Thursday, July 16, 2009

NEWS FLASH: Whole Foods Market Takes Stand Against GMOs

I was elated to get wind of this project! It's a BIG BIG step in the right direction for everyone whether they realize it or not. GMOs are BAD and now Whole Foods Market - a major grocer and player in the health community is going to be part of the Non-GMO project.

What does this mean? Beginning this Fall we are going to start seeing, "Non-GMO Project Verified" seals identifying products in their store that are GMO-Free. All of Whole Foods "house brands" (365 Every Day Value and Whole Foods Market) will be enrolled in the project, and there are already quite a few other manufactures, such as Eden Foods, Nature's Path Organic, and Lundburg Farms that have their products verified under this standard. The list compiled so far can be found HERE.

What is a GMO?

As Wikipedia puts it: A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes.

From Whole Foods' Blog: It’s simple: scientists combine the DNA of a plant with the DNA of something else and create a novel organism that has heretofore not existed in nature. The companies who make and sell the bioengineered crops will tell you all about the “exciting potential” of these crops to end hunger and create radical new super-nutritious foods. In reality, the GMO crops currently approved and marketed in the United States do one of two things: (1) make their own pesticides or (2) resist herbicides, so that farmers can spray an entire field with a strong chemical herbicide and kill everything but the GMO crop. Most of the U.S. corn, soy, canola and cotton is grown using one of these two technologies.

It may not sound like such a big deal, but I assure you it is. Dig a little deeper. Watch some informative movies such as The Future of Food, Food Matters, and Food Inc. Trust me if you don't already know- you will be shocked and outraged!

Also, it should be mentioned that "organic" food is non-GMO by design as the USDA Organic Standards prohibit organic producers from using GMOs and GMO seeds. However, and most unfortunately, due to pollen drift and other types of contamination, even organic products can have very small amounts of GMO contamination. The Non-GMO Project will help organic growers avoid and minimize this contamination.

Whole Foods has a reputation for being a little pricey sometimes, but knowing they are part of and taking a stand for 'good food' makes me feel a whole lot better about paying a tad more. This is a really good sign- I know others will soon follow suite.

You can find the full Whole Foods blog post can be found HERE.

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