What exactly is Non-GMO? Is it just a trendy certification or is it something that you should actually take into consideration?
Nowadays it can be difficult to keep up with food trends let alone food certifications. You might see labels on food packages like Certified Gluten Free, B Corporation, and Non-GMO Project. But what exactly is Non-GMO? Is it just a trendy certification or is it something that you should actually take into consideration when buying packaged goods? Let’s discuss all things Non-GMO.
First, what does GMO mean? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. This means anything from a plant, animal, microorganism or any other organism that has been genetically modified in a lab in some way. The purpose is to create a modified version that does not naturally grow in nature.
It may sound intimidating but there are plenty of known foods that are genetically modified such as corn, soy, cotton, milk, and sugar. Many of these foods are genetically modified in order to grow and be resistant to certain harsh chemicals and pesticides. For instance, up to 92% of corn grown in the United States is genetically engineered. In other cases, such as milk, hormones are added to produce more milk in cows in order to yield more for human consumption.
The definition of the degree to which something is genetically modified is taken into consideration by The Non-GMO Project, the nonprofit organization that is responsible for determining whether a product is non-GMO or not. The Non-GMO Project takes into account a variety of factors when determining a certification, which include non-risk, low-risk, high-risk or modified risk. For example, something that qualifies as low-risk does not derive from organisms that are genetically modified such as lentils, spinach and avocados. High-risk on the other hand is produced from a genetically modified source such as corn, canola, and soy.
Are there any negative impacts of genetically modified foods on the body? This topic is highly debated. Researchers have found that there are no reported negative side effects of genetically modified foods and that consuming them is safe. However, some skeptics believe that the researchers reporting these facts are backed by the FDA, the same organization pushing for genetically modified food. Furthermore, genetically modified food is a newer concept, it’s only been in effect since the 1970’s and didn’t make it’s way on our plate until the 1990’s.
Therefore, while eating genetically modified foods won’t do you any harm, it’s up to you to decide whether you feel safe enough to consume these products. Luckily, the Non-GMO Project makes it easy to determine whether a food has been genetically engineered. When it comes to things like fresh produce, try to choose organic which is not going to be sprayed with pesticides or chemicals and avoid GMO produce such as corn. Look out for the Non-GMO certified label on your favorite products. Even better news, KABAKI Purple Tea is one of them! We’re proud to say that our products are Non-GMO certified. Shop our products here.
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