Non-GMO and a Better Chocolove

A few years ago our esteemed supply chain partner, Whole Foods Market, made a requirement that all products sold in their stores be non-GMO certified by the Fall of 2018. At first our reaction was, “Wow, that’s a lot of work” and we set upon the long task with perseverance.

Early on we realized that a core aspect of non-GMO certification was obtaining a paper trail from the original farm and through each supply chain step for every ingredient. To me, knowing all the links in the supply chain gave us safer ingredients and safer foods.

One can debate at what point in nature humans should not intervene in the manipulation of plant genetics. We can debate what practices we know for certain have no negative side effects on that family of plants, the food supply, and the planet. Just how many factors of this new plant should we check and how many years are enough to know it is safe?

Pests, weeds, and disease point to other matters that a farmer should attend to, such as health of soil or over-manipulated hybrids. These have more immediate and sustainable fixes in seed selection and farming practices. These are my views as a person working in food for 40 years and a person who grew up in farming country.

I am not a fan of the “non-GMO” phrase. Could we have something more positive? Perhaps someday we will. I am not a fan of this and that certification badge on packaging, but that is the phase we are in as makers of food and consumers. I look forward to moving on to the next phase.

In the last few years many other fields of food safety have advanced. FDA regulations have become more rigorous, and independent food plant certification requirements are yet more detailed. These have all combined with supply chain documentation to make one high standard for food manufacturing. Ultimately, I see knowing who grew and handled every ingredient in every product as raising the integrity, reliability, and quality of food; making for a better Chocolove for you.