Non-GMO? Organic? Natural? Do food ‘buzzwords’ help consumers make healthy choices?


Picture the cereal aisle (and marvel at the fact that there is an aisle just for cereal). Next, think of the labels adorning foods on store shelves with buzzwords like natural, non-GMO, no artificial preservatives, made with real sugar, heart healthy, USDA certified organic, no high fructose corn syrup, grass fed, immune support, gluten free, cage free, fat free, free range and more.

Consumers increasingly want information about where their food comes from, conditions on farms and in factories, and health and environmental impacts, and buzzwords provide the illusion of knowledge and empowerment

Organic alternatives

Despite stubborn misconceptions, buying organic doesn’t mean that a product is better for health, pesticide-free, or is any better for the environment….

Non-GMO hype

A non-GMO label tells consumers nothing about their food, except that the product doesn’t contain ingredients derived from one of eight genetically engineered crops on the market. Non-GMO labels don’t mean that a food item is healthier, better for the environment, or that it was farmed without pesticides. A non-GMO label doesn’t even mean that its ingredients weren’t tinkered with on a genetic level….

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: 5 Things To Watch For In The Confusing World Of Buzzword Food Marketing

  • Mark Benjamin

    Certified Organic is the biggest shell game ever to dupe the grocery shopper. Paying EXTRA for foods that YES CAN BE AND ARE TREATED with MORE toxic “natural” pesticides is nothing but a greedy swindling of consumer by INTENTIONAL DECEIT. The big chains that try to pose as good choice for you and environment are ripping off the consumer, and tax payer who supports those who need financial help with food purchases.

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      For the most part, I agree with you. But there is still a small subset of organic growers that honestly don’t know ant better. They are spiritually descended from the original philosophy. I know one that won’t even kill fire ants at his place. Those types will often mow or turn under a crop that gets a serious pest issue.

      • Mark Benjamin

        That may be. And if someone wants to grow their own “organic” garden by all means have at it; and teach your kids to grow things. Same if they want to buy from a local small farmer have at it. But stuff going through big chain stores as certified organic and paying extra is silly.

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          Yep, a small farmers market grower that has 100 plants each of 3 different varieties can mow one variety down if a disease shows up. A commercial grower with 50 or a hundred acres of one crop has to protect his investment. Imported stuff I am leery of regardless of the growing classification. I never buy organic from stores and only trade for organic after the market if the organic guy drops his premium.

      • hyperzombie

        What a waste of land, time and money.

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          It can be. But when you consider that the only local farmers with attractive female help are organic ones. Whatsa guy to do? One of them stopped by my booth last Fall just before I got surgery and wanted to trade. I was almost proud of me. I resisted the pretty smile, short shorts and blue eyes. I am too cheap to trade a $5 pineapple for $1.27 in greens. Almost 3/4 of my spring summer seeds are up and I will finish seeding except for staggered determinate tomatoes next week end.

          • hyperzombie

            I am fairly cheap as well, but for a pretty face in short shorts, I would have given her 9 pineapples and the keys to my truck. But that is just me.

            “Almost 3/4 of my spring summer seeds are up “

            Sorry to hear that the frost heaves are so bad that seeds are being forced out of the ground, you need more snow. Winter wheat farmers have the same problem, when the heavy frost comes without snow it damages all the seed. I know you are down south in Florida, the frost should ending soon. It is only -30 here today, so you should be in positive temps in no time.

            In all seriousness what is a determinate tomato? Extra motivated tomato?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            A tomato that can bear more than one tomato per season in your growing season, that is measured in minutes, is considered a determined tomato. A determinate tomato is limited in size and ripens it’s fruits over a brief period of time. Perhaps a week or 2. Indeterminate tomatoes are, like some NBA players, considered indeterminate. That is they can keep growing as long as they are healthy. The harvest is spread out over a longer period. Down here the commercial folks grow determinate ones and stagger the seeding to get a continual harvest until the rains set in. Then disease pressure gets too heavy and most varieties quit setting fruit due to high night time temps. No 34 degrees is not considered a high night time temp. Our definition of frost heave is not the same as yours. Down here frost heave is what snowbirds do when it frosts after a cold front passes and they have rung up a huge vacation expense traveling here.