Thursday, April 3, 2008

How to Save Money on Groceries

I don’t know about you, but I am already thinking about ways to spend less in the New Year. Here are some ways I found useful to save money on groceries: don’t be in such a hurry when going to the supermarket.

*Before heading out, check advertising circulars carefully. Just because it’s advertised doesn’t mean it’s a good buy.

*Shop without kids so you can think.

*Don’t shop when you are hungry. Eat first to avoid impulse buying.

*Take a list and don’t buy anything else unless it’s a food basic or a true bargain.

*If you see an aisle-end display of a product you want, check the price against prices on the shelf. Shelf prices may be lower, say the editors of ShopSmart.

*Buy the whole melon, vegetable, or cheese block. Prepackaged, cut-up selections cost much more.

*Try the store brands. You’ll probably save money without sacrificing quality.

*Shop with cash if you tend to overspend. Stay within your budget by taking just a few dollars more than what you estimate your purchases will cost.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ingredients Overview
Here is a summary of what crops, foods and food ingredients have been genetically modified as of July, 2007:
Currently Commercialized GM Crops in the U.S.:(Number in parentheses represents the estimated percent that is genetically modified.)
Soy (89%)Cotton (83%)Canola (75%)Corn (61%)Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%)Alfalfa, zucchini and yellow squash (small amount)Tobacco (Quest® brand)
Other Sources of GMOs:
Dairy products from cows injected with rbGH.
Food additives, enzymes, flavorings, and processing agents, including the sweetener aspartame (NutraSweet®) and rennet used to make hard cheeses
Meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals that have eaten GM feed
Honey and bee pollen that may have GM sources of pollen
Contamination or pollination caused by GM seeds or pollen
Some of the Ingredients That May Be Genetically Modified:
Vegetable oil, vegetable fat and margarines (made with soy, corn, cottonseed, and/or canola)
Ingredients derived from soybeans: Soy flour, soy protein, soy isolates, soy isoflavones, soy lecithin, vegetable proteins, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, tamari, tempeh, and soy protein supplements.
Ingredients derived from corn: Corn flour, corn gluten, corn masa, corn starch, corn syrup, cornmeal, and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).
Some Food Additives May Also Be Derived From GM Sources:
The list may change as we encounter new information: ascorbic acid/ascorbate (Vitamin C), cellulose, citric acid, cobalamin (vitamin B12), cyclodextrin, cystein, dextrin, dextrose, diacetyl, fructose (especially crystalline fructose), glucose, glutamate, glutamic acid, gluten, glycerides (mono- and diglycerides), glycerol, glycerol, glycerine, glycine, hemicellulose, , hydrogenated starch hydrolates, hydrolyzed vegetable protein or starch, inositol, invert sugar or inverse syrup, (also may be listed as inversol or colorose), lactic acid, lactoflavin, lecithin, leucine, lysine, maltose, maltitol, maltodextrin, mannitol, methylcellulose, milo starch, modified food starch, monooleate, mono- and diglycerides, monosodium glutamate (MSG), oleic acid, phenylalanine, phytic acid, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) sorbitol, stearic acid, threonine, tocopherol (Vitamin E), trehalose, xanthan gum, and zein.
Some of the Foods That May Contain GM Ingredients:
Infant formulaSalad dressingBreadCerealHamburgers and hotdogsMargarineMayonnaiseCrackersCookiesChocolateCandyFried foodChipsVeggie burgersMeat substitutesIce creamFrozen yogurtTofuTamariSoy sauceSoy cheeseTomato sauceProtein powderBaking powder (sometimes contains corn starch)Powdered/Confectioner's sugar (often contains corn starch)Confectioner’s glazeAlcoholVanillaPowdered sugarPeanut butterEnriched flourVanilla extract (sometimes contains corn syrup)PastaMaltWhite vinegar
Non-Food Items That May Contain GM Ingredients:
CosmeticsSoapsDetergentsShampooBubble bath
Sources for “Genetically Modified Ingredients Overview:
Natural Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, US Department of Agriculture: Acreage. Available at: (2006)
Cornell Cooperative Extension, GEO-PIE (Genetically Engineered Organisms Public Issues Education) Project.
Ruth Winter , A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives: Descriptions in plain English of more than 12,000 ingredients both harmful and desirable found in foods, 6th ed. (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004).
Robert S. Igoe , The Dictionary of Food Ingredients, 2nd ed. (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989).
Research Triangle Institute, “Economic Characterization of the Dietary Supplement Industry” March 1999. Available at:
Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA) Online Database of the World Health Organization(WHO) Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) of the United Nations and the reports of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Available at:
The University of Maryland Medical Center database of supplements by name:
Archives of the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA:
Reports of the European Commission Scientific Committee for Food:
U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) PubMed Central (PMC):
Also consulted the following industry sites:
Sign up for our newsletter, Spilling the Beans, to keep informed of any new genetically modified foods.
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