What is Organic and GMO?
We at Sundown have been striving to have the most Organic ingredients possible in our dishes, and the least amount of GMO ingredients. But what exactly are Organic Foods and GMOs, and why should I care? Essentially organic refers to how a plant is grown, and GMO refers to a plant who’s genes were modified in a laboratory. (It should be noted that GMO crops grown organically, and animals fed with GMO feed can not be certified organic by the USDA)
The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution.
Farmers who grow organic produce don’t use conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Examples of organic farming practices include using natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants, and using crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds.
For the vast majority of its history, agriculture can be described as having been organic; only during the 20th century was a large supply of new chemicals introduced to the food supply. The organic farming movement arose in the 1940s in response to the industrialization of agriculture known as the Green Revolution.
In 1939, Lord Northbourne coined the term organic farming in his book Look to the Land (1940), out of his conception of “the farm as organism,” to describe a holistic, ecologically balanced approach to farming—in contrast to what he called chemical farming, which relied on “imported fertility” and “cannot be self-sufficient nor an organic whole.”
A 2014 review found fewer pesticides and higher levels of antioxidants in organically grown food.
While essentially all of our foods have been genetically modified over thousands of years using “artificial selection” to give crops many types of desired outcomes through selective breeding, only in the last 20 years have plants had their DNA modified in a lab by combining traits from other plants.
A GMO is a plant developed through a process in which a copy of a desired gene or section of genetic material from one plant or organism is placed in another plant. The only GMOs commercially available in the U.S. are the following eight crops: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), papaya, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets and summer squash.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.