by Dr. Clair Thunes PhD, Nutritionist for EnviroEquine & PET ~
In recent years, where our food comes from and how it is grown has come under increased levels of scrutiny. There is a growing appreciation that certain foods and styles of eating are more healthful than others. In order to feed the ever-growing population, new technologies have been adopted where certain crops may have their genetic profile altered. Amongst other things, this allows them to grow in conditions that would otherwise be inhospitable. While on the one hand these technologies may result in reduced uses of pesticides and increased yields, there are concerns that we do not yet fully understand the ramifications of altering these plant’s genetic structure. As a result, many people are motivated to shop for foods that utilize ingredients that have not been genetically modified (non-GMO).
Similarly, some horse owners wish to feed their horses feeds that use only non-GMO ingredients. Here at EnviroEquine, we believe that there is much more to consider than just the genetic modification of the ingredients. As a result, we encourage those wishing to feed non-GMO feeds to instead consider feeds that are certified organic. Here are some of the big benefits of certified organic over just non-GMO:
- Non-GMO feed ingredients can still be treated with synthetic pesticides and herbicides, many of which we are now learning are doing great harm to our pollinating insects, particularly bees. This is especially true of neonicotinoids, which can be used on non-GMO crops but not certified organic crops. Bees are vital to the human food chain. Without them, it is not possible to pollinate many of the plants we rely on for our food. Additionally, many of these chemicals are being linked directly to human health concerns.
- Surprisingly, non-GMO is not regulated by federal law, whereas to be certified organic ingredients have to go through a rigorous approval process.
- Farmers who farm with organic practices improve their soil and promote plant diversity, which are not necessarily practices adopted by those growing non-GMO foods. These practices benefit the land and result in good stewardship.
- Certified organic feeds are always non-GMO by default.
The table shown here illustrates some other key differences between non-GMO and certified organic. EnviroEquine is committed to supporting organic farming practices and we encourage you when looking for non-GMO feeds for your horse to go the extra mile and consider certified organic.