewer organic and non-GMO Project Verified body care and supplement products than food ones.

  • Despite this complexity, we offer over 600 organic body care products that are certified to the USDA Organic Standards or the NSF 305 Organic Personal Care Product Standards, both of which prohibit GMOs. We also offer a growing number of Non-GMO Project Verified body care products.

  • We offer a growing number of organic and Non-GMO Project Verified supplements.

WHAT WE'RE DOING IN BODY CARE & SUPPLEMENTS

  • We are working closely with the supplement and body care industries to understand the very complex supply chain, identify areas of GMO risk and encourage the use of GMO alternatives.