Quite often people will ask me if Non-GMO and Organic are the same thing. The short answer is, no. The longer answer is, it could be, but it depends on how GMO free food was grown.
When food is truly organically grown, there are no pesticides used, or other dangerous chemicals. So, if you’re buying food that is authentically organic, then you can rest assured that it is non-GMO, simply because GMO foods were specifically developed to withstand mass doses of pesticides. So essentially, anything that is truly organic, is automatically non-GMO.
Is It Really Organic?
I use the word “truly”, in speaking about organic food, because there are unscrupulous farmers out there, that claim to have grown their produce using organic methods, when in fact, they have not. These less than honest farmers are able to get away with it because of governmental budget restrictions; Unfortunately, the government doesn’t have the man power to monitor every farm in the United States, as closely and regularly as they should. On the other hand, there are farms in the U.S. that are using organic growing practices, that haven’t obtained the “certified organic” label, due to the time and money it takes to complete the review process.
So, how do you know what’s safe and really organic? Just try to stick with products that are marked as “certified organic“, or try to buy food from local farmers who welcome the public onto their land, to actually see how they cultivate and grow the food. These will typically be businesses that offer their products at local farmers markets in your area.
Do Not Assume That Non-GMO Is Organic
Now, when it comes to products that are listed as Non-GMO, that’s another story. You should never assume that these products are also organic. You see, when a product or ingredient is listed as Non-GMO or GMO free, that simply means that the genes of the food have not been genetically modified or altered in any way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the food wasn’t sprayed with harsh or toxic chemicals. In fact, it could have been grown conventionally, which means that it was definitely doused with pesticides or other chemicals.
So, if you’re really trying to eat clean and reduce your consumption of toxins, be sure to purchase certified organic, or organically grown local products, so you cover both bases, Non-GMO AND Organic.