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Better Choices

Is Non-GMO Better Than Organic?

In a recent online survey of a 1,000 health-conscious consumers conducted by Market LOHAS – Mambo Sprouts Marketing Research, it was found that 80% of shoppers seek out non-GMO products, with 56% saying non-GMO was key to brand buying versus 52% for organic.

Hence, a product that has the words “Non-GMO” on its packaging is going to carry more weight with consumers than “Organic”.

On many levels, this is incredibly worrisome, mostly because shoppers are making the absolute wrong and unhealthy decision at the supermarket.

Here are my overall thoughts.

1) In retrospect, we shouldn’t be too surprised with these results. If you combine all of the backlash against GMOs on social media and the 26 states that are trying to approve GMO-labeling bills, the awareness of GMOs has never been higher.

As such, people are increasingly making it a priority to avoid to avoid GMOs. And rightly so.

2) While the numbers shouldn’t come as a great surprise, they are alarming nonetheless.

For quite some time, I have believed that many people view non-GMO as an equal or adequate substitute for organic. Yet, the data from this poll is indicating something even worse – that people view non-GMO as superior to organic.

Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.

GMOs, toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and artificial colors & flavors are all prohibited under USDA organic regulations.

Yet, all that a “Non-GMO” label means is no GMOs. Nothing else.

While there are a few independent organizations that certify and have standards regarding the “Non-GMO” label, such as the Non-GMO Project, the federal government has done nothing in regards to regulation and enforcement of the “Non-GMO” label.

Therefore, companies can slap the “Non-GMO” label on its packaging without any need for independent, third-party testing.

Even if a product has received certification from the Non-GMO Project, super-toxic chemicals and other risky substances and methods could still have been used in the production process.

3) We still have a long way to go in educating people about Organic vs. Non-GMO.

What makes this even more challenging, however, is that the organic industry is heavily focused on changing the public’s perception that “Natural” is better than “Organic”, as evidenced by the recent advertising campaign The Natural Effect.

IN CONCLUSION

One of the unintended consequences in our battle against GMOs and for GMO-labeling is that people have come to view the “Non-GMO” label as superior to the “Organic” label. This is a very serious mistake.

Consumers need to know that that if they can purchase a product that is both organic and non-GMO, that is best of both worlds. However, organic should always be the first thing that they look for.

Needless to say, the data from this poll was a real eye-opener, and hopefully it will start the conversation as to how we can go about reversing this unsettling trend.

And in case you missed it, be sure to take a look at my 5 Essential Ways to Avoid GMOs.

A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Study: Organic Ketchup Has Higher Levels of Antioxidants than Conventional Ketchup

Last year, I wrote about a groundbreaking study from Washington State University that said that organic strawberries have higher antioxidant activity and concentrations of ascorbic acid than conventional strawberries.

This research was the subject of much conversation in the organic industry because now we could point to objective, independent research that validated the superiority of organic.

Well, for those who still don’t believe that organic is a better option, maybe a recently released report from Spain will make them think differently.

In a study performed at the University of Barcelona Science and Technology Centres and reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ketchup made from organic tomatoes proved to have higher levels of polyphenols than ketchup made from conventional tomatoes. (Polyphenols are biomolecules with antioxidant properties and protective effects in the human body.)

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A message from Tradin Organic

How Tradin Organic is Helping Coconut Farmers in The Philippines

For more than a decade, Tradin Organic has been working with local partners in The Philippines to bring a diversified range of organic products to the market, such as coconut oil, tropical fruits and even cocoa.

The company is helping to support local farmers by assisting them with technical support and organic certification, in addition to paying Fairtrade premium on top of the organic premium.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Food & Water Watch Unveils its New Smart Seafood Guide and “Dirty Dozen of Fish”

If you are looking for organic fish in the U.S., you will not find it. Why?

Because there is no such a thing as USDA certified organic fish, as national organic standards for fish have not yet been approved.

That being said, some fish are certainly better to eat than others, and Food & Water Watch recently released its Smart Seafood Guide.

The Smart Seafood Guide gives an excellent analysis of over 100 different fish, provides regional guides, and offers helpful suggestions so that consumers can make the healthiest and most sustainable choices possible.

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Living Maxwell

Better Choices

Want to Learn More About the Vegan Ketogenic Diet? If So, You’ll Definitely Want This Book

Everywhere you turn these days, you’ll find news and stories about the ketogenic diet.

This low-carb, high-fat, high-protein diet is helping people lose weight and giving them much needed mental clarity.

However, one of the misconceptions of the keto diet is that animal products are an essential component of it. And for people who only eat plant-based, this can be quite disconcerting.

Along with her co-author Nicole Derseweh, my good friend Whitney Lauritsen — also widely known as the EcoVegan Gal — has just come out with a fantastic book called The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, and it is a phenomenal resource for people looking to explore this lifestyle.

Not only does it clear up a lot of the confusion about the keto diet requiring the consumption of animal products, but it provides 75 delicious recipes. And when I was sent an early version of the book, I literally read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. I was that impressed by it.

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