Ever walk through the grocery store and wonder, what’s the difference between certified organic and non-GMO labeled foods? So have we! At Urban Remedy, we’ve been investigating the differences between organic and non-genetically modified foods, and here’s what we’ve found…
Here’s the problem: Not all certified organic foods are completely GMO-free. Shocker!
The term organic refers to the chemical-free process by which food is grown. With that in mind, one would think these certified organic foods, free of chemicals, are also free of genetic modification, designating them as non-GMO foods. Unfortunately, existing USDA mandates protecting certified organic crops from GMO contamination fail to recognize the simple truth, that man-made laws have no power when faced with the force of Ms. Mother Nature.
Accidental crop contamination can occur from things like natural cross-pollination of crops by wind or birds carrying seeds from one field to another, or by finding minuscule traces of non-GMO ingredients in animal feed. These uncontrollable instances lead still-certified organic foods to no longer be completely GMO-free.
In fact, according to FDA mandate, the only certifiably non-GMO foods available in grocery stores are those labeled as ‘100% Certified Organic’. However, not all organic foods are labeled as ‘100% Certified Organic’. Some foods are also designated as ‘Certified Organic’ or ‘Made with Organic’, meaning most of their ingredients are organic, but not all. Recipes for products like these can allot between 5%-30% of space for ingredients like corn starch and soy lecithin, two items the USDA lists as non-GMO, but are possibly, not. So tricky!
Surprised by this little loophole? Here’s another! Certain antibiotics are also USDA approved for use on organic produce as fire damage preventatives. Yuck!
With this information in mind, we’ve concluded that it’s better to think of foods labeled as organic as, instead, mostly organic. Your best bet to avoid genetic modification is to stick with foods labeled as ‘100% Certified Organic’ or explicitly as ‘non-GMO’.