As parents, protecting our children’s health and safety is our number one priority. From the very beginning, we’re baby-proofing the house, choosing cribs and toys that don’t contain lead paint, cutting our kids’ food into teeny-tiny bites, holding hands when we cross the street…the list goes on and on. What about GMOs? What are they and what do we need to know to protect our kids’ health?
As a parent, you need to understand GMOs so that you can make the right choices for your family. Let’s cover the basics so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. A GMO or Genetically Modified Organism is an organism in which the genetic material has been changed through biotechnology in a way that does not occur naturally by multiplication and/or natural recombination. These modifications are made for various reasons, such as enabling crops to withstand the use of various herbicides and pesticides, or to produce fruits and vegetables with certain nutritional or aesthetic attributes.
Studies have shown that GMOs negatively affect our environment and may be a contributing factor in the demise of several insect species like honey bees and monarch butterflies. While there is no conclusive evidence regarding the long-term impacts of GMOs on human health, consumers should know about the use of GMOs in the foods that they select for themselves and their families. More than 60 countries around the world have restricted or banned GMOs, but in the U.S. and Canada, restrictions are limited. In fact, roughly 80% of conventional processed foods contain GMOs.
Ensuring proper nutrition is a huge part of keeping our kids healthy and we all do our best to make sure our kids are choosing fruits and vegetables, drinking water and limiting sugar. Unfortunately, the advent of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has made healthy eating a little more complicated. For example, varieties of nutritious foods like soy, corn, papaya, zucchini, yellow squash and potatoes have been genetically modified.
So, how can we as parents ensure that our kids are not consuming GMOs? Start with the labels. Look for ones that say Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Certified Organic.
The best way to know that you’re not feeding your kids GMOs is to look for The Non-GMO Project Verified seal. The Butterfly indicates that a product has gone through rigorous, independent, third-party testing to ensure that it has been produced according to industry best practices for GMO avoidance. I work at Earth’s Best Organic®, and we’re a proud supporter of the Non-GMO Project.
Certified organic is another way to ensure that the foods you’re choosing for your kids are non-GMO. The USDA National Organic Program prohibits the intentional use of any GMOs in certified organic products. All of Earth’s Best Organic® products are certified USDA Organic.
Looking at labels is just one more thing we parents need to do every day to ensure the well-being of our kids. Finding foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Organic is well worth the time. For a complete listing of Earth’s Best Organic® foods bearing the Non-GMO Verified Label, visit earthsbest.com. Or you can go here for a listing of all Non-GMO Project Verified products.
By Robyn Mermelstein, Mother of two and Category Manager Baby and Toddler, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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