Did you know that all of October is Non-GMO Month? It is a chance to raise awareness about how choosing non-genetically modified foods (GMOs) can promote a healthy diet and sustainable agricultural practices.
While casually making our way through the grocery store and checking items off of our list, we may not pay too much attention to the labels and/or certifications on the items we put into our basket. Since we usually find a brand we love and stick to it, these labels that can inform us about allergens, diets and other important information, can easily go unnoticed. At OHi Food Co., we would like to share how important the Non-GMO Project Verified label and certification is to us.
This cute, little label with a plant and a butterfly actually represents something incredibly powerful, and important. This non-profit organization works to ensure that everyone knows what is in the foods we eat, whether or not a food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and believes that everyone deserves access to non-GMO foods. Empowering individuals to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing their food is of utmost importance to this organization. The Non-GMO Project also works to encourage non-GMO seed supply, restoring seed-breeding, and farmers to plant their own seeds and grow whatever they choose.
Before we dive into the qualifications that must be met before this mighty label can be placed upon a food product, let’s backtrack and discuss exactly what GMOs are. GMO, as we now know, stands for genetically modified organism, and includes any organism that has had their genetic material altered using genetic engineering techniques (thanks, Wikipedia). Whoa, say what? I know, that certainly is a mouthful. Basically, plants, animals, and microorganisms will have foreign genes, bacteria, viruses, and antibiotic resistant genes engineered into them (centerforfoodsafety.org). By consuming GMO products, we are introducing something completely foreign into our bodies that could potentially have some serious side effects.
It should be noted that, to date, there have been no scientific or data-driven studies on the potential effects of GMO food on human health. The research that has been done, suggesting GMOs are safe for human consumption, has been conducted by biotechnology companies (the same companies manufacturing these products). Some potential side effects linked to GMO consumption include: allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, and a weakened immune system. Further, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require companies to label the products that contain GMOs. So, every day millions and millions of people, all ages, are consuming GMOs without even knowing. Since food labels almost always list every single ingredient, additive, preservative, etc., shouldn’t they also list GMOs?
Now, enter the Non-GMO Project, whose mission is to empower people to make informed decisions when it comes to what they are consuming. Regardless of whether or not GMOs are safe, we have the right to decide if we want to put them into our bodies. The Non-GMO Project creates the standard when it comes to Non-GMO, and products applying for this label go through rigorous verification by inspectors as well as accredited testing laboratories to be sure their product meets the standard. When you see this label on a product you can be sure of one thing, it does not contain GMOs.
Upon careful inspection, you may notice that the label contains an URL. If you are curious, pay their website a visit. Here you can find frequently asked questions in regard to the organization's standards, facts about GMOs, search for products that have been verified, and even find Non-GMO retailers in your area. Not only is the Non-GMO Project label held in high regard, they are a great resource when it comes offering education surrounding all things Non-GMO.
OHi Food Co. is proud to display the Non-GMO Project label on all our bars, because it is so important to us that you have options when it comes to your food choices. We create our bars using only the best Non-GMO superfoods and nutrient-dense ingredients so that you can feel your best when you eat them. We want you to feel empowered when it comes to your health and we believe that having the Non-GMO certification label on our products will help you to do so. Three cheers for awareness, health, and integral companies!
So on your next trip to the grocery store, look for that little butterfly on the packaging of the foods in your basket to be sure you are GMO free!