October is non-GMO month! So naturally, we thought this would be a great time to share 5 commonly asked questions about GMOs and why it’s important to look for the non-GMO verified label when grocery shopping.
Errol Schweizer, industry leader who has worked on moving natural and organic food systems forward for over 20 years; and our in-house resource on non-GMO, organic and beyond, shares why you can count on us to deliver in this space.
“As a leading supplier of organic, non-GMO verified and artisanal foods, Farmhouse Delivery has no reason to depend on GMOs or be in the GMO business.” – Errol Schweizer
1. What is a GMO?
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. As the Non-GMO Project puts it, “a GMO is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology.”
2. Why were GMOs grown?
Genetically modified crops were produced to withstand natural challenges, like tolerating herbicides, drought and being resilient to insects.
The goal of GMO crops was to have higher crop yields with less crop loss, the possibility of longer storage life, better appearance and even better nutrition.
*FACT: Despite biotech industry promises, there is no evidence that any of the GMOs currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.
3. Are there any health risks related to consuming GMOs?
The short answer, yes. GMOs were created to withstand pesticides and herbicides therefore, the use of toxic herbicides on genetically modified crops have increased. One of the most commonly known herbicides is Roundup®. The active ingredient in Roundup® is glyphosate, which is a known carcinogen.
All genetically engineered crops are treated this way and consuming them poses health risks such as toxicity, allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, immuno-suppression, cancer, and even loss of nutrition.
*FACT: Most GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture and are developed and sold by the world’s largest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of these GMOs are unknown. Once released into the environment, these novel organisms cannot be recalled.
4. Where am I most likely to find GMOs?
GMOs are primarily found in animal feed, but they’re also ingredients in processed foods, which is why the non-GMO verified label is so prevalent on packaged foods.
*FACT: Genetically engineered crops that are high-risk, meaning known GMO contamination has occurred, are: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beet, yellow summer squash and potatoes.
5. How can I avoid consuming products that contain GMOs?
Buy organic! GMOs cannot be organic, so it’s best to consume organic and non-GMO verified foods.
At Farmhouse Delivery, we do our best to source organic and non-GMO produce, and we are not aware of any GMOs in our produce supply. When shopping the rest of the site, you can find out if an item is non-GMO by checking the product description.
Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for non-GMO verified labeling on the packaging of your grocery items and do some research to understand what you are eating and where it comes from. Unfortunately, the labeling of GMO products is not currently regulated, but the US did publish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) in 2018.
“Farmhouse Delivery is committed to transparency and choice, and committed to selling the highest quality offerings to our customers. Which is why we are committed to selling organic and non-GMO verified items.”
– Errol Schweizer
*Source: Non-GMO Project