What Does Non-GMO Mean?

Organic, natural, non-GMO. So many terms to understand these days! Today I’m partnering with Grassland Butter to share more about GMOs and learn what goes into making a product Non-GMO Project Verified, North America’s most trusted third-party verification for Non-GMO food and products!

Grassland Dairy Non-GMO Butter on 100 Days of Real Food

What does GMO mean?*

The World Health Organization defines genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.” European legislation is more specific, defining GMOs as organisms in which “the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.”

One way in which companies are altering some of our food crops is so they can withstand being sprayed with chemical weed killer (Roundup). In the case of dairy products that contain GMOs, this means the animals are eating GMO crops for their feed. And the health of the animal most definitely affects the health of their by-products!

Non-GMO products are higher quality products than conventional, especially when high-risk crops are used, in my opinion!

Grassland Dairy farm

How Does A Brand Get Non-GMO Certified?*

Our government does not currently require GMOs to be labeled! So, it’s super helpful that the Non-GMO Project has gained so much traction over the years. They are North America’s only third-party verification, which is the highest quality system when it comes to product labeling and certifications because it ensures an independent party has comprehensively evaluated products for compliance with a standard developed by industry experts and stakeholders.

The Non-GMO Project works with independent Technical Administrators, who are skilled industry professionals, to provide unbiased product evaluations. They request the documents necessary to evaluate the ingredients and manufacturing facility. If high-risk GMO crops are involved, testing and an on-site inspection may be required.

Non-GMO Project Verified on 100 Days of Real Food

How Does Non-GMO Differ From Organic?

USDA Certified Organic products have not been treated with unnatural chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Organic products never contain GMOs, and do not permit treating animals with hormones or antibiotics.

More About Grassland and Their Non-GMO Products

Grassland Dairy is excited to be bringing a new choice in butter to real food fans like us…and we’re excited about another solid option! Their butter is now Non-GMO Project Verified, which ensures the absence of GMOs, and that’s traceable from seed to feed to cow to butter and finally to your table. Here’s what their non-GMO certification means:

  • The absence of GMOs from seed to feed to table for verified products
  • Veterinary treatments do not include hormones

Grassland Butter is crafted by The Wuethrich (pronounced “wee-trick”) Family and has been a family-owned company for 115 years! Their ancestors immigrated from the Swiss Alps to Central Wisconsin, bringing dairy farming with them. In fact, you may already know Grassland. They’ve been supplying your favorite restaurants with those little foil-wrapped butter packs for decades.

Their new Project-Verified Non-GMO butter line includes Grassland quarters and spreadables (unsalted and salted), in addition to Wuthrich European Style Butter (83% butterfat), which is great baking butter, and South Isle Grass Fed Butter, both of which are coming soon. Grassland Butter is just being introduced now in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, but plans to make it available nationally are coming next. Find Grassland Butter at a store near you.

*Used for reference: https://www.nongmoproject.org

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27 thoughts on “What Does Non-GMO Mean?”

  1. Non gmo doesn’t necessarily mean it hasn’t been sprayed with glyphosate. Many grains are sprayed with glyphosate to desiccate them before harvest. When I inquired from the Non GMO Verified Project whether or not their non gmo verified products can be sprayed with glyphosate before harvest, they told me that they do not test for herbicides or pesticides. They also said that if I wanted to avoid glyphosate I should buy organic. I’m very disappointed in them. Isn’t glyphosate the reason most people avoid gmos? If it is the reason you avoid gmos, then the non gmo verified project label means nothing.

    1. Hello Barb,

      Yes, you are correct many crops in North America are sprayed with glyphosate because it is the most widely used pesticide by farmers who buy it from large corporations. It’s an entire industry! The whole point of glyphosate is to kill the weeds or other plants surrounding the genetically modified plant to prevent them from taking nutrients that could possibly kill the crop. In fact, some genetically modified plants require fewer pesticides because they have the BT gene which allows the crop to naturally produce pesticides that kill bugs but are completely harmless to us (e.g., dogs can die from eating chocolate, but it’s obviously safe for us to eat!). Also, that is false you can’t really avoid glyphosate because of how heavily it’s used within the industry. Even if a plant uses alternative pesticides, it is likely that companies grow organic fields that are in close proximity to non-organic foods and pesticides could get onto the “organic” crops as well. And the reason people avoid GMOs is not because of glyphosate, as this is used on all crops. Organic, non-organic, GMO, non-GMO because it speeds up the harvesting process and in the end makes them more money. Also, companies who say “this product is GMO-free” are lying because there’s no way to tell if a product is 100% GMO-free. Also, GMOs are actually not necessarily bad for you, many consumers are just misinformed by the media. The entire point of GMOs is to improve your health by increasing antioxidants like vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional values, as well as reduce pesticide use. Like I said before, GMOs are also made to allow crops to produce their own pesticides which are so much safer than spraying them on plants. The problem isn’t GMOs, the problem is the companies that exploit such technologies. This woman herself is being paid to sponsor a brand that is trying to sell you a product. She herself knows nothing about the science and the benefits of GMOs. Everything is fueled by money in this world, and sadly it’s all about the benefits of the corporations and cutting costs instead of the well-being of their consumers. If you want more information on GMOs I highly recommend you watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TmcXYp8xu4&ab_channel=Kurzgesagt%E2%80%93InaNutshell

  2. This is blatantly false. There are a wide array of pesticides and fertilizers approved for use on organic products. Many of those have higher toxicity levels than the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that were developed to replace them. “No pesticides” has been a highly misleading Organic industry marketing angle since day one. It fuels demand, though, so they’re happy letting that misconception persist. Non-GMO just takes the misleading advertising one step further in an attempt to demonize safe, healthy food and create an artificial market for higher priced products with no additional health, nutrition, or environmental benefit.

    Non-GMO is a textbook case study in creating a market by scaring you about dangers where none exist, then convincing you to pay them for protection from that danger.

  3. Scientific evidence can easily be found to back up both sides of the argument for and against GMO vs non GMO and organic vs non organic. It should come down to personal choice after researching both sides as to what one consumes or not consumes.
    Another important note to remember when it comes to farmers and food industries that sell to the masses is that it all comes down to one thing,MONEY!!! regardless of if they are producing GMO crops,non GMO, organic ,or non organic. They all cut corners in some way to produce more for less money so they can pocket more money in the end!

  4. “Non-GMO products are higher quality products than conventional, especially when high-risk crops are used, in my opinion!”

    On what do you base your opinion that they are ‘higher quality’? The Non-GMO projects ‘high-risk’ statements means risk of something being gmo, not that being gmo is somehow ‘risky’.

  5. “Organic takes things one step further by not allowing pesticides or fertilizers at all during the growing process”

    This is blatantly false. There are a wide array of pesticides and fertilizers approved for use on organic products. Many of those have higher toxicity levels than the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that were developed to replace them. “No pesticides” has been a highly misleading Organic industry marketing angle since day one. It fuels demand, though, so they’re happy letting that misconception persist. Non-GMO just takes the misleading advertising one step further in an attempt to demonize safe, healthy food and create an artificial market for higher priced products with no additional health, nutrition, or environmental benefit.

    Non-GMO is a textbook case study in creating a market by scaring you about dangers where none exist, then convincing you to pay them for protection from that danger.

    1. Most anti GMO folks would have meltdowns if they were to visit our largest corporate organic farms in the U.S. and Canada. The frequency of herbicides, pesticides and fungicide use exceeds any GMO crop. The only differences are, organic crops use non synthetic chemicals. Access the FDA approved list of organic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, then inquire of frequency of use.
      The organic industry has depended on misinformation for decades.

  6. Organic does not mean that pesticides are not used, only that the pestacides used in organic farming practices occur in nature. If you look at the USDA organic standard, you’ll find OVER 900 organic approved pestacides. Many that are extreamly toxic to humans, and others like copper sulfate that builds up in the soil and ruin a field.

    I appreciate that you want to educate people on good issues, but you need to use actual information, not just scare tactics propigated by project verified. There are only 10 gmo crops available in the US, so their label is essentially meaningless. Alfalfa, Canola, Cotton, Field Corn (not for human consumption), Papaya, Potato, Soybeans, Squash, Sugar Beets, and the Artic Apple. Anything else with the label is just a marketing scheme to convince you that what you are buying is somehow healthier.

    1. I reiterated “unnatural” to make it more clear about what’s used in organic. Also, the handful of GMO crops are extremely widespread since they are processed into numerous food additives that are in thousands and thousands of products lining our grocery store shelves. Thanks for your feedback.

      1. I appreciate you’re trying to adjust/correct some of the misstatements. That’s better than seen in much of the advertisement out there. I’d recommend dropping the word chemical, though, in the modified line. organic agricultural chemicals are still chemicals, and the way it’s phrased comes across similar to a lot of the people who misunderstand the science behind the food. I would recommend including a link to the FDA approved list of organic approved agrichemicals so people can see what sorts of things are included and that they predominantly exclude anything synthetic.

    2. I dont know about you Rachel but I saw gmo oranges in my local grocery store which is not on your list. I dont want gmo anything in me or my familes systems. Dont really want to hear from anyone that this way is good or thats false, from what I see there is a lot of false information out there period. You all are just making it worse. My solution here is to just grow most of my own food, We eat vegan so I know we will be good. We dont have a lot of land but are learning to maximize what we got to get the most and we are composting. Thats my solution.

      1. I agree, there is a lot of false information around GMOs, but is necessary to discuss about their benefits because is a tool that can fight hunger in some countries, also several European agencies, scientific societies, and publicly funded studies have deemed GMOs perfectly safe. I believe that growing our own vegetables is an option to ensure that food is chemical free, but we can´t live with fear of technologies and less with this one that has been scientifically proven.

        You can read more reliable information about this situation in the following link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-018-0520-3

  7. Synthetic pesticides are not being bred directly into crops.

    You must be thinking of Bt crops where they are given genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis which produces a toxin that kills insects that feed on the plants. Bt is selective and only toxic to insects that take a bite out of the crop. There is no evidence that humans can be harmed by it.

    Additionally, Bt (when not added to plants via genetic manipulation) is approved in many formulations of organic pesticides. Yes, pesticides are used on organic crops. I work in a lab that tests them in the field.

    Here is a helpful source of information: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef130

    Please use actual scientific evidence when discussing such things.

  8. Pesticides may not be injected into the seed but these seeds have been modified to withstand being bathed in Roundup. No one should be consuming GMO crops because of the glysophate residue that stays on the food even after washing. Anyone who has common sense knows consuming this chemical residue can cause health issues over time. If glysophate is not toxic why do so many farmers have cancer. Monsanto does not supply GMO seeds to farmers because they care about ending world hunger, they supply the GMO seeds to fill their pockets with money.

    1. Take a look at the bees that fertilizer the almond trees, the bees die in one year bc of the pesticides they have on the almonds. look on you tube for this. Plus I attend juice and vegan retreats every year and yes none GMO is sprayed with pesticides. Check out the juice lady Cherie Calbom I have checked out so many others, but she is the best of the best.

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