What is GMO?

According to Wikipedia, “A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, plants, fish, and mammals.”

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically Modified Food (Photo credit: Peter Blanchard)

Simple enough.   You would think it was easy to avoid such foods but they pop up in the oddest places.  I was reviewing a list of ingredients making sure a new mix  we were making was on ‘the straight and narrow’ when I came to the vanilla.  We follow certain procedures to approve a new product. After we agree the recipe tastes good (the first test) then the ingredients are scrutinized for purity, quality and GMO’s and to verify  they come from farmers who match our criteria for how we make decisions.  I personally try hundreds of different foods always keeping an eye out for great food.

062/365 - Vanilla

062/365 – Vanilla (Photo credit: djwtwo)

So, you would  think when the label states “Pure Vanilla Powder” it was well,  just vanilla. Nope. The vanilla we were researching has two ingredients. The first is Maltodextrin, and the second is Vanilla Bean Extractives. Maltodextrin, hmmm, that raised a red flag. Malodextin can be derived from any starch. In the U. S., this starch is usually corn but it could be wheat or potato.   Because about 88% of the corn crop in the U. S.  is GMO and it was most likely corn used in this product we can guess it is most likely GMO.  This vanilla was nixed and we will search for the perfect vanilla which is truly pure–or one that is labeled correctly.

It is hard to keep up with all the changes in agriculture and what is going on with all of the crops across the world.  But if you want current information or to read more about the subject, a good place to start is The Non GMO project.


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