It’s 2012, welcome to your GMOcery!

“Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up, our GMOcery tour is about to begin. That’s right, get on board our corn-fueled trolley car; it’s a big store, no need to walk. Help yourself to our delicious-nutritious-vitamin-enhanced water drinks found in Aisle 9 and, please, get comfortable and enjoy the tour!”

“Yes we live in a marvelous world of scientifically enhanced food today.  On this tour we are featuring the GMO Fantastic Four known to you as: corn, soy, canola and cotton. They’re the omnipresent shapeshifters.  From our corn we get your flour, meal, oil, starch, syrup and sweeteners. When you see the words fructose, dextrose and glucose, you’re seeing GMO Corn.”

“Now our soy is just as crafty and comes in the forms of: flour, oil, lecithin, protein, isolate and isoflavone. It sometimes answers to the names vegetable oil and vegetable protein – clever bugger.”

“Canola is easy, it’s canola oil or sometimes called rapeseed – bad name for a plant but them’s the breaks. And finally we have your cottonseed oil. She’s not quite as diversified as the fellows but she’s perky and shows up, don’t you worry.”

Freezer Foods:

“Ok, we’re beginning our tour in the freezer section. Let’s start with all those wonderful frozen dinners so many of you love to eat. Now I know if you’d read the ingredients in these bags you’d see a lot of complicated long names and chemicals and such, not to mention tons of sodium. But there’s nothing indicating that there are GMO ingredients in what you’re buying because, well, our government doesn’t require them to be labeled. So our manufacturers choose to just leave that out.”

“But after today’s tour you’ll remember that the Fantastic Four come in all their guises, and when you see those ingredients, you can trust you’re likely buying a genuine scientific 21st century GMO-enhanced food. Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, as you’ll soon see, we can now boast that in this supermarket about 70% of all our processed foods and drinks have Fantastic Four GMOs in them*, from soda to soup, crackers to condiments! Now isn’t that a marvel?”

“Oh yes, it’s safe, not to worry, those big corporations are doing all the good research for us and the government. And if they say it’s safe… you can trust it’s SAFE.”

“Before we move on, I just want to point out that all those boxes of batter-coated foods, like chicken nuggets, fish fillets and tenders, all those kind of things, you’re looking for ingredients like: cottonseed or soybean oil, yellow corn flour, dextrose – which is one of those corn sugars – and modified corn starch. Seek and ye shall find, Ladies and Gentleman, in every box. Marvelous. “

“Moving on now, we come to our baby food aisle.”

Baby Food/Infant Formula:

“We didn’t want you to go thinking they left out the smallest members of your families from the wonders of scientific advancement. No sir-ree. You can find a fair assortment of brands that make their baby formulas with GMO ingredients. Milk or soy protein is the basis of most infant formulas. The secret ingredient in some cow’s milk is a hormone called rBGH, or bovine growth hormone, that helps the cows produce even more milk. We’re so lucky. Did you know we’re the only developed nation that permits humans to drink milk from cows given artificial growth hormone?  Many brands also add corn syrup, corn syrup solids, or soy lecithin to help our babies grow. There’s something for everyone down this aisle, just have a look-see.”

Chips, Pretzels, Snacks:

“Moving right along now, we have your wonderful salt snack aisle. Who here doesn’t love their finger lickin’ salt snacks? Well, you might be a sugar person then, we’ll get there in a minute. But down this aisle, our Superheros really shine. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find something that doesn’t have at least one Fantastic Four GMO ingredient!”

Soda, Sports Drinks, Vitamin Waters:

“Here we are with America’s #1 obsession – our sodas. Well, I don’t really know if it’s #1, but it’s ONE of the #1s! Short and sweet – we have here the SUPER STAR of GMO – King Corn – high fructose corn syrup. Drink up everyone; it’s a real thirst quencher! Also check out the scientific nutrition drinks, you’ll be surprised to see what you find in there.”

Canned Foods, Soups & Sauces:

“Now let me just point out here that these staples or convenience foods – your stews in a can, pasta meals in a can or box, lunch and dinner soups, pasta sauces – here we’re also looking for corn oil, soybean, canola or cottonseed oil, corn syrup, and ANY sugar NOT labeled as cane sugar. Oh, and don’t forget – soy ingredients. Now I know you may not eat some of these foods, but I know you’re likely feeding them to your lucky ‘tweens and teens for lunch or when they get home from school. ”

Baked Goods, Cereals & Breakfast Bars:

“For the sake of time I’m glomming all these together because really, they’re not so different.  Right here we’ve got America’s trained sweet tooth in solid form. And that means it’s filled with corn sweeteners of some kind, or made from corn to begin with, or has soybean oil in it, or any shapeshifting form we’ve been talking about.

The variety appears endless in these aisles doesn’t it? Well I’ll let’cha in on a trade secret: it’s really just the packaging that varies. Like all those pictures on the breakfast cereal boxes, so little Jimmy or Mary likes what he or she is eating because the picture is so fun and all. But we know they’re seriously healthy – don’t you worry – they’re getting their vitamins with every bite, they’ve been added in right alongside those sugars.”

Beef, Poultry & Pork:

“Now when you want to cook up some real food from scratch isn’t it great to know that your protein of choice in this supermarket has been raised on a feedlot from corn or soy. Now that’s really a separate tour altogether but I like to be complete in my overview. I just wanted to remind you that even when you purchase some fresh packaged meat or poultry here, we pride ourselves on the fact that our cows have been scientifically bred to eat corn rather than grass, which is what they’re really supposed to be doing.  Heck, that’s what’s growing now across this great land of ours. And our pigs and chickens haven’t been forgotten either, don’t you worry. “

Fresh Produce:

“Alright, as we conclude our tour I know some of you have been wondering about the fruits and vegetables you sometimes purchase in the produce aisle. Well, technically speaking, I’m sorry to say this is one place that our GMO technology hasn’t spread its wings yet. Really just in Hawaiian papayas – and only about half of them, some zucchini, yellow crookneck squash – whatever that is – and sweet corn, maybe the fresh sweetcorn you purchase… that’s possible. Well, as for fresh produce and GMO technology… we say: here’s to  a bright future.”

“Thank you so much for coming on this tour with me today. I hope you feel more informed and at ease knowing that so much of your food is filled with the best of what our science has to offer in this day and age. Later this afternoon our tour will be: Diabetes, Hypertension, Food Allergy and your Family. Grab yourself some delicious lunchfood, and see you back here in an hour, OK?”


*Statistic from Center for Food Safety, True Food Shoppers Guide.

The Time is Ripe to Fight Back

If the above article made you laugh, cry, or get angry, please get involved.

Tell Obama to Cease FDA Ties to Monsanto –
Sign the petition here:

Organic Consumers Fund – By educating the public about the risks of GM foods through a massive education campaign, the first ever ballot initiative is being launched in California this year. It will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients. The plan is to generate a tipping point of consumer rejection to make GM foods thing of the past.

Read about it, join, donate.

More – I also recommend this article:

Photo credits (used with permission under Creative Commons license):

Vitamin Water – Andy on Flickr
Frozen Dinners – Ryan Grove
Baby Food – giletti
Cereal Aisle – Billy V

5 thoughts on “It’s 2012, welcome to your GMOcery!

  1. It would be interesting to me to know more about how corn went from the native American maize crop (not to mention its more ancient roots as a much smaller grain plant) to the tightly controlled commodity, owned by Monsanto (not to mention how companies like that install FDA officials in Washington. I’d love to see a confrontation between American Indian leaders and corporate giants that control food production. Or more education on how farmers can grow corn organically, or as naturally as possible, reclaiming soy and corn as healthy staples. And educating families on how they can shift towards the healthier ends of the spectrum without sacrificing too much of what they enjoy about processed foods. No doubt many food shoppers are buying convenience, time saving, and avoiding kids pushing back on healthy choices that they think don’t hit the spot; but by demonstrating how, in the end, it’s inconvenient, time well spent, and that there’s another spot to hit, could be ideas that go viral. Thanks, Ina, for another great article.

  2. I found this article to be very informative and was proud to share this on FB. Anyone has every right to be mad and/or sarcastic about this. This is not something to take lightly! I for one do NOT want to eat a tomato spiced with frog genes (as to keep them from spoiling faster). This is one example of so so many. These are not only crimes against humanity, but also our animal friends. These mad scientists are criminally insane. Walking through a grocery store is like walking through a minefield. Even as a vegetarian, I am obsessed with learning how to prevent eating GMO crap. They don’t have to label it GMO because they know we would never accpt it. A little research and an open mind goes a long way! Kudos for this fine article and kindest regards. Alex

  3. It’s really a shame that the article on a GMO’s in the Grocery store was written so poorly. The information was really important and good. But the device of the sarcasm that ran thru the article really detracted from the point.

    1. Dear M/Ms Marsh,

      This has turned out to be one of our most popular pieces – read and shared hundreds of times in the last several days.

      Satire is just one way to tell a story; I’m sorry it doesn’t resonate with you.

      Please keep reading and keep the conversation going!


      Gail N-K

  4. This is an entertaining piece – a bit like a horror show! Thanks to author, Ina Denburg for another important, informative piece.

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