Whole Foods Wake-up: Salsa GMO vs Non-GMO

Non GMO Project verified

While shopping at Whole Foods Market this morning, on the salsa shelves, I noticed that only two of the Whole Foods 365 brand (non-organic) salsa were verified by the Non GMO project. Hmm, why only two? What was up with the 4 or 5 other flavors?

So, I looked at the labels of the 365 Black Bean & Corn and the 365 Tequila Lime, the latter of which was GMO-free verified. (Note: I saw only the paper verification tag under each product; there wasn’t any notification on the actual label)

Click the photo to view each jars’ ingredients
365 salsa gmo or not??

365 Black Bean & Corn Salsa Ingredients

(probable/possible GMO ingredient bolded)
Diced tomatoes, water, tomato paste, black beans, onions, corn, jalapeno peppers, green chiles, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, dehydrated garlic, cilantro, citric acid, basil, oregano, natural flavor

365 Tequila Lime Salsa Ingredients

(without distilled vinegar and citric acid)
Diced tomatoes, water, jalapeno peppers, tomato concentrate, sugar, salt, dehydrated onions, onions, lime juice, cilantro, dehydrated garlic, coriander, natural flavors

Hmm, no actual tequila in this salsa? Funny, must be in the “natural flavors” sigh.

Why Such a Fuss Over GMO

Anyway, my point is, Whole Foods Market makes such a big fuss over a selected few products being verified for the non-GMO project, but in reality, most of their non-organic products don’t qualify!

Why only 2 flavors of salsa? Why not take the extra step and use non-GMO ingredients for all flavors? It’s not that difficult to do.

Maybe it’s a marketing ploy. (It’s how Kashi/Kelloggs plays.) If WF verifies only 2 flavors out of 6, maybe when the customer sees the little “non-GMO Project Verified” tag, they won’t notice or realize the other flavors don’t meet non-GMO standards.

Or maybe it’s just that they need to keep their prices as low as possible, trying to distance themselves from the “Whole Paycheck” moniker. But while keeping their prices are low, are they any better than General Mills or Kraft? Sadly, no. Whole Foods Market is getting more and more like conventional Big Food every day.

Years ago, Whole Foods Market used to mean trust-worthy, quality, safe ingredients. It’s unfortunate that they are slowly sliding away from those qualities for more profits and sales.

See all posts in my Whole Foods Wake-up series.

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