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Working at Earth Fare, you are sure to be asked about Earth Fare’s policy on GMOs. A GMO is a Genetically Modified Organism – which sounds a little like a food version of Frankenstein’s monster.
While these foods may not come to life and wreak havoc on villages and townspeople, they are a hot button issue for a lot of people. And contrary to popular belief, GMOs are not banned at Earth Fare.
Earth Fare does NOT ban GMO Foods. Why?
Until the government requires GMO foods to be labeled by their producers, we cannot guarantee that any food is completely GMO-free. Therefore, any attempt to ban GMOs is futile.
Why are GMOs so hard to identify?
Genetic Modification is present in a plant’s DNA – so you may think that you should be able to identify any GMO just by doing a simple DNA test (or by the bolts coming out of its neck).
However, some plant products have been so reduced or altered that there is no DNA left in the ingredient. Examples of products like this include ascorbic acid, caramel color and xanthan gum. All of these products come from corn, and all will test CLEAN for GMOs even if the corn they are made from was genetically modified. Sneaky, right?
Bottom Line: We have to be honest.
Our customers want us to say we ban GMOs from our stores. Many people currently believe that we ban GMOs. And although we would LOVE to say that Earth Fare is completely GMO-free, right now, it is impossible not to carry them.
In our private label and organic products, we do our best to avoid GMO sourced ingredients, but, as you now know, these sneaky ingredients can be present even when the tests say they aren’t.
How can I avoid GMOs? What should I tell customers who want to be GMO-free?
According to the USDA’s official requirements, in order to be labeled USDA Organic, a food cannot have undergone any genetic engineering. So to avoid genetically modified ingredients, buy and eat USDA certified organic when possible.
The foods with the highest instance of GMO are soy, corn and canola – avoid those ingredients unless they are certified organic or come from a supplier that uses certified non-GMO seeds. Make as much of your own food as you can, and use ingredients you absolutely trust.
Until our government requires mandatory labeling of a food’s SOURCE material, there is no way to verify that any processed or packaged food is GMO free – not by the manufacturer, the customer or Earth Fare.