How does a shopper find out if the product they’re looking at doesn’t contain modified ingredients? After all, the DNA of major food crops are now very different from the food of our ancestors. Scientists have created genetic combinations with plants, animals, viruses, or bacterial genes. Those combinations can’t be found in Nature or traditional cross-breeding methods. The purpose of altering the DNA of a seed’s genes is not to promote greater seed diversity. In contrast, it is made to do things like help the farmer use the chemical Roundup. The biotechnology companies deem genetically modifying safe (GMO). Consequently, mandatory labeling is not required in the grocery store.
Imagine how hard it would be for one company to make a product that doesn’t contain them! They’re in ingredients like amino acids, alcohol, aspartame, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and high fructose corn syrup. The list goes on! It’s pretty much in everything unless it’s Non-Gmo certified. The reason you’d search for a brand which does not contain a GMO is to support diverse business practices. It’s not cool to support one company’s mission to own patent rights to our food stock!
The problem with Genetically Modified Ingredients
The farmers that use this seed are reaping the benefits of adequate weed control. Yet, their health is suffering for it. The Canadian Census of Health and Environment Cohort conducted a study. They’ve studied a pool of 70,500 agricultural workers. From these workers, a total of 9515 (about 1 in 7) were subjects of cancer. The study found the use of pesticides is the root cause of hematopoietic cancers, such as Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. So even though the pesticides and herbicides make their jobs easier, it`s also killing them. So, if you find your self buying a product with a non-GMO sticker! You’re supporting the health of a Farmer!
Another good reason to support organic certified products? It benefits your own health too! Unfortunately, the only verification that GMO is safe is from the companies responsible for the biotechnology itself. Moreover, 300 scientists, Physicians, and Scholars released this statement in 2015. “The consensus of GMO safety in the media was falsely perpetuated.” The Biotech companies engineer their own reports which suggest we`re all going to be ok! However, it’s hard to trust a company that market their products to gain greater profits. That’s just marketing!
The Honest Project
The National Bioengineered food disclosure standard isn’t required to label meat eggs or dairy. Why are these foods subject to genetically modified organisms? Surely the quality of the livestock feed isn’t poor. However, it can be! In fact, there are some reports that feed contains animal meat or even plastic! In particular, the two most important ingredients in the feed today are corn and soybeans. Plus oats, wheat, and rice which is also grown by farmers using modified seeds.
For this purpose, the Non- GMO project tracks the DNA of foodstuff which enters into the supply chain. It also has the arduous task of tracing the stock from animal feed and inputs of textiles. They have laboratories that test major and minor ingredients for intact DNA. The majority of food in stores today do not need disclosure. So, the Non-GMO project is the only verification process available to consumers. They are working to give everyone the right to know what is in their food.
The following foods are also grown with genetically modified seeds:
- Yellow Squash
Many studies have not been able to detect the DNA or protein from GMO crops in animal products. So food companies are not able to test these products to determine if the animal was fed feed from GM crops.
I’ve listed three dairy companies that have tried to provide Non-GMO options for an unsuspecting consumer.
Ben and Jerrys
Firstly, we have Ben and Jerry’s nondairy ice cream which wins the medal for a non-GMO product! They’ve created it with almonds and have found the secret to keeping their ice creams great tasting!
11 flavors fall into the zone
- Cherry Garcia
- Chocolate caramel cluster
- Coffee caramel fudge
- Chocolate cookie dough
- Caramel almond brittle
- Chocolate fudge brownie
B&J’s supports Fridays for Futures. They also believe that climate change is a big problem. They’ve put their pints of ice-cream on an endangered list due to global warming. Cocoa beans and nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts and coffee production will begin to suffer. Hot weather without cold spells will mark a time when production will decrease and prices for the commodity will increase.
Since 2002 they’ve launched a carbon offset program for their manufacturing facilities. Then in 2007, they created a global warming campaign. B&J’s teamed up with David Mathews to help send a message! Climate change will change life as we know it! They have a long history in the fight to raise awareness for climate change! This company also strongly believes in fair trade with farmers. They’ve sourced five major ingredients from farmers that treat people well. Cocoa, Sugar, Vanilla, Coffee, and Bananas all come with a certification of good ethics and great taste.
Next, Activia yogurt is a brand name you can look for while searching for a GMO-free product. These are the 9 flavors that are not labeled on the package as GMO-free. However, they’re found on the Verified website:
- ACTIVIA Dailies:
- Acai berry, blueberry
- Honey Ginger
- Lemon Ginger
- Mango Turmeric
In addition, Activia’s parent company Danone is part of the Certified B Corporation. This organization knows that the world’s problems cannot be solved by governments and nonprofit organizations alone. The B Corp. “envisions an economy as a force for good.” Their shared core beliefs come from the idea that businesses must be the change the world seeks. They run businesses in a way where no harm is done, above all else, including profits. To do this they follow a principle that each company is interdependent upon one another. Thus responsible for one another and future generations.
Finally, Oikos Triple zero boasts zero preservatives, zero artificial sweeteners, and zero fat. There are 14 flavors that don’t contain GMOs.
Oikos’s also has a new Organic line with both plain and vanilla flavors. Danone the parent company committed to becoming Carbon neutral as of 2050! From farms to facilities they are the first of 100 companies that align their carbon trajectory with the Paris agreement. Equally important, a nonprofit initiative will govern the science-based target they intend to meet. Not only do they monitor their progress they’ll help them stay on track to reach their goal.
They also plan to take responsibility for their packaging by switching their current plastic packaging to Biomass bottles. However, not all biomass plastic degrades. It’s projected that the plastic industry is leaning into bio-based plastics that still won’t biodegrade properly. The biomass plastic in many cases will only degrade in higher temperatures. So, there won’t be enough heat to make the biomass disappear when it’s dumped into the ocean.
These brands are doing what’s right for our health and the environment. It’s important that we support them when we’re shopping in the dairy aisle. Next time you’re at the grocery store and reach for your favorite dairy product you’ll know more about the ones too trust. You’ll know which brands have taken corporate responsibility to the next level. A place where corporate profits don’t rule the board meetings. They’ve taken social causes to the heart of their business.