Non-GMO Shopping at Whole Foods Market

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You can save money on non-GMO food at Whole Foods. Seriously! Follow these tips and you can stick to a frugal grocery budget for healthy food.

Whole Foods Market made big news when they announced that all food in their stores must be labeled if it contains GMOs. Consumers have the right to know what they’re buying, and this is a great step in the right direction.

Whole Foods sells thousands of Non-GMO Project verified products from hundreds of brands, more than any other retailer in North America. There are three simple things you can do when shopping at Whole Foods if you want to avoid GMOs:

Buy organic food. No genetically modified seeds are permitted in the growth or production of organic foods. It’s possible that trace amounts of genetically engineered organisms are present in organic foods through cross-pollination from nearby crops, but buying organic is still considered one of the safest ways to avoid GMOs.

Look for the Non-GMO Project verified label on products throughout the store. These products are carefully analyzed to confirm that they don’t contain GMOs, so this label is the best confirmation you can get.

Buy food from Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value store brand.  This line of food avoids GMO ingredients, and many items are verified by the Non-GMO Project.

Tips for Stretching Your Dollar at Whole Foods

Are you afraid you can’t shop at Whole Foods without spending your whole paycheck? In my experience, Whole Foods isn’t any more expensive than the other stores I shop at because I stick to these frugal shopping strategies:

Review the sale flyer ahead of time.  Whole Foods puts out a sales flyer each week, and their sales runs from Wednesday to Tuesday. You can download your local store’s flyer online. Looking at the online version is better than just grabbing a copy in the store because the online version includes many more sales items than the flyer in the store.

Use the bulk bins.  The bulk bins are great if you just want a small quantity of an item. You choose exactly how much you buy, so you won’t have to worry about a half-used box of quinoa languishing in the back of a cabinet. The rolled oats at my Whole Foods’ bulk bin often runs $.99 per pound, which is substantially less expensive than the containers of oats I can get at other stores.

Buy only the items on your list unless you see a great deal for something you regularly buy. It’s dangerous for your wallet if you slowly meander through the aisles at Whole Foods, especially if you’re hungry. Everything looks so good!

If you’re in New England, check out my post about buying local food at Stop and Shop.


  1. I like a site called It matches the deals in The Whole Foods-Whole Deal with manufacture coupons. It has other stores, such as Trader Joe’s and even CVS.

    1. Thanks, Alvena. I like that site too. It’s helpful to see the Whole Foods sale information broken down by different U.S. regions.

  2. It is a shame that GMO labeling is not required on all foods. I for one limit where I shop to decrease the chances that I might end up with GMO food without knowing it.

  3. Congrats on winning the basket!
    I’ll be taking a tour of my local Dorothy Lane Market, and will ask their policy for GMOs in the DLM store brand food.
    Thanks, Annemarie!

    1. That’s great that you can take a tour, Kirsten! I’d love to know their policy – hopefully other markets are following Whole Foods’ lead.

  4. Glad you won the basket!! I saw the film at the local library, and likewise was thrilled to see such a large crowd of people there concerned about GMOs. I like your WF tips, especially getting rolled oats in the bulk aisle (I had been buying them for $3.99 for a 2 pound bag!).

  5. I am still on the fence about Whole Foods, since they were basically shamed into this – which bugged me that they were not in the forefront of this! They had a chance and blew it 🙁
    Having said that…I buy Bob’s Red Mill for a reason – they only use Non-GMO seeds for all products. And Trader Joe’s is the same – but neither carry the logo 🙂
    My local chain of natural food stores (a co-op), PCC, has been behind to get non-gmo on the voting ballots this year – and it succeeded and will be 🙂

    1. That’s great that it will be on the ballot this year! A bill has been introduced for several years in a row here in a Massachusetts, but the tide is slow to change.

    1. Thanks, Nicky. Mambo Sprouts is another great resource – I appreciate the reminder! I hope you have a chance to see Genetic Roulette. It’s very eye-opening.

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