by guest blogger Courtney Pineau, assistant director of the Non-GMO Project
It’s that time of year when Halloween costumes show off kids’ creative spirit and festive plans are in full swing. Kids love Halloween because it’s a day filled with wonderful sweet treats and surprises. Unfortunately, these treats often contain questionable GMO ingredients that would make even the most hardened ghoul scream in fright.
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, have been referred to as Frankenfoods because they are the product of genetic engineering that merges DNA from one species of animal, bacteria, plant, or virus into a completely different species. While it sounds like something Dr. Frankenstein himself might have dreamed up, the reality of GMOs in our food is not fiction. These experimental foods are now found in more than 80 percent of our food supply.
Many parents have serious concerns about the safety of feeding their children GMOs, In fact, it’s one of the main reasons there are now more than 30 states working on mandatory labeling legislation.
While the fight for the right to know continues across the United States and Canada, there are steps you can take to ensure this Halloween you provide candy that does not contain these ghastly ingredients.
1. Choose Non-GMO Project Verified treats or certified-organic candy for the trick-or-treat basket. Search the Non-GMO Project website for non-GMO options!
2. Avoid candy that contains GMO risk ingredients. Here are some common examples of where GMOs can be found in candy:
- Sugar (GMO sugar beets)
- High-fructose corn syrup (GMO corn)
- Cornstarch (GMO corn)
- Soy lecithin (GMO soy)
- Soybean oil (GMO soy)
- Modified food starch (GMO corn)
- Fructose, dextrose, glucose (GMO corn)
- Cottonseed oil (GMO cotton)
- Canola oil (GMO canola)
3. Share non-candy options. Get creative as you look for new ways to celebrate Halloween with the kids in your life. Treats could include:
- Beeswax crayons
- Non-GMO Project Verified treats
- Polished rocks
- Friendship bracelets
- Seed packets
- Homemade play dough
Interested in learning more about GMOs and how to keep them out of your diet? Visit nongmoproject.org for GMO facts, answers to common questions, and great resources to help you get more involved with this important issue. You’ll also find a complete list of more than 13,000 Non-GMO Project Verified food products. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only third-party verification for non-GMO food and products.
Courtney Pineau is the Assistant Director of the Non-GMO Project. From the time she was a young child, Courtney’s two favorite places to play and explore have been the kitchen and the garden. Her passion for growing food and nourishing the people she loves has inspired her ongoing commitment to ensuring that all people have access to safe and healthy food.