The narrow defeat of GMO labeling initiatives in Washington and Oregon over the last two years got a lot of people talking about GMO crops. Although we may not see mandatory GMO labeling for some time, you can arm yourself with information and exercise your right to choose.
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. They are a result of relatively new science and differ greatly from the age-old art of hybridizing. Hybrids are the result of cross-pollinating related plant species. GMO technology is a new process that combines genetic material from different species, and even different kingdoms, to create crops resistant to viruses, pesticide resistant crops, or crops with a longer shelf life.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding genetically modified crops, as well as many opposing studies and opinions. No scientific or medical consensus exists yet regarding their safety for human consumption. Based on the lack of evidence and long-term studies regarding their safety, many people chose to avoid GMOs and most developed nations have restrictions or bans on GM crops. GMOs have greatly increased the use of pesticides while threatening biodiversity. They also pose a host of environmental issues as well as potential human-health issues.
It can be hard to avoid GMO crops, especially in your average grocery store. According to the Non-GMO Project up to 80% of conventional processed foods contain GMOs. Here are 4 easy steps to help you avoid GMOs:
If a product is certified organic it cannot legally contain GMO ingredients. So the easiest way to avoid GMOs is to simply buy USDA organic! Whenever possible, we choose the organic option for our products and you'll find that the majority of the products we carry at Farm Fresh Market are certified organic to make your shopping as easy as possible.
Look for Non-GMO Project Verified: The Non-GMO Project is a reputable third party that verifies a company's non-GMO claim. If you see the Non-GMO Project label, you know the product is made without GMOs! Many companies claim that their products are non-GMO on their packaging, but if the product isn't certified organic or non-GMO verified than treat their claim with a healthy amount of skepticism.
Avoid Common GM Crops: The most common genetically modified crops are: canola, corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets, papaya, and zucchini. To avoid GMOs, buy USDA certified organic when purchasing these crops. Organic foods are never grown from seeds that are genetically modified.
Shop at Farm Fresh Market: At Farm Fresh Market, we believe in your right to choose. We avoid bringing in new products that contain genetically modified ingredients, though we do carry a very small number of products with suspected GM ingredients. If you're trying to steer clear of GMOs let us know and we will gladly educate you on which products may contain GM ingredients. It is our goal to make it easy for you to find non-GMO produce, groceries, and meat for yourfamily!
This handy cheatsheet from rodalenews.com can help you decide if what you're about to eat has GMOs: