Information on Non-GMO Foods
What is a GMO?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant or animal whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering (GE) techniques. This technology combines DNA from different species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Nearly all commercial GMO’s are designed to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide, resulting in using more pesticides as weeds and bugs develop resistance to them.
Are GMOs safe?
The verdict is unclear. In the U.S., GMO’s have been approved based on studies performed by the very companies that create GMO’s and profit from them. Scientists have identified a number of ways in which GMO’s could potentially adversely impact both human health and the environment. These include new allergens in the food supply, antibiotic resistance, production of new toxins, gene transfer due to pollen drift, creation of new viruses and more. More detailed information can be found at the Union of Concerned Scientists website at www.ucsusa.org. Most developed nations including all of the countries in the European Union, Australia, and Japan have either significant restrictions or outright bans on GMO’s.
How do I avoid GMO’s?*
Since the US does not require labeling of GMO’s there are a few ways to reduce your consumption of GMO’s.
1 – Buy Organic
Certified organic products are not allowed to contain any GMO’s. Therefore, when you purchase products labeled “100% organic”, “organic”, or “made with organic ingredients”, all ingredients in these products are not allowed to be produced from GMO’s. For example, products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of the ingredients to be organic, but 100% of the ingredients must be non-GMO.
2 – Look for Non-GMO on the label
In the absence of mandatory labeling, many companies voluntarily label their products as non-GMO. In addition, the Non-GMO Project offers verification and a Non-GMO Project Verified logo on a product means that the product meets their standards for GMO avoidance.
3 – Avoid at-risk ingredients
Most GMO’s in processed foods come from four crops: corn, soybeans, canola and cottonseed. If you’re consuming conventional processed foods and you find on the label these ingredients, they are likely GMO: corn flour, corn meal, corn starch, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, glucose, modified food starch, soy flour, soy lecithin, soy protein isolate, soy isoflavone, vegetable oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil.
shopOrganic Product Selection
Since the majority of our products are certified organic, we know that those do not contain GMO’s. For our products that are in the ‘contains organic ingredients’ and ‘natural’ categories, we have verified with all of our food and body care vendors that their products do not contain GMO’s. We're the only online retailer of organic products who can make that claim, so when you shop with us, you can shop with confidence that we've done our homework so you don't have to.
*Note: Due to crop drift, it is impossible to be sure that any product is 100% free of GMO’s. Even the Non-GMO Project’s verification allows for a threshold of 0.9%. This is in alignment with laws in the European Union, where any product containing more than 0.9% GMO must be labeled as such.
Organic Food and shopOrganic
Understand Organic Labeling
What does Organic mean?
The term “Organic" refers to a method of agricultural growing and processing. This includes crops grown for food as well as crops grown for fiber, such as cotton. The word "organic" on a label stands for a commitment to a system of agriculture which strives for a balance with nature, using methods and materials which have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems eliminate the use of toxic and persistent chemical pesticides and fertilizers, replenish and maintain soil fertility, and build a biologically diverse agriculture. Organic food is minimally processed to maintain the integrity of the food without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation.
Visit Organic 101 for more information
shopOrganic Product Selection
shopOrganic carries 100% Organic, 95% Organic, 70% Organic and products that contain organic ingredients. We identify the organic percentage of every product on our site so that you can make the best choices for yourself.
When a product doesn’t exist in an organic form, we will carry natural products from trusted vendors. This means that we carry sea salt, baking soda, wheat germ and a handful of other natural products. These are identified on our site as Natural.
shopOrganic favors small vendors and privately held companies because we believe that the integrity of the products we carry is important to our customers and important for the industry. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and we like to support small, sustainable businesses whenever we can. While ‘Big Agriculture’ is getting into the organic industry, we prefer to support companies whose commitment to organic food production is at the core of their business.
shopOrganic has developed strong relationships with small vendors throughout the country, providing high quality, unique products for our customers and an opportunity for small vendors to reach a wider, national audience. We support small, organic farmers and producers and hope you will too.