Know Your Labels: Organic & Non-GMO

March 27, 2020

Garden of Flavor is committed to creating its cold-pressed juices and energy elixirs with only Certified Organic ingredients for many reasons — from personal and family health to environmental sustainability. 

Labels on food and beverage products, such as Certified Organic, are intended to provide consumers with important and relevant information. But sometimes, seeing certain words and symbols and product packaging can confuse the facts, especially when it comes to Organic and Non-GMO labels. 

To make an informed decision about the food and beverages you buy, it's critical to have a clear understanding of what these terms means. 

 

What does Certified Organic mean?

The organic certification is process-based, meaning that products are managed according to defined processes for planting, growing, raising, and handling. 

Certified Organic means the product is free of synthetic additives, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation or genetic engineering or modification. Just think about how many leaves of kale and spinach, stalks of celery, and cucumbers go into a bottle of juice. Pesticides and chemicals on produce cannot simply be washed off, they are in the seeds, flesh, and skin. 

The Environmental Working Group, EWG, provides a Dirty Dozen list, which is updated yearly with the foods most laden with pesticides and chemicals (the 2020 version was just released!). An important note is that the level of pesticides and chemicals are measured after the food is processed as is typical for that food. For example, blueberries are washed, bananas are peeled, etc. More important to note, the Dirty Dozen usually includes some of the most popular ingredients of cold-pressed juice — kale, spinach, apples, pears, and celery!

That’s why it’s so important to choose Certified Organic cold-pressed juices! Certified Organic products cover many healthful bases due to the stringent criteria that must be met. What's more, Certified Organic food and beverage producers want to spend more to ensure they deliver you not only the highest quality ingredients but also the cleanest.

 

Why does organic produce cost more?

Those rigorous standards and audits required of organic manufacturers allow the USDA Organic symbol to maintain its status as a trusted sign to consumers that these products are of the highest quality. Because of these standards, audits, and more eco-friendly farming practices, organic produce costs about 30% more than conventional produce. This price difference represents a commitment to both the integrity of the USDA Organic symbol and a more thoughtful and eco-conscious pursuit of the foods and drinks that nourish us.

 

What does non-GMO mean?

According to the non-GMO project, “a GMO (genetically modified organism) is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This modification creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”

A product labeled non-GMO means that it has not been genetically modified. People often choose non-GMO products because the safety of GMOs are unknown due to the lack of credible, independent, long-term studies. 


    How are non-GMO and USDA Organic related?

    By default, a product that is Certified Organic is also non-GMO. 

    Selecting non-GMO labeled products eliminates the risk of consuming genetically modified organisms, but those same products might still be laden with pesticides and chemicals. That’s why being non-GMO is just one of the many requirements that products labeled USDA Organic must meet. 

     

    What's all this have to do with juice?

    If you are reading this, you probably already know the juicy benefits of cold-pressed juice — packed with alkalizing chlorophyll and essential vitamins and minerals. One good bottle of juice provides 4 servings of vegetables and is a great way to jumpstart your wellness journey. But if the juice is not organic, the potential health risks — both to you and your family as well as to the environment — may outweigh the benefits. For us, here in the Garden, our commitment to providing quality goes beyond just non-GMO, and even beyond Certified Organic. We partner with farmers who use rotational gardening and prioritize soil health. It’s one of the many ways we pursue a better tomorrow.

    Bottom line: Organic is always non-GMO, but non-GMO is not always organic.