At Birds and Beans, it is our pleasure and our aspiration to harness all of our resources and efforts to do better. And for us, better means in alignment with our core values: quality of life, sustainability, richness of experience, and community.
We express this in our handmade food: all of our ingredients are 100% GMO free.
Our reasons are simple: Genetically Modified Organisms are developed by “Big Ag” (big agriculture) for “Big Food“. Their only interest is profit. I do not have a problem with profit, I just have a problem when the pursuit of profit is at the expense of all other factors, has negative impacts or risks.
In the case of GMOs, the scientists working for “Big Ag” developed strains of agricultural products like corn and soy, with the sole purpose of withstanding higher applications of agrochemical inputs. It works nicely for them as they both sell the seeds and sell the chemicals.
Nor are GMO crops necessary. Leading expert Pablo Tittonell advocates intensification of agriculture by making optimal use of natural processes and the landscape to meet the worlds growing demand for food. See his TED talk here.
On the GMOs themselves, in matters of unknown and unknowable risk, I am an advocate of the “precautionary principle“. Those who profit the most from GMOs claim that their genetically modified organisms represent incremental change on selective breeding is disingenuous and is intended to deflect scrutiny. The reality is that the risks of this revolutionary technology not understood by policy makers and are generally unaddressed by GMO patent holders. See this insightful article.
Further, the GMOs that “Big Ag” have chosen to produce are motivated by their quest to maximize profits and not by the public good. For those of us who may think that this is a small problem and that most of the food in the food system is not GMO, almost all big food contains GMO ingredients. It has taken considerable effort and focus to ensure no GMO ingredients creep into Birds and Beans.
And Finally, GMO crops have failed to meet their promise. An extensive examination by The New York Times [reveals] genetic modification […] has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.
GMO’s are designed to benefit “Big Ag” profit takers. They have no obvious benefit to the public. They are just not worth the risk.
At Birds and Beans we use 100% of our choices to support our values, and in this case, be assured that no food item prepared in Birds and Beans contains GMO ingredients. We may be a tiny family owned and operated company, and we have no illusions about changing the trajectory of “Big Ag” and “Big Food”, but we do steadfastly oppose the trend through mindful disengagement from “Big Food”.