The Non-GMO Project: What Non-GMO Means (And Why It Matters)

The Non-GMO Project: What Non-GMO Means (And Why It Matters)

Manukora Staff

5 minutes

Executive Summary:

  • GMOs refer to Genetically Modified Organisms, which means any product of nature that has been genetically modified for human benefit.
  • While glyphosate, a commonly used pesticide, helps kill weeds without harming GMO crops, it harms the environment around them.
  • Over time, weeds also become resistant to glyphosate, leading farmers to use more and potentially impacting human health and the environment further.
  • The use of glyphosate is linked to bee deaths around the world. If we lose some of our greatest pollinators (bees), this could have detrimental impacts on our food supply chain.
  • The Non-GMO Project was created to preserve non-GMO food supply and support the environment and human health.

 

Understanding GMOs vs Non-GMOs

The acronym "GMO" seems to be on everyone's lips these days. But what are GMOs really?

As science continues to push the boundaries, there's often more to our food than what meets the eye. Do we understand the implications of these modifications? What could be the long-term effects on human health and biodiversity? In this article, we answer these questions and more.

 

What is a GMO?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. Essentially, this means any product of nature that has been genetically modified for human benefit.

The truth is humans have been modifying plants through selective breeding for thousands of years. Without it, we wouldn’t have vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, or cauliflower — which, surprisingly, are all from the same plant! 

While selective breeding is a sustainable and natural way to improve crops and plants, genetically modifying a crop involves the manipulation of the plant’s DNA. The initial goal of this was to reduce crop damage caused by insects, pesticides (weedkiller), and specific viruses. Yet, as time goes on, all plants develop resistance to pesticides, meaning more end up being used — and this can have a serious impact on the surrounding environment and our health.

 

Are GMOs Good or Bad?

Like most things, every coin has two sides. As previously mentioned, GMOs were developed to ensure less crop loss, which contributes to the benefit of ensuring ample food production for the masses.

So, here’s the downside: GMOs can have a serious negative impact on the wider environment. As previously touched on above, certain crops have been genetically modified to be resilient to weedkillers, such as glyphosate. Due to this weedkiller resistance, the crops remain unharmed. The problem?  Other plants take a detrimental hit. 

The wider environment experiences a loss of micro-ecosystems, degradation of soil quality, and harm to some of the organisms living and feeding in the area. On top of this, as time goes on, more pesticides are used to ensure weeds and pests are kept at bay. This means we end up with more pesticides on our food, which may have harmful health effects.

Glyphosate, in particular, has been linked to bee deaths around the world. In a recent study, the active ingredient in this pesticide destroyed specialized gut bacteria in bees, leaving them more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria. 

As pollinators, bees play an important role in preserving biodiversity and ecosystem health. About 75% of our food and seed crops partially rely on these pollinators for sustainability. Without bees, we could face a major food shortage worldwide.

 

 

We Believe In Healing Through the Power of Nature.

In the last hundred years, farming has evolved to being almost exclusively monocrops. We won’t get too much into monocropping. However, it’s worth noting that monocropping is the practice of only planting one type of crop year-over-year, which can drastically impact the soil’s fertility and encourage pests to make this area their permanent home. In turn, this increases the need for pesticides, which can cause even further soil problems.

Yet, there are techniques, such as regenerative agriculture, that can help crops grow without the use of GMOs and pesticides. And this is exactly where we would love to see all farming moving toward! 

Needless to say, at some point, we foresee there being an obvious reason for the majority of agricultural practices to move away from GMOs, which is why we support the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the non-GMO food supply.

In fact, the Non-GMO Project recently published a blog about us. If you want to support brands that support non-GMO practices, you can see a register of retailers and products on their websites.

The good news is that New Zealand is one of the only places on earth where bee populations have been steadily rising. As the Non-GMO project mentions, “This achievement speaks to a deeply held commitment to the care, revitalization and sustainability of the natural world, a dedication to working with nature in every endeavor.” As a New Zealand family-owned company, we are extremely proud of this. 

The highly acclaimed Manuka Honey UMF 24+ MGO 1123. Our commitment to natural production is reflected in our selection of Trending Products that showcase the purest form of honey. For those seeking an even more potent experience, our Manuka Honey MGO 1000 offers unparalleled quality.

Our dedication to authenticity and sustainability extends beyond our products, as evidenced in our informative Honey Guide, which details the unique characteristics like the color of Manuka honey.

We also aim to educate our customers on how to discern genuine honey products with our guide on How to Tell if Honey is Real. Lastly, we address common questions such as Why is Manuka Honey So Expensive, ensuring our customers are well-informed about their choices.

While vigilance is encouraged when it comes to avoiding pesticides and GMOs, our beekeepers share the same belief that we do: Natural is always best. With that in mind, we encourage you to rethink where your food is coming from. Pesticides and GMOs can be harmful to both humans and our natural environment. If you get the opportunity, spread the word. Awareness is the first step!

 

Sources:

Farmers’ Exposure to Pesticides: Toxicity Types and Ways of Prevention - PMC

Why bees matter

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