The organic vs GMO debate has been going on for a while. Fact is, organic is non-GMO but, non-GMO is not necessarily organic. For example, wheat is not a genetically modified but, it can be sprayed with glyphosate. Which is a noted carcinogen as per WHO. So, you are better off going organic at least for foods like corn, soy, sugar or choose dietary supplements and food that are USDA organic approved.
As a dietitian on a mission to help people get better health from better nutrition, these questions comes up daily.
Some enquire, “It seems non-GMO is in the news all the time these days so, it must be a more important health issue, right?”
Others ask me, “I don’t really know if I am worried about GMOs but, I am worried about getting unhealthy chemicals from my food, skin care, or supplements so I choose organic, is that right?”
Still others question, “Is there any difference?”
Keeping Things Simple
So let’s start from the basics and get things straight. First of all, organic is non-GMO but non-GMO is not necessarily organic. Organic is a government regulation of the whole system of production of food. It even includes what is in your restrooms, and at your bars.
There is a National Organic Program (NOP) and a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and they review public comment to evaluate and determine approved ingredients every five years for what can be USDA organic.
When it comes to GMOs, I appreciate the potential health concerns especially in products made to be genetically resistant to glyphosate and, I don’t like the business practices employed by those who make GMO seeds.
I will give you an example, wheat is not genetically modified but it can be sprayed with glyphosate. Especially, later in the harvest to speed up ripening and ensure readiness for harvest before the weather changes.
So, while wheat is non-GMO, it can be a significant source of glyphosate residue which the WHO calls a likely carcinogen on review of global scientific data.
Choose Organic Foods
So, I recommend choosing USDA organic, especially for foods and dietary supplements (including protein powders and fibers) that you consume most often. That’s because, the system of organic contributes to delivering nutrients your body wants, and needs with the least amount of items that can irritate.
I then recommend, choosing organic for these foods corn, soy, sugar (Mostly from beets but probably won’t say that. So, make sure it says the kind of sugar like cane or coconut.), canola, aspartame, dairy are currently the ones being genetically modified. You can also look for the non-GMO project verified logo.