I am particular about what food my family puts into their bodies. I’m not saying that we don’t indulge in some junk food from time to time, but all in all, I try to feed my family food that is organic, sustainable and processed as little as possible. Basically, my food strategy has turned me into a very determined label reader. In order to know what I am feeding my family, I need to know what is in it. The defeat of Prop 37 in California has certainly caught my attention because it makes my goal of knowing what I am putting into my family’s food – and consequently, their bodies – almost impossible.
Prop 37 has to do with Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs). It didn’t want to ban GMOs, rather it just wanted producers of those GMO foods to label them as such. I’ll grant that there is controversy on whether or not GMO foods are bad for you. I don’t care. As there has been few if any studies about the long-term effect of GMO foods, my husband and I decided that we do not want those foods in our bodies, nor the bodies of our children. By not purchasing GMO foods, I’m also giving Monsanto the middle finger along with other Big Ag companies. That is something I’m quite happy to be able to do.
Although Washington State has taken up the GMO labeling cause, no currently GMO labeling laws exist in the US. If one state passes that law, it is thought the whole country would benefit because it is unlikely that Big Ag would have separate labeling per state on their food. Until some green state is able to pass this, it is difficult to figure out which foods are non-GMO and which are. Until now.
In my email inbox this morning was a lovely guide from my town’s local green resource, Fairfield Green Food Guide. This particular post about tips and tools on how to identify non-GMO foods is long but well worth your time if you are concerned about this issue. There were a couple things that stood out and I found quite useful that I will summarize here.
First off, I think it is important to know which companies financially backed Prop 37 and which financially opposed it. Below is a graphic which illustrates which companies contributed to both sides and how much. I can tell you that I will be directly my food dollars to those on the green side. Clif, Amy’s, Annie’s, Late July, Pacific and Earthbound Farms will all be seeing more of my money going forward.
It is obvious to most here that I am a big fan of Trader Joe’s. While they aren’t perfect (they sell Kashi cereal which has GMO soy), the Trader Joe’s label comes pretty close. Trader Joe’s insists that all their Trade Joe’s branded products have no GMO ingredients and they test their food regularly to be sure the producers aren’t cheating. So if you need to go the processed food route, stick to Trader Joe’s branded foods and you should be safe from GMO ingredients.
However, the best thing I learned from this site was that there is now a free iPhone app called ShopNoGMO. When you look at their screen shots, they resemble a PeaPod screen. You search for your brand by category of food, for example cereals. Then the app let’s you know whether or not the product is non-GMO. I’m a Droid gal, but I can still go to their website Non-GMO Shopping Guide on my smart phone. My only quibble with this app is that it is sponsored by Silk which is owned by Dean Foods which has fought against GMO labeling. Makes me a bit nervous, as it is darn hard to find non-GMO soy products. Silk is known for their soy milk. Regardless of this potential conflict of interest, it will certainly make it a bit easier for me to know what is going into the food I feed myself and my family.
Image 1 Flickr.
Image 2 via Cornucopia Institute