8 Eco-Challenge Results: Replacing GMO Foods

This month has been filled with research and frustration. I found lots of replacements to the foods we eat that contain GMO's but actually finding them in store has been near impossible. I spent over an hour at the grocery store for what should have been a simple trip. Instead I found myself walking up and down the same aisles over over again scanning the shelves for the product names I had written down.  We did hit our target of 5 foods switched though and will continue to find alternatives until we feel we have everything covered.

There were a lot of questions on how we determined what we would tackle first. There were a few things we considered but in the end it came down to the items we were out of and needed replacing. We also each decided to find 1 replacement for a "treat"....which we did but were completely unable to find either in an actual store. In fact I'm not even sure that my replacement is available in Canada at all.

Replacing your foods with GMO free alternatives is HARD. I struggled doing these 5. I would find what I thought was an alternative, get it home and realize that it was not one....or at least that I couldn't 100% confirm that it was GMO free. 

Products I could not find: Nature's Path Organic Toaster Pastries, SunCups, PC Organics Mac & Cheese, Spectrum Organics Margarine, Nature's Path Honey Raisin Bran.

Pasta Sauce
I went into this knowing I wanted to find a replacement for our go to Ragu pasta sauce because B loves pasta. Simply Natural was what I chose and while the taste is fantastic the price is ridiculous. 5.49 for pasta sauce??? COME ON. I'm just not even sure I can justify that. So we may just buy it for B and then go back to Ragu for us. This summer I am going to attempt to make and can my own. 

Other GMO Free Alternatives: Eden Pasta Sauce (also supported Prop 37), Whole Foods, PC Organics.

If you can't find anything that is a reasonable price then you could look to make your own with fresh organic tomatoes or you could buy organic bottled tomatoes and use them to make your own sauce.

Soy Sauce
Kikkoman soy sauce is very easy to find and probably one of the more popular brands. Sad that it is full of GMO's. We have replaced it with San-J soy sauce which is GMO free and certified by the Non-GMO Project. There is a significant price difference between the two products (almost double) so that is something to consider when making the switch. We don't go through a lot of soy sauce so the extra cost is negligible to us. 

Other GMO Free Alternatives: Eden Tamari Soy Sauce (supported Prop 37), Whole Foods.

Nacho Chips
The best kind of Doritos are a toss up between Bold BBQ and Cool Ranch. Joe came home from the store that we pick up our CSA basket up with a GMO free replacement to the traditional Cool Ranch Doritos. Bonus - they supported the Prop 37 bill in California. 

Other GMO Free Alternatives: Garden of Eatin'

Grape Jelly
We have a grape jelly addict in our house and sadly another on in the making. I have tried to steer in towards the superior blueberry jam but he is not buying what I am selling. So if the boys are going to eat it, I guess the best alternative is to give them a GMO free product. I found Crofters Grape Jelly on a complete fluke. I walked into the organic aisle and it just jumped out at me. I remembered seeing the name from the Non-GMO Project website so I bought it. 

Other GMO Free Alternatives: I don't know of any others.

Brown Baked Beans
I posted earlier this month about how much I loved making my own baked beans vs buying them canned. I totally didn't think through this process! I planned to make chili this weekend and since I add baked beans to my recipe I realized I would have to make those in advance before making the chili. So now what would take a few hours is now a few day process!  Still worth it though. If you haven't made your own yet you need to do it. 

Other GMO Free Alternatives: Eden Foods (Supports Prop 37), Whole Foods, Shariann's Organics

Even though this challenge was tough I still plan to keep looking for alternatives and slowly converting our food to GMO free. If you decide to tackle this challenge remember that just because a company has one or even several products that are GMO free, it does not mean that all their products are.

Resources for going GMO Free
Greenpeace Shoppers Guide
Non GMO Project
Supporters and Opposition of Prop 37


  1. Good for you for doing the research! There's a website I use to get coupons for a lot of healthy products. I know for sure there's a San J coupon, a Simply Natural one and probably some for the other things you bought too. Simply Natural salad dressing is the bomb! The coupons don't cut the price in half, but they sure help! It's thehealthyshopper.ca and there is a coupon tab at the top of the page. Just register for free to print.

  2. Nice job! Just imagine if everyone replaced just one item ... that would send a huge message. I really admire what you've done ... I know that it's tough! I'm trying to do the research and find out what is and isn't GMO here ... it's not easy, especially since US manufacturers aren't required to divulge that info. But on the positive side, there are companies who refuse to use GMO ingredients and proudly label their foods as such. It'll take work but ... if we vote with our dollars, we'll get there!

  3. Thanks for the tip on coupons!!

    Just imagine how easy it will be for others to buy GMO free good in 10 years :)

  4. Thank you for this! I have only just started to consider avoiding GMOs as a reason to buy organic. I recently ran out of soy sauce and happened to buy the Whole Foods organic version. So Yeah!

  5. I love it when I unknowingly pick right!

  6. I see there's a sale on the Simply Natural Pasta Sauce at Costco, so I just had to come back and tell you! I hope you have a membership or know someone who does! The sale is on from April 8th - 21st. You get a 4pk of the 739ml jars for $5.99 (regular $7.99). That's only $1.50 per jar! Load up!

  7. It is a very daunting task switching to non-GMO but it is worthwhile. Educating and raising awareness about the danger of GMO to others and supporting natural products while shunning GMOs are ways we can apply economic pressure to get the dangerous GMOs off the table.