Awareness of the origins of our foods is coming into focus like never before since the advent of industrial foods. The so-called “locavore” movement to encourage eating locally has been effective with more and more foods and stores listing the location of origin. Couple this with the rise of genetically modified foods, widespread use of herbicides and pesticides, and valid concerns about the quality of food after it has been excessively processed, consumers have become increasingly conscious, not only about what they eat, but where that food came from and how it was farmed.
And yet when it comes to supplements that are used to fill in nutrient gaps, enhance health, or target particular conditions or concerns, the quality and origins of the starting material is rarely considered. With modern food practices resulting in less nutrient dense foods than our ancestors or even grandparents ate, supplements are moving from the role of “added nutrient insurance” to “necessity”.
Produce that is grown with the use of herbicides and pesticides to protect the crops from blights deliver a wide range of questionable chemicals that add stress to a generally already overworked liver. Organic foods are preferred not only for the lower level of irritants that they contain but for the positive effect that they have on the planet through improved soil and watershed.
The long-term effects of GMOs on our health or that of our planet cannot be truly assessed yet without years or generations more of global experimentation, at which point it may be too late to undo the damage done. Early studies do suggest some health concerns associated with GMO foods and some countries, including Australia, Japan, and European countries within the European Union have either banned or placed restrictions on the use and/or sale of GMO items within their borders.
The Non-GMO Project was founded by a duo of health food stores, one in California and one in Toronto, who were concerned about the unknown effects of GMOs in our food and whose clientele wanted the knowledge to purchase exclusively non-GMO food items. Non-GMO project certification gives a clear message to the consumer that all of the ingredients in the food have been certified as coming from non-GMO stock.
For foods the non-GMO project has direct and clear implications, but what of our food supplements designed to support or even optimize our health such as the humble, yet increasingly necessary multivitamin? Supplements that are made from farm fresh whole foods that support conscientious organic farmers, and that are also non-GMO project certified are a natural complement to the mindful consumer who is looking for what is best for themselves, their families, the planet, and our future as a species.