The Future of Farming

Organic vs. Non-GMO - What's the Difference?

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Organic vs. Non-GMO - What's the Difference?

Have you wondered - do the two labels mean the same?  When foods with the organic label cost more, is it worth it?

NPR recently explored this question. Yes, the two labels represent different ways of growing food. The non-gmo label has seen an exponential increase in usage over the last few years as people have become educated about the issues with gmo crops and their impact on soil, pollinator, and human health.

However, people may not realize that although the food was not grown from ge seeds, the growing methods did not preclude pesticide use or chemical fertilizers, both of which can impact soil, pollinator, and human health. One example of the pesticide use for non-gmo crops is that many grain and legume farmers will spray the field with glyphosate right before harvest to desiccate, or 'dry down', the crop so that everything can be harvested at once.

And should we mention that glyphosate has been found in the urine of 100% of EU parliamentarians sampled, 100% of 10 California wines, major European beers, (human) mother's milk, and last year was identified by the International Cancer Agency as a 'probable carcinogen'.

Farmers using organic methods (certified or not) cannot use synthetic pesticides or synthetic chemicals. (However, that may be changing as the National Organic is in discussion about allowing sewage sludge as a fertilizer).

The take-away? Friend a farmer. Join a CSA. Purchase your food as locally as possible, and find out how your food is grown. Only you can decide which label is right for you.