October is here and we’re dancing in the aisles because it’s Non-GMO Month! In case you didn’t know, Down to Earth loves non-genetically modified (GMO) products.
Why do we feel so strongly about GMOs? GMOs are the result of a laboratory process where genes are taken from one species and inserted into another to get a desired trait or characteristic. GMOs are also known as genetically engineered, bioengineered, biotech crops, or transgenic organisms. While GMO proponents say their goal is to increase nutritional benefits or productivity, the two main traits usually selected for modified crops are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefits, and in fact have only contributed to higher herbicide use and pesticide-resistant superbugs.
Down to Earth is opposed to the development of products containing GMOs because we believe they may pose health, safety, and other potential risks that far outweigh the purported benefits. For these reasons, we are huge proponents of non-GMO products and for clear labeling, so we know exactly what’s in our food. You’ll see lots of orange butterflies in our stores, which is the easiest way to identify goods that are certified by The Non-GMO Project. And in our produce section, you won’t find any GMO fruits or vegetables. Did you know if you select certified organic foods, they are also non-GMO because genetic modification is prohibited in organic production?
Ko Farms is one of our absolute favorite local farms that is doing it the right way! Daniel Ko has been farming for most of his life. Over the years he has farmed properties in Waimanalo and other locations but has settled on their current property hidden deep in Palolo Valley on Oahu. Ko Farms has long been certified organic; Daniel says that he was never interested in using the chemicals anyway, and the certification ensures a good price for his greens. Be sure to look for the Ko Farms label the next time you’re in Down to Earth—you know you’ll be supporting something good!
Traditionally October is a time for harvesting, and it’s also the perfect time to think about our food system, how our produce is grown, the impact of farming on the ‘aina, and how we can opt for better production methods by buying organic and non-GMO products. If you’re concerned about GMO products and want to do more to support the right to choose non-GMO foods this October, here are a few ideas:
- Spread the word! Educate your friends, family, and network about the concerns with GMO foods. Check out these free resources and articles on the concerns about GMO foods.
- Host a movie night and serve some yummy snacks that are certified by The Non-GMO project. Here are some inspiring documentaries worth checking out:
- Shop at Down to Earth! Support local farmers (like Ko Farms) and small businesses that are dedicated to producing healthy food and wellness products that are non-GMO, organic, sustainable, and regenerative. Our stores are full of all the great things they are working hard to grow and make, for the betterment of the world.