What Does “Non-GMO” Mean?

GMO Fruit

All non-GMO means is NOT genetically modified. GMO itself stands for “genetically modified organisms.” These unnatural organisms are meticulously created in a lab utilizing various genetic engineering and modification techniques.

This process basically takes the unadulterated DNA from one species and injects into a different species entirely. In turn, this produces combinations of plant and animal genes that are far from naturally-occurring.

To date, a multitude of scientists and environmental groups (specifically the Non-GMO Project) have claimed that there are countless health and environmental risks concerning GMO-containing food. Of course, these aren’t just claims or opinions—they’re backed by research.

“The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don’t think we fully understand the dimensions of what we’re getting into.”

-Professor Philip James,
Director of the Rowett Research Institute

The Pros

Eating food the way nature DIDN’T intend it doesn’t sound like a very smart idea, does it? But here at HMM, we don’t like getting too biased and we refuse to ignore the facts. The truth is, there are both advantages AND disadvantages to GMOs.

In fact, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations sees a light at the end of the agricultural tunnel… Farmers have the potential of actually producing food that’s more nutritious than its non-GMO counterparts.

Also, The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food states that all Genetically Modified (GM) technology does is it integrates optimal traits from nature into the crops, which results in healthier plants that, again, are more nutritious and even better for the environment.

“By themselves, genetically engineered crops will not end hunger or improve health or bolster the economies of struggling countries. They won’t save the sight of millions or fortify their bones. But they will certainly help.”

-Michael Specter
American Journalist

Are GMOs Safe?

There are a handful of countries that have numerous restrictions in place—even bans when it comes to GMO-production. Why? The answer’s simple: GMOs have NOT been proven to be 100% safe!

However, the United States has no such restrictions or bans. GMOs are actually FDA approved. Mainly because of the extensive studies done by the companies who created them in the first place AND not to mention profit from them.

We’re in no way telling you to pick sides, but the lack of research outside of GMO-producing company findings is very alarming indeed.

How to Tell the Difference

Nowadays, most things are labeled. So lucky for you, you just need to look for a Non-GMO label. Some foods also receive a stamp of approval from The Non-GMO Project. Also, if something is labeled organic, then it cannot contain any genetically modified organisms whatsoever.

Alas, at this point, labeling is not absolutely mandatory.

But lucky for you, an exhaustive list of non-GMO foods are included here: www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/search-participating-products

Non-GMO Seal

The Primary Crop Culprits

Typically, US-grown soy, cotton, canola, and corn are GMO. Sugar beets, squash and Hawaiian Papaya as well. If these things aren’t labeled organic and/or non-GMO, then they are GMO without a shadow of a doubt. But what you especially have to watch out for is packaged food!Cut Open Papaya

What Does This Mean for Our Environment?

Most GMOs are specifically created to be highly tolerant to herbicides. Unfortunately, that means this toxic gunk (like Roundup) is drastically increased.

Go down the rabbit hole even further and you’ll see that GMO crops have led to the appearance of “super weeds” and “super bugs.” These far-from-super specimens then need some more toxins to die off. Poor soil, is all we have to say.

Organic Aisle

This can’t possibly be ideal for the long-term, regardless of the benefits. At the same time, the negative and positive effects can’t exactly be accurately foreseen just yet. This is still a relatively new science, after all.

Just to play it safe, we advise sticking to mostly non-GMO food, all while keeping an open mind to scientific advancements.

So, what are your thoughts on GMOs? For or against, we’d love to hear what you think!


Sources
1. “Non-GMO Project – About GMOs.”
2. “Coalition for Safe Affordable Food – Benefits of Biotechnology.”
3. “The Reporting of the Risks From Genetically Modified Organisms in the Mass Media.”
4. “Genetically Modified Organisms: Do the benefits Outweigh the Risks?”


 *DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.*

9 COMMENTS

  1. Give me all of the GMO foods they can make! If you stuck strictly to non-GMO, you couldn’t eat apples, oranges, peaches, cucumbers, watermelons… Heck the list goes on forever. Watermelons used to be the size of cherries before they were genetically modified to produce the orbs of awesomeness they currently are. I’ll trust the science (besides, all of that soy product that’s so popular, without Roundup, forget about it – a friend of mine farms soybeans).

    • We love hearing people’s opinions on both sides of the spectrum. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      We had no idea that was the case for watermelons. We ought to look into that.

      The thing is, if an orange, apple, cucumber, etc. is organic, then it cannot be genetically modified. Those are simply our findings. According to GMO Awareness, “buying 100% Organic, Certified Organic, and USDA Organic-labeled products is usually the easiest way to identify and avoid genetically modified ingredients. The United States and Canadian governments do NOT allow companies to label products “100% / Certified Organic” if they contain genetically modified foods.”

  2. There are many reasons why I oppose the use of GMO products. Secrecy among manufacturers is just one of the reasons. Independent testing and evaluation in the US has been excluded as a result of special interest groups. The continuing attempts to mandate the REMOVAL of NON GMO is another. If the products are healthy, they should be proud to “wear” the GMO labeling. European research has also been inconclusive for proving the safety in GMO. As you stated, it will NOT help feed the world. With all the toxicity the average consumer willingly adds to their body, it doesn’t make sense to add a product that MIGHT cause genetic alterations or aberrant expressions when combined with other products already causing systemic inflammation in the body.

  3. I think it’s unfortunate when the food you eat has to be labeled non-GMO or GMO. You have to really read the labels, carefully. Grocery shopping has become a treasure hunt to find real food just as nature intended. I went to buy hummus and tortillas and Frito-Lay’s Fritos were made with GMOs, but Sabra was proudly boasting the non-GMO label. I find it disturbing because the effects of GMOs aren’t know.

    • It really is unfortunate! Sometimes, even if you read and reread the labels, it’s easy to miss something. Getting wholesome food shouldn’t be a tricky ordeal.

      We agree. When the harmful effects aren’t fully known yet, how can anyone assume GMOs are completely safe?

      Thank you for the comment!

      -Bob & Eva

  4. I’ve always been against GMO foods. While I can understand why GMOs were created I still don’t agree with it. The planet and humanity has existed for thousands of years without altering the core DNA of plants, so why start now. we have no idea about what will happen in the future, will these plants exist generations into the future, will they destroy all others that do…Just not worth it in my opinion. nature is a wonderful thing, we should preserve it, not mess with it 🙂

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