What is GMO?
Genetic modification involves combining genes from different species. The procedure, which disrupts the precise orchestration of thousands of genes that have evolved over millennia in the normal plant’s genome, is highly mutagenic. Generally the modification introduces bacterial genes for drug resistance along with strong promoters to express the foreign proteins at high levels in all parts of the plant.
GM technology has been around for the past 20 years, and today, 70-80% of the foods we eat in the United States contain ingredients that have been genetically modified.
Why have GMO crops proliferated?
Quite simply, the population of the US and the rest of the world continues to grow to the point that traditional agriculture alone could not support the nutritional needs. One in eight people among the world’s growing population of seven billion do not have enough to eat, and safe and effective methods of food production, like crops produced through GMO technology, can help us feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations around the world.
GM technology allows farmers to use fewer chemicals, such as pesticides, and can require less water, which helps farmers keep the production costs down (which is why there’s so much cheap food) GMO crops also enable farmers to utilize more environmentally friendly planting techniques that cut down on soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Why so corny?
By far, the most genetically modified crop on the face of the Earth is corn. In fact, it is almost impossible to get corn that does not exhibit some sort of modification. Corn is vulnerable to many pests and disease and requires a lot of nutrients to grow which made it a perfect subject for the development of GM technology. As a result of genetic modification, corn became cheaper and cheaper to grow. This made corn syrup cheaper and cheaper to produce. And this is why you see corn syrup as a main ingredient in so many of the packaged foods that you consume. It’s a cheap “filler” substance.
What’s the downside?
Many of the most influential regulatory agencies and organizations that study the safety of the food supply, including the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences, have found genetically modified food ingredients are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.
However, the only human GM feeding study ever published showed that the foreign genes inserted into GM food crops can transfer into the DNA of our gut bacteria. So from a scientific standpoint, we don’t actually know what harm GM food might pose to us in the future, and as of now the FDA has absolutely no GMO safety testing requirements.
And none of them are heirlooms!
At Beekman 1802 we love our heirloom varieties of vegetables. While they may be harder to grow because they have not been modified to perfection, we think it’s important that home gardeners in particular (who don’t have the burden of feeding the world), lead the charge in helping to maintain biodervisity and preserving the natural existence of vegetation.
Target on board
As many of you know, we started developing a whole line of food products with Target last year called Beekman 1802 FarmPantry
Target requires that any company making the claim of using non-GMO ingredients gets verified by an independent third-party analysis.
We are so proud that all of these products in the Beekman 1802 FarmPanty have earned the official non-GMO Project organization seal.
Five Pepper Salsa
Heirloom Recipe Smokey Tomato Ketchup
Organic Blueberry Thrill Maple Balsamic Dressing
Organic Caramelized Garlic & Peppercorn Dressing
Organic Garden Goodness Salsa
Organic Horseradish Root Cocktail Sauce
Organic Rosemary Sprig Balsamic Dressing
Organic Lick Your Fingers BBQ Ketchup
Harvest Season Turkey Brine
Herb Garden Spice Trio
Fire Roasted Chipotle Salsa
Green Chile Salsa Verde