Title: Copywriter and Editor
Email: melissa@nongmoproject.org

Melissa grew up in Vancouver, BC, surrounded by the natural beauty of Canada’s coastal forests.

Melissa traveled and studied fine art in the United States and Europe, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Called back to the allure of the mountains, ocean, and even the rain, Melissa returned to the Pacific Northwest and now resides in Bellingham, Washington.

Melissa’s interest in food security and environmental sustainability began when she fell in with an intrepid group of urban farmers. Through them, she learned the real value of good food. She also learned that if you ever have the chance to go to a dinner hosted by farmers, say “YES!”. She is delighted to join the Non-GMO Project as Office Manager.

In her spare time, Melissa can be found gardening, drawing, and being tackled by her niece and nephew. Sometimes all at once.

Articles by this contributor:


November 30, 2020

Non-GMO and Nonprofit: Putting People and Planet First

The Non-GMO Project began in 2006 as a nonprofit with the goal of providing everyday consumers with a choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms. Our passion for natural foods and consumer advocacy means our actions, decisions and very purpose are not driven by profits, but by our mission: To empower people… » Read more


October 30, 2020

Non-GMO Month and Fair Trade Month Come To a Close

Non-GMO Month — our signature annual event — goes back into hibernation as October comes to a close. Now in its second decade, Non-GMO Month celebrates our right to choose whether or not to consume GMOs. Traditionally, it’s been a time for our retail partners to connect with their communities as families head into the… » Read more


October 2, 2020

ZYN CURCUMIN (from Turmeric) Infused Drinks – Inspiring Positive Change

The story of ZYN Infused Drinks is about family. It’s about a family that traveled very far to build a future for their children, who traveled back many times to keep the bonds between the old world and the new one strong. The family’s roots — metaphoric and literal — connected them across cultures, filling… » Read more


August 13, 2020

Creating Cosmo: A GMO Bull Story

Earlier this year, while much of North America was hunkering down for a quarantine, researchers at UC Davis were celebrating the birth of a unique calf. Cosmo the bull-calf.  Festive balloons read, “It’s A Boy!”  Those balloons could be bought in bulk, seeing as the whole point of this engineering process was to encourage cattle… » Read more


July 23, 2020

What’s Soil Health Got to Do With GMOs? Part 2

Read Part 1 of this blog “Unkindness to anything means an injustice to that thing.” —  George Washington Carver In 1896, the soil conservationist George Washington Carver joined the faculty of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Carver was determined to regenerate agricultural soil that had been depleted by intense cotton production under the plantation system…. » Read more


July 16, 2020

From Paddock to Plate : A Butter Lover’s Blog, Sponsored by Lewis Road Creamery

In 2011, Peter Cullinane had an idea. He was at a grocery store, searching for some high-quality butter to go with the baguette and ham he’d put aside for lunch. He knew that while the right butter could turn a simple meal into a symphony, the wrong butter could be a train wreck (not to… » Read more

Farmer hand holding a fresh young plant. Symbol of new life and environmental conservation
July 10, 2020

What’s Soil Health Got to Do With GMOs? Part 1

A telescope pointed at the sky and a microscope pointed at the Earth both uncover mysterious and little-known realms. Soil might not evoke the romance of space, if the number of blockbuster movies set there is any indication (*Dear Paul Rudd: Antman is uniquely qualified to reverse this trend. Have at it.) But soil is… » Read more


June 26, 2020

The Dairy Diaries: Why Non-GMO Is the Cream of the Crop

GMOs have a large hoof-print in the world of animal-based products. Keeping them out of the food supply and out of your grocery cart is no small task. As National Dairy Month comes to a close, we tip our hats to all the brands that have committed to non-GMO, bringing you an overview of where… » Read more


May 28, 2020

Ecological Footprints: A Butterfly Leaves No Tracks

Every living thing on Earth consumes something, from the greatest whale to the tiniest microbe. Their consumption is part of the contribution they make to their environment. In a healthy environment, this exchange of energy supports the life cycles of all. As humans, we are unique: With short-sighted ingenuity, we tend to harvest, strip-mine and… » Read more

RadRunner e-bike
May 19, 2020

The Electric Bike and the Butterfly

As part of our #BeTheButterfly Campaign, we’ve partnered with Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes for the chance to win a state-of-the-art electric bike! Rad Power Bikes is a local direct to consumer business with global impact: It grew from a one-person operation to become an industry leader in the field of ebikes, with stores in the… » Read more


May 11, 2020

What’s Your Butterfly Effect?

Beginning today, the Non-GMO Project is launching an awareness campaign to highlight how individual actions ultimately lead to huge impacts. This idea is called the butterfly effect, and in the natural world, it happens all the time: A small and seemingly insignificant event spirals outward, creating massive and complex changes in the world around us…. » Read more

Top view diner plate
April 27, 2020

GMOs: One More Thing We Don’t Need on Our Plate

We are in uncertain times, living through the calamity of a century. The frequency with which we hear the word “unprecedented” is, in itself, unprecedented. News stories seem to divide their time between crowded hospital wards and strained grocery stores. Retail grocers are, of course, an essential service. While half the world’s population has been… » Read more

hands painted in the world map
April 22, 2020

Earth Day At The Crossroads

On April 22, 2020, we observe the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the birthday of the modern environmental movement. In the half-century since the inception of Earth Day, billions of people have taken part in activities around the world, a clamoring for action that drove the formation of groundbreaking government regulations, including the National… » Read more


April 15, 2020

Special Screening of “Modified”: Celebrating Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Non-GMO Project is partnering with Women’s Voice magazine to bring you the inspiring 2017 film, “Modified.” Canadian gardener and filmmaker Aube Giroux explores her family’s love of growing and sharing food, inspired by her late mother, Jali. Jali Giroux’s passion for possibilities of their home garden… » Read more


April 10, 2020

Sow Greenery, Grow Sanity

Springtime is when the green thumbs amongst us dust off our overalls, grab our spades and head outdoors. In these times of uncertainty, it’s a balm to the soul to see the natural world going about its spring business. There are as many ways to bring that peace and predictability into our own lives as… » Read more


April 2, 2020

Notes on a Crisis

“In times of crisis, seemingly impossible ideas suddenly become possible.” -Naomi Klein We’re living through a period of upheaval, the full scale of which is, as yet, uncertain. It has — or will — affect everyone; it has — or will — be everywhere. Generosity and inspiring acts of kindness are occurring alongside fear and… » Read more


March 19, 2020

Welcome to the Pandemic. I’m Here to Walk Your Dog.

Life changed drastically for many North Americans this week. We saw it happening in other parts of the world, and we thought… well, we thought whatever we thought. Now those changes have arrived on our shores. We’re practicing social distancing to limit the spread of coronavirus. This is imperative to save lives, and it’s not… » Read more


March 16, 2020

Back to Basics

Downloadable Resources The ABCs of GMOs is available as a downloadable poster and in storybook form! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for details. Do You Know Your GMOs? During the month of February, we went back to basics with the #DoYouKnowYourGMOs campaign, highlighting some of the most important creatures and concepts that impact… » Read more


March 4, 2020

CRISPR on the Move: From Mailbox to Icebox

Last week’s blog, The CRISPR Revolution, closed with the enticing statement: Join us next week to find out where CRISPR technology can show up in your house! Spoiler alert: it’s unlikely to be hiding under your bed, or to jump out at you from a darkened corner. So far, the most common place to find… » Read more


February 28, 2020

The CRISPR Revolution

The gene editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR to its friends) was featured on several “top breakthroughs of the decade” lists as the 2020s came into view. It has been ogled for a broad spectrum of uses, from groundbreaking medical treatments to doubling animals’ muscle mass. One of CRISPR’s creators, Jennifer Doudna, predicts the most… » Read more


January 29, 2020

Looking ahead, Part 2

Welcome to the 20s. Let’s Roar. A century ago, the Roaring 20s ushered in an era of innovation, prosperity, cultural and societal change. These movements were not a choreographed affair, heading neatly in one direction. They surged this way and that, pushing against the boundaries of how life had been before the First World War…. » Read more


January 14, 2020

Welcome to the 20s. Let’s Roar.

Illustration by Melissa Waddell A century ago, the Roaring 20s ushered in an era of innovation, prosperity, cultural and societal change. These movements were not a choreographed affair, heading neatly in one direction. They surged this way and that, pushing against the boundaries of how life had been before the First World War. At the… » Read more


December 31, 2019

2019: The Year in Review

As we welcome the roaring 20s, let’s revisit the major GMO-related happenings of the past year. 2019 rode in on the back of the National Bioengineering Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS), a piece of regulation born to confuse, confound and mystify. At the Non-GMO Project, we worked hard this year to provide the transparency and reliability… » Read more

sharing a meal
December 30, 2019

In Praise of Feasting: The Magic of Coming Together for Meals

This is the in-between time. A one week lull between holiday blow-outs 1 and 2. While our individual traditions and beliefs may vary, some persistent themes dominate the season: we gather indoors with friends and family, and we eat. There is power in that simple act. Regardless of the Happy Holidays and Merry Whatevers, there… » Read more

Butterfly
December 23, 2019

Seeds, Soils and Snacks: The Beauty of Legumes

In part 1 of our deep dive on legumes, we looked at how the powerful proteins of the families Fabaceae and Leguminosae can replace animal-derived products in our diet. But did you know legumes are just as powerful in the fields as they are on our plates? They are the gift that keeps on giving. While modern industrial agriculture is based… » Read more

Legumes
December 10, 2019

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Legumes (but didn’t know you wanted to know)

In the developed world, we eat, on average, too many animal products. In fact, we eat way too many animal products. Not just too many for our own health, but too many for the health of the planet. These animal proteins aren’t just delicious, they’re valuable sources of protein, which is vital to growth, tissue… » Read more


December 2, 2019

Field of Schemes: How GMO Alfalfa Messed Up a Perfectly Good Thing

Most of us don’t think about alfalfa very much. Outside of agricultural communities and die hard fans of Our Gang, it is safe to say alfalfa is not a hot topic. We’d like to challenge that notion. Bear with us: In the US, alfalfa is grown on roughly 23 million acres annually, most of which… » Read more

Cornhole board
November 22, 2019

Au Revoir, Non-GMO Month!

Congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to our retail, brand and distribution partners who joined us for the 10th annual Non-GMO Month. More than 1,000 stores across North America used posters, infographics and pamphlets to celebrate our right to know what’s in our food and to choose non-GMO. This year’s theme, “Make Your Mother Proud,” represented a… » Read more

Moon and bat
October 31, 2019

Halloween Horror Stories: I Know What You Did to Your DNA

‘Tis the season for scary movies. One of our favorite genres is “science experiments gone awry,” including the rich world of fictional human/insect hybrids, creature features of all denominations, and, of course, Frankenstein. These are some of the images that populate streets and screens each Halloween. So where does the line between science and science… » Read more

Potatoes in hands still dirty from being harvested
October 22, 2019

No Joy in Spudville

From their humble brown beginnings beneath the soil, potatoes have become a staple in the North American diet. They are currently the most consumed vegetable in the US, with a yearly average intake of nearly 50 lbs per person. That means events in the world of the potato affect the lunch bags and dinner plates… » Read more

Burger
October 8, 2019

The Carnivore’s Dilemma: Navigating Burgers in the Age of Meat Alternatives

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the plant-based meat alternative craze. If you do live under a rock, odds are there’s a Burger King under a rock near you, and you’ll see it on the menu there. Veggie burgers have been making their way from health food stores to grocery… » Read more

Shop your Values this Non-GMO Month
October 1, 2019

Happy Non-GMO Month!

Today we kick off our 10th annual Non-GMO Month, a 31-day celebration of our right to make non-GMO choices! Each year we partner with thousands of passionate retailers and natural food brands to bring shoppers the latest news and products in the non-GMO landscape. Happy Birthday Non-GMO Month, You’re 10 Years Old! This year is the… » Read more

Honey bees producing non-GMO Project Verified honey
August 16, 2019

Happy Honey Bee Day! Dance Like Bees are Watching

National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 17! The past decade has seen sharp declines in many bee populations around the globe. For those of us living in urban centers, this may seem like a distant concern. However, bees are indispensable allies in our food system, responsible for about a third of what we eat… » Read more

Non-gmo seeds for home garden
April 4, 2019

Grow a Non-GMO Garden!

As the gardening and growing seasons get underway across North America, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choices. Rolling racks the height of NBA players dominate nurseries and garden centers, offering limitless options to the bewildered beginning gardener. If you’re looking to grow a non-GMO garden this season, here are some tips from the… » Read more


November 9, 2018

Ten Exciting Non-GMO Month Wins

The Non-GMO Project’s eighth Non-GMO Month was a success thanks to the amazing support of our retailers, brands, and you! As always, we had so much fun celebrating our right to choose non-GMO. For us, this means taking the time to appreciate the farmers growing our food and tending the soil, the retailers working diligently… » Read more