Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF...the list goes on. These companies develop genetically modified crops, such as Monsanto's pervasive line of "Round-Up Ready" crops that includes corn, sugar beets, soybeans, and now even alfalfa. The studies done on these GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) should be already on the FRONT of your mind any time you're buying food.
But did you know that so-called "natural food" retailers, like Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley and Stoneyfield Farm, are selling you these GMOs? You see, though products and foods labeled "organic" are not supposed to, and generally don't, have any GMO crop ingredients in them, those labeled "natural" have no such regulation...and according to this article in the Huffington Post, two-thirds of Whole Foods' annual $9 billion in sales is from products contaminated with GMO ingredients.
Repeat: "Natural foods" are contaminated with GMO!
Currently, combined "organic" and "natural" food purchases result in sales of around $80 billion dollars annually, which is approximately 12% of all grocery store sales. Obviously, nobody wants to eat these "frankenfoods"! One manufacturer of GMO crops is even on the record, stating: "If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." Now we find out that they've been sneaking this crap it into what many Americans had trusted was safe!
So how much of the food out there is GMO? As of 2010, the reports are that 95% of sugar beets, 86% of corn, and 93% of soybeans, cotton and canola (rapeseed) grown in the US are GMO. Up to 80% of processed foods sold in the US contain GMO ingredients and, with the revelation that even so called "natural foods" are contaminated, that percentage may be about to go way up.
It's time that everyone learn to identify both edible and medicinal plants. Start growing non-hybrid and heirloom vegetables in your back yards. The little bit of money you will save can then be used to buy more honest, organic foods when you visit the supermarket. That's a major win all around, not only helping deprive the big business, unsustainable modern agriculture of your hard earned money, but also ensuring the food you eat is truly safe and helping preserve genetic diversity for future generations.
"Natural" isn't natural anymore, and ignoring this problem isn't going to make it go away.