What is a GMO? GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism and essentially means any product of nature that has been genetically modified for human benefit in a way that would not normally occur in nature.
All modified foods aren’t bad. 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 are all from the same plant!
So why do we care? We believe that it’s when the boundaries are pushed beyond what nature could evolve on its own, often having detrimental effects on the wider environment and the organisms living within.
One such example where GMO’s have a detrimental effect on the wider environment is in farming. Certain crops have been genetically modified to be resilient to weedkiller (Glyphosate). As a result, the crops remain unharmed by the weedkiller while the other plants are harmed. This is great for the crop, but not so good for the wider environment which sees loss of micro-ecosystems, a degradation of soil quality, and harm to some of the organisms living and feeding in the environment... This is one of the main reasons we care - Glyphosate has been linked to bee deaths around the world. In a recent study the active ingredient in the herbicide destroys specialized gut bacteria in bees, leaving them more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.
We believe in healing through nature.
In the last hundred years, farming has evolved to being almost exclusively monocrops. We won’t get too into monocropping, least to say that it’s the practice of only planting one type of crop year-on-year. This is where the pesticides have come in. But there are techniques, such as regenerative agriculture, to grow crops without the use of GMO’s and pesticides and where we would love to see all farming moving toward. Maybe this balance will help nurture our natural world instead of fighting it.
Needless to say, we need to start doing something about the bad GMO’s that perpetuate poisons being sprayed on crops, which is why we support the Non-GMO Project. They’re doing an amazing job in this. We’re proud that they have just published a blog about us. If you want to support brands that don’t support GMO’s, you can see a register of retailers and products on their website that do not support GMO’s.
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 that.
We have to keep being vigilant and encourage people to not use sprays. Our beekeepers share the same belief we do and they encourage their neighbours to do the same and so on. If you get the opportunity, help someone else by telling them about the dangers of GMO’s and Glyphosate.