Knowing what is in your food allows you to make healthier choices for your body and wellbeing. Today, many non-profit organizations work to make food products safer and healthier for the public by regulating farming methods and fertilization processes. As a result, you will commonly see two labels on food: “non-GMO” and “organic.” You may find yourself asking what all these terms mean; if you don’t know the differences between non-GMO and organic produce, you’re not alone. Here we’ll explain the similarities and differences between these two terms.
The term non-GMO stands for non-genetically modified organism. A genetically modified organism is a plant or animal that has a genetic makeup that someone has modified in a laboratory. For example, farmers often use genetically modified organisms so that their crops can become tolerant of pests and herbicides. While GMOs can help crops grow better in certain conditions, some people consider them unsafe to ingest. Products and foods that are non-GMO do not contain any genetically modified materials, making them safer to eat.
Organic farming is a process that works to sustain the health of animals, people, soil, and ecosystems. Organic farmers do not use harsh chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers while growing crops in an attempt to produce healthier foods. Organic foods also do not contain artificial colors or preservatives. Instead, the idea of organic farming is to grow and nourish plants in a completely natural way. With organic animal products, the aim is to promote animal welfare through healthy food, living conditions, transportation, and human methods of slaughter. Strict legislation regulates organic products to ensure that farmers produce food products safely and naturally.
While non-GMO and organic products are both parts of an effort to make food products safer, they are not the same thing. For example, products that are non-GMO prohibit the use of herbicides and materials that are GMOs during the farming process. However, they do not have to use organic farming methods. On the other hand, organic products prohibit the use of GMOs, herbicides, antibiotics, and toxic chemicals. So the main difference between the two is that organic products are, in fact, also non-GMO, but non-GMO products are not necessarily organic.
Now that you know the difference between Non-GMO and organic products, you can make an educated choice regarding the foods you choose to purchase and eat. If you’re interested in stocking up on healthier food options, check out NuManna Foundation’s non-GMO long-term food supply selection.