As members of our community, and fellow eaters of food, we support having healthy foods and healthy labeling of foods. That’s not too crazy, right? But we have an issue in our food supply, and we’ve decided to raise awareness about it through our coffees. The issue is that we have genetically modified foods in the mix (GMO’s) and none of them are labeled as such.
Genetically modified or genetically engineered refers to altering a food source by merging DNA from different species – creating combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Does this sound a bit risky to let loose into the wild? We think so…
The US government was petitioned in 2013 to require labeling on foods that are genetically engineered, or genetically modified. Now, we think requiring that food be labeled when it’s been unnaturally genetically modified sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? In April 2013, the FDA ruled against this, stating that people would be better off not knowing if their food was genetically engineered. This is clearly not in the public interest.
Quietly, as of today, 90% of US corn has been genetically engineered! And 95% of the US soy crop has been altered in this way. That covers an awful lot of the American food supply. Is that a surprise to you? It was to me. In fact, it made me feel lied to. And the term “Roundup-ready crops” does not sound nutritionally excellent to me.
We’ve decided to raise awareness on this issue in our food supply. In March 2013, Oak City Coffee began pursuing non-GMO verification for all of its coffees. We are against GMO foods, and have been in process to be licensed to use non-GMO labeling on our coffees. We have now gotten the first of our coffees approved and couldn’t be more proud!
Although coffee is not currently at high risk for genetic alteration, we hope to raise awareness within the coffee community so that it never happens. We want to prevent coffee from ever becoming a genetically modified organism. We felt the time to act was before it becomes an issue.
The Non-GMO Project is a third-party verification organization that tests foods and offers labeling stating that foods are non-GMO. The Non-GMO project will verify and provide labeling for Oak City coffees as they are approved. This is an expense to us, and is not related to the coffees per se. But this is an important issue that has widespread impact on our food supply. Its one we want to raise awareness on.
So, when you see this label on our coffees, you can know that we’re doing our part to support healthy safe foods for us all.