Great news, organic's are gaining more popularity, which means more accessibility thanks to consumer demand. With the influx of Genetically modified Crops (GMO's) being grown in countries around the world there is uncertainty around regulation and the safety of our crops. Created to help curb the issue of world hunger, unfortunately, GMO's are becoming resistant to most traditional pesticides and herbicides. What this means is stronger, more toxic pesticides such as RoundUp (Glyphosate) a weed killer is now being used on our fruits, vegetables, and grains.
It has never been a better time to choose organic. With the recent news of RoundUp causing cancer and traces of Glyphosate found in Cheerios, oats and infant cereals it is important to start looking at organic or GMO-free products.
Then there is the Organic Trade Association's study on pesticide exposure linked to declining cognitive function in children (1). If that’s not enough to convince you to choose organic, here are a few more reasons:
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) are not classified as organic and not allowed in any certified organic products. When I decided to create June Superfoods, I was determined to receive the certified organic certification to ensure that I was getting the highest-quality ingredients without toxic pesticide residues. I chose to use Australian Certified Organic (ACO) as they are the most reputable certifying board auditing and regularly checking the organic integrity of farmers, suppliers, manufacturers and processors. This offers certainty that these products are of the highest quality.
There is very little research on the long-term impacts of GMO crops on the environment and our health. In Australia, genetically modified fruits or vegetables are still not allowed. However, Food Standards Australia does allow GMO crops of cotton and canola for commercial use and crops such as corn, wheat, rice, alfalfa, sugarbeet and potato are approved for growing but not yet approved for commercial sale. (2)
Although we aren’t seeing them in the supermarkets yet, these crops are being grown and tested for efficiency of insect and herbicide resistance as well as colour and flavour. With some of the best produce in the world, it is important to stay educated and stand against GMO crops in Australia to keep these chemicals from our everyday products.
Organic farmers are required to rotate their crops to ensure the quality of the soil. The Organic Certified Board tests a farms soil for nutrient content. You can rest assured that those nutrients make it into the organic products you are choosing, whether it’s organic foods, household items or skin care. If you shop for the ACO certified organic logo, you are basically getting a superior product that is good for you and the environment and regulated for quality and nutrient availability.
Organic products taste better. The best part is the ingredients can all be traced back to their source. With the highest quality ingredients from nutrient-rich soil, it is no wonder organic products taste better. As a mum and a nutritionist, I try to buy organic any chance I get. Not only do I feel confident my kids are getting more nutrients but I also feel better knowing that I'm limiting toxins and pesticides from their diets.
Without all the toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, organic farming takes care of our environment. Besides rotating crops and nurturing the soil, without all the toxic chemicals the groundwater stays clean which is great for surrounding residences exposed to farm water. Plus by choosing organic, we avoid GMO crops, keeping more ingredients in their natural state.
Another point that many organic farmers are fighting is the GMO cross-contamination. Many farmers lose their organic certification because a neighbouring farm has GMO crops. When the wind picks up, the seeds and pollens can cross-contaminate and ruin the organic integrity of the honest farmer.
It has never been a more important time in history to regulate GMO crops from being grown across Australia. With the most organic produce grown in the world, Australia is an example for the world. So let's support organic farmers so we don't end up with a country of GMO crops and lose our organic farms to profitable GMO crops.
(1) Gunier, R.B., et al., Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticide Use and IQ in 7-Year-Old Children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2016
(2) Food Standards Australia New Zealand, 2017 (http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/applications/pages/default.aspx)
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Kristin Derrin is a certified nutritionist, health practitioner, mum and the founder of June Superfoods, a range of certified organic kids superfood supplements that contain natural fruit and vegetable nutrients to support kids growth and development naturally. Kristin created June Superfoods after noticing a gap in the market for high-quality organic health products for kids. This prompted her to create a product with the highest quality organic ingredients; no added sugars, fillers, or anything artificial.