Any confusion as to Organic versus NonGMO? Here's your guide!

Eating organic makes sense.  Eating NonGMO also makes sense.  Are they one and the same??  No, but either way stick to those labels when you are choosing foods.  Here’s a guide that will help you understand the distinction.  Thanks to Olivia’s Organics for this.

1. Learn the lingo.

Certified Organic food has been farmed and manufactured within the

strict guidelines set forth by the US Department of Agriculture. Farmers

and handlers that hold a Certificate of Organic Production, have

submitted to a 3rd party audit, certifying that USDA Organic

Standards have been met. They are not allowed to use synthetic

herbicides, pesticides and many other harmful inputs. They also can’t

use anything that has been genetically engineered (GMO’s). Non-GMO

Verified food has been subjected to an additional 3rd party

audit. This verifies that it has been produced according to best

practices for GMO avoidance. Note that organic foods are by definition

non-GMO, but non-GMO foods aren’t always organic.

2. Understand the label.

Certified Organic food will display the USDA ORGANIC seal on the

label. Look for this black/white or green/white logo. Products claiming

to be “100% Organic” or “Organically Grown” may not have been through

the auditing process and are typically not certified. Non-GMO Verified

food will brandish the Non-GMO “Butterfly” logo. Products claiming to be

“GMO Free” are not in compliance with the Non-GMO Project’s

verification process but many food companies have affidavits that certify the Non-GMO nature of that item.


of the recent debate over GMOs has centered on labeling all products

that contain genetically modified ingredients. The U.S. and Canada have

no nationwide labeling requirements, but some companies have started

labeling products that do contain GMOs. If you don’t see the USDA or

Butterfly seals and the ingredients contain corn, soybeans, canola,

cottonseed, vegetable oil or any sugar other than “pure cane sugar,”

there’s a good chance it contains GMOs.

3. Research the issue.  Finding

information on the ongoing GMO debate can be challenging. It’s best to

seek out material from a variety of sources. Start by checking with the GMO Literacy Project through Penn State University, or keep up to date on the issue with coverage updates from the New York Times.

4. Find out more about the brands you eat.

 Once you understand the larger issue and how to read the labels of the

food you eat, check the labels of the brands you frequently purchase to

see where they stand on GMOs. 

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