De-coding the Claims
At SmartBox, our goal is to make it easy and convenient to snack smart. That means products free of refined sugars, artificial coloring, GMOs, MSG and artificial preservatives.
Now, what does any of that actually mean? You’ve made the decision to snack smart, but now it’s time to fully understand your nutrition journey. Our snacks contain only the best ingredients for your mind and body.
You’ve heard the term non-GMO plenty of times in the health industry, but do you know the full story behind it? No smoke and mirrors here, we want to give a full breakdown of the growing industry of genetic engineering (and why you might want to avoid it!).
GMOs – Genetically Modified Organisms
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially altered in a lab. This process of genetic engineering creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and virus genes that do not naturally occur in nature. Inherently, GMOs are far from natural.
Most commonly, GMOs are the topic of conversation regarding crops developed through genetic biotechnology. This science allows plant breeders to take a “desirable” trait found in nature and expound upon it. Commonly, these traits include a resistance to insects or even a tolerance to herbicides that allow farmers to control weeds.
Genetically altered crops make their way into our supermarkets and kitchens. The top GMO crops commercially available in the United States include corn, soybeans, canola, apples, and potatoes.
Are GMOs Safe?
It is easy to question the effects of altering nature, especially when it involves what we eat. Currently, there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs. In fact, the debate is at a bit of a deadlock. A comprehensive review of GMO studies found roughly an equal number of research groups raising concerns about genetically engineered foods and groups suggesting that GMOs are safe. There is also a question of bias, as most of the groups who claim GMOs are safe are associated with biotechnology companies.
GMOs and the Environment
There is clear evidence that genetically modified crops have a negative impact on our environment. More than 80% of all genetically modified crops worldwide have been altered for herbicide intolerance. As a result, the use of toxic herbicides has increased by fifteen times since the introduction of GMOs.
In the beginning, herbicide-resistant crops seemed to be working. Most of the weeds would die off and the harvest would thrive. However, after planting crops and spraying weed killer year after year, the few weeds hardy enough to survive the chemicals were the only ones left to reproduce. This brought on the concept of “superweeds.” These herbicide-resistant weeds require even harsher chemicals to clear out. Now an epidemic on farmlands, 49% of farmers reported finding superweeds in their field in a 2012 survey.
How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods
The United States is one of the five countries that make up 90% of the world’s genetically modified crop production. This can make it a tricky feat to avoid GMOs entirely. Luckily, many Americans are making the decision to avoid engineered foods, creating more opportunities to find food free of modification.
Here are a few ways to keep your days GMO free.
- Avoid processed foods containing ingredients from corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, and cotton.
More than 70% of processed foods contain ingredients derived from genetically engineered corn, soybeans, canola and cotton. Additionally, 50% of the sugar used in food products comes from genetically modified sugar beets. Steer clear of these ingredients to avoid GMOs!
- Look for Non-GMO Project verified products.
Foods with this label have gone through an intense verification program to minimize the risk of GMO contamination, according to The Non-GMO Project.
- Eat organic.
Organic production facilities do not allow genetically modified material, so buying organic offers protection against GMOs.
- Grow your own.
Not only is gardening a healthy hobby, it’s also a great way to ensure your food is wholesome and natural. Enjoy growing your own produce in the warmer months and feel the benefits of fresh air and fresh food.
- Snack smart with SmartBox.
At SmartBox, we always make sure our offerings are organic, non-GMO, healthy and delicious. Make healthy snacking easy by letting us deliver new treats to try right to your doorstep.