What Does Non-GMO Mean?
So you’ve heard that Island is The Clean Choice — but what does clean beer with clean ingredients really mean?
Non-GMO, or non-genetically modified organism, refers to any plant, animal, or microorganism that has not been genetically modified using biotechnology techniques. In other words, a non-GMO organism has not had its genetic makeup altered in a laboratory in order to give it desired traits, whereas a genetically modified organism (GMO) has had its genes intentionally modified in a laboratory in order to give it specific characteristics.
Non-GMO organisms are produced through traditional breeding methods, such as crossbreeding different varieties of plants or animals to produce offspring with desired traits. On the other hand, GMO organisms are created using techniques that allow scientists to directly manipulate an organism's genetic makeup to give it specific beneficial characteristics. A plant’s genetic makeup is typically altered to better withstand harvesting challenges, and those crops are then used as ingredients for products like beer. Though these modifications create major commercial value, it's important to consider the potential health risks that come along with GMO products.
A Brief History of GMO Ingredients
Since the beginning of agriculture nearly 10,000 years ago, humans have been isolating, prioritizing, and supporting the genetic strains that prove to be the highest yielding and most disease resistant through traditional crossbreeding methods. However, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food production has a relatively short history. The first genetically modified plant, antibiotic-resistant tobacco, was developed in 1983. Over the next few years, scientists continued to develop and refine the technology used to create genetically modified plants and animals. In 1994, the first GMO food product was approved for sale in the United States. This was the Flavr Savr tomato, which had been genetically modified to stay fresh for longer periods of time.
Since then, the use of GMOs in food production has grown rapidly. Today, genetically modified crops are widely grown in many countries around the world, including the United States, Canada, and Argentina. These crops include corn, soybeans, and cotton, among others, and are used in a variety of food and beverage products, including cooking oils, cereals, processed foods, and even beer.
However, the use of GMOs in crop production has also been a source of controversy. Some people have concerns about the safety of genetically modified foods, and there is ongoing debate about the potential risks and benefits of using GMOs in agriculture. Despite these concerns, the use of GMOs is likely to continue to grow in the coming years, as farmers and companies seek to improve crop yields and increase the nutritional value of their products.
How GMO Products Can Impact Your Health
The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food production has a relatively short history, and as a result, there are limited studies on whether or not GMO ingredients have a direct impact on human health. This has led to ongoing debate and disagreement about the safety of GMO foods.
On one hand, some people argue that GMO foods are safe to eat and do not pose any unique health risks. In addition to higher yields and disease resistance, GMO crops can also offer added nutrients that are not found in non-GMO crops. For example, genetically modified rice known as "Golden Rice" has been developed to contain higher levels of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision and immune function. Advocates believe GMOs are the cost-efficient solution to a growing hunger crisis, while also championing the potential environmental benefits of using fewer pesticides.
However, critics of GMO foods argue that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that they’re safe to eat. They point to the lack of long-term studies on the health effects of GMO foods and argue that they could cause allergic reactions, other health problems due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and even damage to the environment. Critics point to research that GMO crops may cause allergic reactions in some individuals due to the fact that they often contain proteins that are not naturally found in the original plant. For example, a GMO soybean may be modified to contain a protein from a fish, which could cause an allergic reaction in someone who is allergic to fish. Additionally, there are also concerns about the potential environmental impacts of GMO crops. Some critics argue that the widespread use of GMO crops may lead to the loss of biodiversity, as genetically modified plants may outcompete natural varieties. More specifically, there are concerns about the use of Roundup (glyphosate), a herbicide commonly used on GMO crops, and its potential effects on the environment and human health.
Overall, the debate about the safety of GMO foods is likely to continue until more research is done on their potential health impacts. In the meantime, it’s important for consumers to be aware of the arguments on both sides and to make informed decisions about what they choose to put in their bodies.
Benefits of Non-GMO Beer
You might be wondering, “What are GMOs doing in my beer?” You probably didn’t even know they were there. With consumer health consciousness at an all-time high, curiosity about GMOs in alcoholic beverages is on the rise. You may be surprised to hear that Roundup (glyphosate) has been found in nearly all adult beverages. While the levels of glyphosate are below the safe legal level set by the EPA, glyphosate in very low levels has been linked to issues such as growth of breast cancer cells and disruption of the endocrine system.
In addition to helping you avoid genetically modified ingredients, non-GMO beer may offer several other potential health benefits, including traditional brewing techniques, locally sourced ingredients, and a focus on sustainability. These factors can make non-GMO beer a healthier and more responsible alternative.
One benefit of non-GMO beer is that it’s often made using traditional brewing techniques. This means that non-GMO beer is often fermented using natural yeasts, rather than being artificially fermented using laboratory-grown yeasts. This can make non-GMO beer more flavorful and authentic, as well as potentially being healthier due to the presence of natural probiotics and enzymes.
Another advantage of non-GMO beer is that it’s often made with locally sourced ingredients. This means that non-GMO beer is often made with ingredients that are grown and produced in the same region where the beer is brewed. This can support local farmers and businesses, and it can also reduce the environmental impact of beer production, as locally sourced ingredients do not need to be transported long distances.
In addition, non-GMO beer could also be a healthier alternative because it’s often made with a focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Non-GMO beer is often made with ingredients that are grown using sustainable farming methods, such as organic farming or regenerative agriculture. Drinking clean beer can reduce the environmental impact of beer production and support the long-term health of the planet.
Go All In on Non-GMO Beer Without Sacrificing Taste
While there are no long-term studies on the potential health effects of GMO ingredients on humans, we believe that less is more. Our beer is made with a more holistic and deliberate approach to health with the same drinkability. Island beer is made with high-quality organic ingredients that are free of artificial additives, cheap fillers, and extra sugars. Our better-for-you ingredients don’t only give you peace of mind, but also a better “morning after.” Perhaps the best part? It just tastes better. Switch to non-GMO beer today and experience the difference for yourself!