GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are gaining notoriety in the public forum.
For those of you unfamiliar with the issue, GMOs are created using biotechnology in order to generate a more “efficient” farming machine. Genetic splicing is used to produce plants that are able to withstand herbicide use, or even to produce a pesticide. This allows the farmer to indiscriminately spray the entire field of crops without worry of losing his/her edibles.
These GMOs are created by corporations and then sold to farmers throughout the country. The United States is one of few countries left in the world that refuses to label foods containing GMOs. Most countries around the world, including those in the European Union, have banned GMOs from their food supply due to the general uncertainty of safety, and the increasing amount of research showing the long-term dangers of these organisms.
The most prevalent GMO crops include: soybeans, corn, and canola, as well as the corresponding byproducts. Over the past few years, Harvest Market has been making the shift to products that are Non-GMO Project verified, and moving away from products that may contain GMO soy. Corn, however, is the sneaky one because there are so many derivatives that hide within packaged products. As far as canola, and its oil, are concerned – just avoid it! Even organically, it can contain trace amounts of GMO from cross-contamination. There are far healthier oils for you, too. For the high-heat benefits, try coconut oil and use grapeseed oil for frying.
In response to the frustrating refusal for labeling, the Non-GMO Project is fighting back by labeling packaged products that do NOT contain any GMOs. The companies that wish to sport the Non-GMO Project logo must undergo third-party testing to even be considered, even if the product is organic. Genetic modification is NOT allowed within the current organic standards, but the uncertainty comes from cross contamination, whether in the field or in transit. This verification seal is the safest way to avoid GMOs. Browse the Non-GMO Project’s list of verified products here , or look for the seal in the store at Harvest Market.
There is still a long fight ahead to force the labeling of foods that contain GMOs, and the corporations behind them are certainly going to make it difficult. Proposition 37 is on the ballot this November in California, asking for mandatory GMO labeling. Unfortunately, Delaware and Pennsylvania residents cannot do much about what is going on in CA, but it is certainly a great start to what will likely be a long struggle.
http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_37,_Mandatory_Labeling_of_Genetically_Engineered_Food_(2012) : more information on Prop 37 standards and exemptions.
http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/ : general information about GMOs.
http://www.anh-usa.org/just-say-%E2%80%9Cno%E2%80%9D-to-gmos/ : source; more information and links out.
http://reconstitution.us/rcnew/?p=11166 : Frankenfood image.