Our writer, Joann DiFabio-Klinkner is all about building awareness of what makes up the food we eat. Are you someone who accepts the unhealthy additives which go into the products we eat, or do you choose to read and understand the nutrition labels on these products? Joann educates us on ingredients and nutrition information so we can easily remember what is harmful to our bodies and what is not. What we eat can, in the short term, affect our mood and our energy, and in the longer term can have a major affect on our health. Over the next few months we’ve partnered with Mediterranean Snacks® to join them on their mission to educate, engage and influence consumers to continue to make healthier choices when it comes to the foods and snacks they eat.
What is NON GMO?
With the growing popularity of health-conscious snacks these days, it’s sometimes hard to understand exactly what makes certain snacks so healthy, or what makes them healthier than their “non-healthy” counterparts. For instance, you might start seeing more and more snacks labeled, “NON GMO Project verified”, but you might not have any clue as to what exactly that means or why it’s a good thing. Keep reading to find out more about what NON GMO Project verified means.
First of all, what is GMO? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs are essentially created when plants or animals are modified through gene-splicing technology associated with biochemistry (also called genetic engineering). DNA from different organisms is merged to form a new, often unstable organism that would normally not occur in nature or through crossbreeding. So in essence, it’s like scientifically creating a plant or animal that never existed before. Kind of freaky, huh?
So what is the point in creating GMOs? The Natural Environment Research Council cites GM technology as a way to make plants pest, disease, drought, and weed killer resistant. They also cite the possibility of added nutritional benefits, such as rice with more Vitamin A and potatoes with more protein. And lastly, according to the NERC, GMOs could lead to the development of plants that help produce products such as plastics and detergents.
GMOs aren’t always so obvious. It’s not always just a matter of choosing NON GMO meat and produce. Two of the most common GMOs are corn and soy, two products that are found in just about every processed food on the market, EXCEPT when sourced from Europe. Yup, GMOs hide in cereals, snack bars, crackers, cookies, and even lunch meats…all foods that are popular amongst children.
There are many concerns behind the development of GMOs, the main one being the effects of GMOs on children and their development. Studies conducted on lab and farm animals that were fed a variety of GMOs resulted in the development of things such as allergies, stomach ulcers, reduced function of the pancreas, testes, liver, and kidneys, and even alteration in blood biochemistry.
There is also a plethora of environmental concerns surrounding the development of GMOs. For instance, genetically modified crops can contaminate conventional crops if they’re planted too close to each other, compromising the integrity of the conventional crops. There are also the concerns of negative effects on biodiversity. A GMO can breed with a wild species to produce a hybrid that, over time, can ultimately damage the environment it develops within.
The NON GMO Project is a non-profit organization that serves as North America’s only third party verification organization for NON GMO food and products. They are dedicated to the preservation of NON GMO sources and the education of consumers to make informed choices with regards to the foods they purchase and consume. Looking for products with the NON GMO Project verification seal on them is an excellent place to start when searching for foods that do not contain GMOs. I share here one of my favorite snacks, Mediterranean Snacks.
Mediterranean Snacks provide a variety of crackers and chips, ALL are Gluten Free and many are NON GMO Verified as they source their ingredients from Europe. You can see here that they represent these standards well on their packaging. Connect with Mediterranean Snacks on Facebook for a chance to WIN some snacks!
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