As the resident food policy nerd here at Left Coast Naturals, I’m really proud of the non-GMO policy we implemented in January which made us the first distributor in North America to set such a policy with deadlines. By the end of 2015, our catalogue will be totally non-GMO. Implementing a pioneering policy that affects what we buy and sell is quite an undertaking. It affects our relationships with our suppliers, our customers and our bottom line.
Some people may wonder why we did it. After all, if products we sell can’t comply with our policy by the end of 2015, we’ll have to stop selling them. That’s a pretty strong stance for a business to take. Simply put, we think it’s the right thing to do.
We are in good company too; retailers like Whole Foods Market are developing non-GMO policies, Nature’s Path Foods has also created procurement guidelines around GMOs, and this spring, the Non-GMO Project passed the 20,000 products verified mark.
Left Coast Naturals has a mandate to make and distribute good food. In our mission statement, we say we’re “good people providing good food.” To us, good food is as close to nature as possible: organically grown, made from whole ingredients, and with short, understandable ingredient lists. As Ian Walker, our founder and president calls it, “unadulterated food.”
This is one of the reasons we don’t support GMOs in our food supply. Nature has been working for a very long time honing the plants we eat, and we at Left Coast don’t want to mess with nature. Though some very deep green thinkers would say that genetic modification is a violation of the seed, we would more mildly say that from an ecosystems perspective, we support agriculture that values the balance found in nature, not invasive methods that suppose we humans know everything.
Another reason we’re weary of GMOs is our concern about the health of the soil. Most GMO plants are designed to withstand higher levels of pesticides than unadulterated plants can. More pesticide use is bad for the soil, it’s dangerous for farm workers, and it’s not what we want to see on our plates.
As we see consumer awareness of GMOs grow, and more and more food companies looking at their supply chain, I get more confirmation that a Non-GMO policy is the right thing to do, for Left Coast, for people, and for the planet.
Brand manager and resident food policy nerd