As prefaced in our previous post, we would like to share additional insights from our survey research in the coming weeks. Throughout our findings, the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) surfaced in a few areas that confirmed why there are significant gaps between what we as consumers understand about GMO’s, and what the facts suggest. GMO’s are being talked about online and off by people who are confused about their food. In those conversations, GMO’s are feared as well as supported, depending on who you talk to. They are also exploited for what they are, as well as for what they are not. In this post, we would like to offer some clarity around which foods at the grocery store are GMO-Free, and which foods are not.
The first point to make here, is how people feed their families is not a matter of right and wrong. I think that is an important message to consider, because if we suggest to a hungry family that their food is not good for them, because it was genetically modified, that suggests something about them, and ourselves, that perhaps is not our place to say. For many families, what we eat is a matter of price, availability and the ability to afford. For other families, it is a matter of taste and personal preference.
There is not a right or wrong per se, rather I see it as having options to eat what we prefer, a luxury we have in our country. With that said, when it comes to our dinner table, we want to know that our food is safe, and responsibly produced, before it arrives to our families. That should be a given, however with the exploitation of undercover videos, fear mongering and lack of transparency in the food supply chain, consumers of food in our country are asking important questions about where their food comes from and how it was produced.
In the spirit of knowing where our food comes from, we thought we’d share a few facts about your local grocery store. If you are wondering what is GMO-Free and what is just marketing, keep reading.
First, there are only 10 foods available commercially in the U.S. that are genetically modified, despite the dozens if not hundreds of foods we buy that sport the GMO-Free label. That’s it, just ten. So, when you see GMO-Free anything, realize that the intent is to get your attention, not necessarily to inform you. Unless, the label is on one of the following foods / crops, it is marketing, likely confusing us even more.
An easy way to remember which crops / foods are even possible to purchase in the U.S. that potentially are genetically engineered, is to remember the acronym, C.A.P.S.
C – Canola, Cotton, and Corn
A – Alfalfa and Apple
P – Papaya and Potato
S – Soybean, Squash, and Sugar Beet
So, next time you are at the store and see a GMO-Free label and it is not one of these 10, you will be armed with a bit more information about your food.