How to Avoid GMOs

We can reach the Tipping Point!

When only 5% of the US population rejects products that contain GMO sourced ingredients we will achieve the tipping point and the companies which produce these products will stop selling them.  You are very powerful — if you change even one of your daily or weekly purchases away from GMO to a GMO-free option, your action could be the one that causes the tipping point.

How to Avoid GMOs

  • Buy products that are labeled “100% certified organic.”
  • Look for the “Non-GMO Project” seal.  The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization and offers North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products.  This organization works at every level of the supply chain, all the way back to the seeds.
  • Become familiar with the major GMO crops and avoid them unless they are certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified.  These crops are corn, cotton, canola, soy, alfalfa, sugar beets, some Hawaiian papaya, zucchini, and yellow squash.  Let’s look at some of these sources a little more closely.
  • The first four products, corn, cotton, canola, and soy (easy to memorize: CCCS) are a huge source of vegetable oil.  If you want to make a sweeping gesture toward reducing GMO consumption you can change your oil.  If a product contains oils of corn, canola, cottonseed, soy, or just says “vegetable oil” and is not certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified, it is more than likely from GMO sources.
  • The same goes for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  If you choose to purchase HFCS make sure it is either certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified.
  • Sugar is an interesting piece to the puzzle.  A non-organic product made in North America with “sugar” as an ingredient is most likely made with a combination of GMO sugar beets and cane sugar.  If you choose to purchase sugar, look for pure cane sugar.
  • Most livestock are fed GMO alfalfa, corn, and/or soy, so it is best to switch to meat, eggs and cheese from organically raised animals.
  • If you purchase dairy products make sure that they are either certified organic or labeled to be from animals that have not been treated with rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone).  RBGH is a genetically modified growth hormone that some dairies inject into their cows in order to increase milk production.  While the practice does increase milk yields it also causes mastitis in the cows which requires the use of antibiotics which end up in the milk.  The dairies that don’t use rBGH are permitted to declare it on their labels but be aware that the cows may still have been raised on GMO feed.
  • If you consume processed or packaged food be aware that most processed and packaged food (unless certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified) contains GMO ingredients.
  • Go to and download or order their shopping guide.  In addition to listing hundreds of products that are GMO free this is an excellent self education tool.  It will help you learn how to identify products that contain hidden GMO ingredients like some vitamins, food additives, enzymes, flavorings, processing agents, and rennet in hard cheeses. You can also order extra copies; keep a few on hand to share with friends.
  • Find an organic farmer.  You may be lucky enough to have access to organic foods directly from a farm.  Many small family farms participate in CSA programs; that is Community Supported Agriculture or Community Shared Agriculture.  CSA members pay the farmer at the beginning of the growing season for a weekly share of the harvest.  Many CSAs also provide meat, dairy products, eggs, honey and cut flowers as well.  Some farms will allow members to make part of their contribution in the form of weekly labor on the farm.Another option is to visit farm stores and farmers’ markets and seek out the growers who practice sustainable agriculture.  Find a farmers market near you now. In some locations there are buying clubs which deliver farm fresh goods on a weekly basis to a pre-set location.  If there isn’t one in your town maybe you and your friends can get one started!
  • Grow your own! You’ll know for sure where your food comes from.  If you don’t have space in your yard to dig in a little garden, you may find that there is a community garden not far from your front door. Click here to contact the Organic Seed Alliance for a list of companies that provide GMO-free seeds. 

What’s the next step?

Please help protect the health of others and the environment by creating awareness. Thanks!

by Barbara E. Thomas, GMO-free NJ Images:

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