True Food Shopping List

Feature story - July 20, 2004
Many consumers want to avoid adding genetically engineered (GE) foods to their shopping carts. However, without a federal mandate to label foods GE, and with over 30,000 food products on American supermarket shelves, it is easy for consumers to be confused.

Greenpeace activists plaster warning labels over products containing GE ingredients.

Buying whole and organic foods are the best ways to avoid GE ingredients. Most fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains and beans are not genetically engineered. Also, by definition, organic food is produced without genetic engineering.

When buying packaged food, be sure to keep a lookout for common genetically engineered ingredients such as: corn oil, corn syrup, corn starch, soy protein, soy oil, soy sauce, lecithin, cottonseed and canola oil. If your package lists one or more of these ingredients, chances are these are GE foods, unless it is otherwise labeled organic or non-GE.

In an effort to make your trip to the supermarket a little easier, Greenpeace has created the first-ever consumer guide to avoiding GE food: The True Food Shopping List. The True Food Shopping List is not a complete manual, but rather a starting point for consumers who want to shop smarter and safer. We will update this list as we get new information and as companies' policies evolve.

It is true that many mainstream supermarkets do not carry a variety of foods made by natural and organic producers who avoid GE ingredients. One way to change this is to talk to the manager at your local supermarket. Polite requests from concerned customers can go a long way toward bringing alternatives to your store.