"Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food" (Earth Aware Editions, $24.95)
For conscious eaters, the heart of the book is a 14-page guide to your local supermarket. It tells you which foods are the most likely to contain GE ingredients (chips, snacks and baby formula), which aren't (fruits, vegetables, wheat), and how to read labels for "hidden ingredients" derived from corn, soy or canola (hint: look for high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and canola oil).
Before you shop:
Here are a few of the tips on shopping to avoid genetically engineered food, if that's your choice, culled from Andrew Kimbrell's "Your Right to Know." If you have any doubts, Kimbrell says, ask the grocer about suppliers. Look for labels that say 100 percent organic or GE-free or GMO-free.
Fruits and vegetables.
Almost all are not GE. The exceptions are a few papayas from Hawaii and a tiny amount of fresh corn, zucchini and yellow squash.
Meat and fish.
No GE meat or fish are approved for human consumption. But most GE corn and soy is fed to meat animals and farmed fish. So look for wild fish, grass-fed beef and organic meats.
Dairy cows aren't genetically engineered but can eat GE grains unless they're organic. A genetically engineered hormone called rbGH or rbST is used in some dairy cows; look for labels that say no hormones were used.
Most formula contains GE ingredients, either soy or milk from cows injected with GE hormones. Some also contain corn syrup. Cereals can contain ingredients like GE soy lecithin.
Canned and frozen foods.
Vegetables and fruits packed or frozen without flavorings, additives or corn, soy or canola oil are GE free. Sauces and entrees with lots of ingredients often contain vegetable oil, soy and cornstarch.
Grains and beans.
Corn is the only GE grain on the market. Soybeans are the only GE dried beans. So wheat, rice, oats, quinoa and foods made from them, like pasta, are OK. Check ingredient labels for additives like soy lecithin, which can be GE.
Most are processed foods that contain ingredients made from corn, canola, soy or cotton. Nuts, seeds and dried fruits are good options. Popcorn is not genetically engineered. Conventional chocolate bars often contain soy lecithin, corn syrup or other like GE ingredients. Organic snacks are GE free, but "natural" ones aren't necessarily.
Look for drinks that are 100 percent juice, or sweetened with sugar or honey instead of corn syrup. Beer currently contains no GE ingredients.
Non-organic breads, baked goods and even chocolate chips often contain high fructose corn syrup, soy, or corn, canola or cottonseed oil, all of which can be GE. Look for products made from wheat, oats and rice, with sugar or maple syrup as sweeteners.