Watching for GMO’s: Our first grocery trip

Yesterday we went to the grocery store as a family. I was determined to buy as much organic & non-GMO food as I possibly could. After a trip that was a little longer than normal (needed to look at more labels) & spending about $20 more than our average grocery bill, it was a success!

We went through the dairy section and bought some cheeses & organic 2% milk (Stonyfield Farm – i also like to support local businesses as much as possible), then through a couple different aisle’s to grab some cereal, Newman’s Own organic pasta sauce & other miscellaneous items.


Carter wanted to pick out his own cereal. I gave him a choice between a couple & he chose ‘Peanut Butter Panda Puffs’ made by Nature’s Path. (Nature’s Path is organic and also gluten & wheat free – a trusted brand that I feel confident giving to Carter.)


I try to avoid the center aisles, because I know they’re mainly all processed foods. When you’re trying to eat healthy or lose weight, a great rule of thumb is to shop the outside walls of the grocery store. That’s where you will find everything thats fresh & perishable and best for you; look for organic! We then went through the meat section and bought some organic chicken at a whopping $4.99 a pound. I just bought one package for $8.03 and plan to use it for a couple meals.

This morning I made Carter & myself a fresh fruit, organic spinach & organic milk smoothie. He absolutely loved it and polished it off along with a small bowl of his panda puffs.

Next, I made some wraps for Matt for lunches. He has to be up & out of the house early for work so I figured if he had something healthy to grab before he leaves, it would mean fewer stops on the road for processed foods & more money in his pocket.

I made some chicken wraps with a little olive oil mayonnaise, organic shredded carrots, organic cucumbers, organic spinach & a few pinches of shredded cheddar cheese.

I found this very helpful website that is very helpful when trying to avoid GMO’s

This is a blurb from the website –

“Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) of food involves the laboratory process of artificially inserting genes into the DNA of food crops or animals. The result is called a genetically modified organism or GMO. GMOs can be engineered with genes from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans. Most Americans say they would not eat GMOs if labeled, but unlike most other industrialized countries, the U.S. does not require labeling.

This Non-GMO Shopping Guide is designed to help reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying, and help you find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients.

Tips for avoiding GM crops

  • TIP #1: BUY ORGANIC:   Certified organic products are not allowed to contain any GMOs.  Therefore, when you purchase products labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients,” all ingredients in these products are not allowed to be produced from GMOs. For example, products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of the ingredients to be organic, but 100% must be non-GMO.

  • TIP #2: LOOK FOR“NON-GMO” LABELS:   Companies may voluntarily label products as “non-GMO.” Some labels state “non-GMO” while others spell out “Made Without Genetically Modified Ingredients.” Some products limit their claim to only one particular “At-Risk” ingredient such as soy lecithin, listing it as “non-GMO.”

  • TIP #3: AVOID AT-RISK INGREDIENTS:   Avoid products made with any of the crops that are GM. Most GM ingredients are products made from the “Big Four:” corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed, used in processed foods. Some of the most common genetically engineered Big Four ingredients in processed foods are:

    Corn flour, meal, oil, starch, gluten, and syrup
    Sweeteners such as fructose, dextrose, and glucose
    Modified food starch*

    Soy flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, and isoflavone
    Vegetable oil* and vegetable protein*

    Canola oil (also called rapeseed oil)

    Cottonseed oil

    Anything not listed as 100% cane sugar

    *May be derived from other sources

    In addition, GM sugar beet sugar recently entered the food supply. Look for organic and non-GMO sweeteners, candy and chocolate products made with 100% cane sugar, evaporated cane juice or organic sugar, to avoid GM beet sugar.”

9 thoughts on “Watching for GMO’s: Our first grocery trip

  1. Thanks for the post:) I have been slowly trying to switch to organic and no gmos, I get frustrated so easily at the grocery store it does take so much longer but the more I learn about whats in the food we eat the more its worth it! I hope to keep it up!

    • Corrie, thanks for reading! 🙂 i’ts definitely a process and can’t be done all at once or it’s wayyyyy too overwhelming. im going slowly. started about a year ago buying only organic chicken, veggies & fruits, eggs and milk. would like to eventually get them all from a farm. now its just all the other stuff we eat! we soooo need a trader-joe’s around here. have you been there before? i hear its awesome and everything of their brand has no gmo’s…that would be much easier to shop! and i agree, the more i learn about what’s in food, the more you know it’s worth it!

  2. Mmm your smoothie sounds delish! Glad your first trip went well! And as time goes on you wont have to read as many lables once you find products you love and trust! :)* Some* of our go to products at mb include green mountain gringo tortilla chips (gmo free) food should taste good brand (gmo free) our fave is the sweet potato, Angies Popcorn for a treat (gmo free)(sweet n salty our fave) organic oranges which arent even really more expensive and usually taste sooo much better! Newmans Org pasta sauce,stoneyfield brand products, Barowsky org oat nut bread (would love to find a good recipe and make my own!) Bobs Red mill white wheat pastry flour for making cookies,pancakes,waffles etc and King Arthurs White Whole wheat for making tortillas and rolls etc. I would eventually like to look into making my own sprouted wheat flour but I dont have a grain mill. And I agree springing for org chicken is like (yikes!) but you learn to not rely on meats and incorperate lots more veggies and can stretch it out 🙂 And even though I try to buy organic whenever I think its most necessary (especially eggs,chicken,greens,things that would contain gmos etc) we dont spend much more than we use to probably because we cut out all the proccessed stuff! 🙂

    • kayla, thanks so much!! i’ll definitely put all those things on our next grocery list. this week i really didn’t buy many snack foods at all besides a couple boxes of Annie’s organic granola bars & fresh fruits. we’ve been doing the organic chicken, veggies, milk & eggs for a while now but definitely need to make it a habit for everything. what do you buy for pasta if you want to make spaghetti? and yeah, we really didnt spend too much more than we would have. what do you buy for hamburg too? i just always buy the store’s kind but 93% lean…i really want to buy a cow, i think our family might end up splitting one which would be awesome. i have a recipe for oat bread from Jodi Olin’s mom. it’s sooo so good, i wonder if you could switch out the ingredients for organic/non-gmo ones. 🙂

      • I actually haven’t looked into pasta at all yet but that is on my to do list next trip because the boys love spaghetti so I would like to make it soon 🙂 As far as beef goes I use to always just buy the 93% too but I have bought some “grass fed” beef at mb that comes in a square package kinda in the section closer to the frozen seafood.. Tiffany sells beef tho so I have started to buy from her instead. I also am interested in getting a 1/4 or 1/2 cow from a farm at some point but I would need to get an extra freezer first which we prob will need after we butcher some of our chickens anyways.That would be neat for you if your fam splits one! Just like you Id definetly like to start supporting local farms and we actually are gonna *try* grow our own org..veggies this year 🙂 I would guess you could probably switch out the ing for the bread recipe..I also found a recipe online for wheat bread that sounds good and uses coconut oil in it so hoping to try that soon! Its definetly baby steps because it can be overwhelming at times but Its so neat to have others to share ideas/tips/tricks 🙂 Loving your blog!

  3. I am really enjoying your blog Chelsea! I have been doing a lot of online research on food and all the chemicals we are putting in our bodies (through food and other chemicals in our soaps, lotions, cleaning products, etc). It is all a bit overwhelming and I don’t even know where to start. Dan has been gluten free for over a year, so we don’t eat a lot of processed foods (but gluten free doesn’t always mean its good for us!) I enjoy hearing about what others are doing, especially people I know. How did your toothpaste experiment work? I had no idea that sodium lauryl phosphate was in toothpaste too! I am going to experiment this week making my own Castile shampoo and body wash…what do you use for your little ones for soap? I also use Norwex for my cleaning/laundry, so we use no chemicals at all for that. I am trying to focus on one thing at a time so I don’t get so overwhelmed. It doesn’t help too, the area we live in, we have no trader joes or any whole foods stores…just good old hannaford, market basket, and Wally world…lol. Also, you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to, but how much would you say, on average, you spend on groceries. I am just curious because I am trying to work in a budget and $100 is about our budget now and it doesn’t seem to go very far…switching to all gmo free/organic would be nice, but I fear we’d be starving…lol…although most of the time I feel we can’t affor NOT to eat better!

    • hey dotti! im glad you are enjoying it 🙂 i’ve been doing a lot of research too lately. we’ve been eating only organic chicken, eggs, milk, & the vegetables and fruits that matter most. i’m starting with the food mainly since its what we do the most – eat. haha and then ill slowly go through all the household products and such. i’m going to do the toothpaste experiment next week because i wanted to get a better deal on the coconut oil and find powdered stevia. we are going to take a trip to trader joe’s in nashua this coming weekend & i guess all of their brand is GMO-free so that will be much easier than searching the store! and for my kids right now i use aveeno all-natural but im going to switch that im sure when i go through all oiur household stuff. i did switch my all-purpose cleaner to just vinegar & water in a spray bottle and i dont really use any chemicals for cleaners. just my mr. clean magic eraser, wash cloths & sometimes windex.

      We spend about $120 on average on groceries every 10-12 days. I stretch it out as long as possible because grocery shopping is a process! haha. but yesterday we spent $140 and that was pretty much all organic/gmo-free for the next 10 days. and i notice when we dont eat organic, i make bigger portions cause stuff is cheap and a lot of times im throwing out left-overs. this time i just bought some granola bars and fruits for snacks and thats it, some wraps and vegetables and chicken for lunches and some gmo-free almond butter and organic jam. i really watched to make sure i wasnt over-buying and wouldnt have leftovers.

      • TrAder joes is awesome!!!…..The selection and their pricess! Some of the gluten free things I buy at hannaford or m.b. are Half the price there! I try to make a monthly visit there and get stuff I can freeze and stuff that keeps in the pantry…snacks, gf pastas, bottled and canned stuff etc. it is worth the drive. I also heard they have sls free shampoo, body wash for like $2.99…which is awesome since it is pretty pricey everywhere else I have found. Definitely worth the trip! Have fun!

  4. Pingback: Tips to Just Say NO to GMOs | March Against Monsanto ~ Denver

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