Non–GMO means non-genetically modified organisms. GMOs (genetically modified organisms), are novel organisms created in a laboratory using genetic modification/engineering techniques.
Why all the hype about Non-GMO?
Those concerned about genetically modified foods generally point to the fact that no one can know where this experiment ends – how these modified organisms will impact our bodies or our environment. The other side of the conversation includes those who feel their role is to feed a still rapidly growing global population, and that doing so on a finite amount of arable land will require technologies like genetic modification.
What does this have to do with spices? Are there any GMO spices?
The answer is no – not to our knowledge. Genetic modification has been focused on the highest volume commercial crops (corn, soybeans) and specific plants where diseases presented a significant, but solvable, issue (papayas). We have not seen where spices have been an area of focus.
So why did the zen of sow cooking seek the Non-GMO certification?
While spices themselves are Non-GMO, many spice blends on the market contain various fillers, many of which contain corn byproducts. According to a 2012 report from the FDA over 88% of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Jane and I are committed both to keeping our products in their purest form, and to being transparent with our consumers on what is in our products. For consumers for whom it is relevant, we felt it was important that they see the Non-GMO Seal.
Our commitment to providing complete transparency and keeping our products in their pure form goes well beyond the GMO issue. Each of our spice pouches clearly states each ingredient in the blend and out of our 9 blends only 2 contain any salt and only one contains any sugar. In each of those cases the amount of salt or sugar is minimal.
Should this be important to me? Is it a significant?
Jane and I believe that it is always better to eat “clean” – with as few ingredients and with ingredients that are as simple as possible. So we are glad to be able to take the GMO question off the table (literally!) for our customers. GMOs may not be your particular concern, but the general concept of keeping food simple is one we believe is important. In terms of significance, we can share that the process was long, tedious and required outside assistance to document the traceability of our spices. But after 5 months of effort I am happy to report we received the seal from the Non-GMO Project.
Our recommendation when purchasing products into today’s market is to look for the butterfly! And for all of you who are still scratching your head on this, please reach out. Jane has done extensive research and we can help with your questions.
In addition to our new Seal you’ll also find that each of our pouches contain another recipe! Since our pouches contain two spice packets we’ve included a new (5 minute or less) prep recipe to to make your shopping experience more efficient – 1 to prepare and 1 to freeze!
This month we are supporting the B Corporation Community to raise awareness via social media of the 2,422 certified organizations, and just what it means to be a B Corp. Take a look at their website and learn to recognise the logo. We are proud to be a B Corp.
“A healthy outside starts from the inside.”