As the desire for healthful living increases across the county so does the desire to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — and with good reason. While most of us are aware that the bulk of U.S. corn and soy crops are genetically modified, you might not be aware that sugar cane, alfalfa, tomatoes, potatoes, papayas, flax, canola, and dairy products — among many other crops — are also very commonly affected. The higher levels of pesticides in these foods can pose a potential health risk, and while big corporations maintain that they are perfectly safe (little surprise given their financial interest), there have yet to be any long-term studies on the effects of GMO consumption. Unfortunately an increasing body of research shows that our increased reliance on GMOs has great potential to harm our well-being. Remember it wasn’t long ago that big corporation insisted, under oath, that smoking was harmless…
With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 totally delicious non-GMO snacks you can munch on with a clear conscious.
1. Blue Diamond
You probably know Blue Diamond as the maker of Almond Breeze Almond Milk, but there’s so much more where that came from. In addition to 100-calorie almond snack packs, it has an extensive line of traditional, oven roasted, and bold flavored almonds. Flavors range from Sriracha and wasabi and soy sauce to dark chocolate and blueberry. It also has a line of almond-based crackers. The brand uses California almonds grown by grower co-operative members without the use of genetic engineering or gene manipulation (i.e. all of its almond varieties are developed using traditional agricultural breeding techniques).
Flax is a common victim of GMOs, but no so with this brand. All of Flax4Life‘s flax based products are made in a dedicated gluten-free and dairy-free facility and these delicious non-GMO brownies – made with zero fillers – are about as healthy as brownies can get. Aside from being made with natural ingredients (no compound words in the ingredients list here), there are no preservatives, trans fats, or cholesterol. They also pack in some fiber and protein, which will help curb a sugar rush.
3. Zouq Foods
If you like spices look no further than Zouq Foods‘ line of exotic non-GMO snacks. The brand specializes in South Asian-inspired products including Jubilee Mix (a blend of chickpeas, green peas, cashews, cumin seeds, and coriander), Curry Crunch (a mix of sweet and sour flavors blended with rice flakes, chickpea flour, peanuts, and turmeric powder), Fiery Sticks (its version of a chip, these come topped with a blend of Indian red chilies and granulated mango powder), and Golden Lentils (a lentils snack made with oil and sea salt).
4. Enjoy Life Foods
All 41 of Enjoy Life Foods‘s products are 100% free of GMOs. Its line includes a variety of soft baked cookies, crunchy cookies, chewy bars, seed and fruit mixes, and a protein-packed lentil-based chip line called Plentils. Better yet all of its products are free of the eight most common allergens and many are available in Grab & Go packs for portion control.
Annie’s is a pioneer in making non-GMO ingredient-based products available to the masses. The brand works with carefully vetted suppliers to make sure it’s only sourcing non-GMO ingredients, and it prioritizes organic ingredients, which are non-GMO by definition. Of course, we all know the brand for its mac and cheese, but it actually makes a variety of other foods including a growing range of ready-to-eat snacks and a recently launched line of soups.
6. Lundberg Family Farms
Rice, quinoa, and many other grains are commonly affected by GMOs which is why Lundberg Family Farms has become a go-to for those that consider themselves to be health conscious. In addition to a wide selection of rice-based cooking and baking products, it has a growing line of rice-based snacks including rice cakes, rice chips, and a line of what it calls Thin Stackers which are grain based snacks made with less than five organic ingredients. They’re healthy, versatile, and surprisingly flavorful despite a clean list of ingredients.
Forget the nut butters taking up most of the supermarket shelf space. Loaded in fat, calories, and hydrogenated oils, they’re far from as healthy as they could be and way too easy to overindulge in. Nuts are, however, a healthy addition to most of our diets which is where non-GMO, organic line NuttZo comes in. Its butters, which come in both smooth and crunch varieties as well as flavored ones like chocolate, are made with seven nutrient-rich nuts and seeds including peanuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds (there’s a No-Peanut version for those with allergies), and there are zero added sugars.
8. That’s It
While many food bars market themselves as healthy, most are far from it. Loaded in calories, fat, sugar, and chemical additives and preservatives the bulk of them have no room in our regular diets. That’s It is a grab-and-go food bar exception. Its bars contain only two ingredients: fruit and fruit, both of which are non-GMO, 100% real premium fruit with no additives or preservatives of any kind.
9. Bare Snacks
Like That’s It, Bare Snacks are the next best thing to fresh fruit. The brand makes all-natural fruit chip made with real fruit (baked not fried), all of which are non-GMO and free of preservatives and anything artificial. The snacks are also free of refined sugar and a good source of fiber. The line includes basic banana, apple, and coconut chips along with a number of variations on the originals (think Cocoa-Dusted Banana Chips, Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips, and Sweet ‘N Heat Coconut Chips). But no matter the pack, you’ll never find more than seven ingredients.
10. Alter Ego
Hardly a day goes by without some sort of story on how chocolate is good for the soul. While that may be up for debate, there is one brand that is certainly worth prioritizing: Alter Eco. Alter Eco is focused on sustainable and fair trade chocolate products made using quinoa, rice, and sugar from small producers, and it’s been committed to using only non-GMO ingredients since launching its first product in 2005.