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food & drink

beyond organic

ARE YOU INADVERTENTLY SUPPORTING HAZARDOUS AND UNHEALTHY GMO FOODS? By Maya Greene

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As a small company whose mission it is to support a sustainable, GMO-free, local food system, we have made it our goal to offer alternatives to those brands that trace back to food-industry giants. Some examples of this corporate ownership include several natural and organic labels that can be found in grocery stores around the country:

Offering these “organic” brands at Berkshire Organics would mean that we’re giving money right back to the food giants – which also means that we are ultimately contributing to their support of GMOs in the food system. Instead, we offer a wide selection of food that is grown or made by companies who support a GMO-free food system. In many cases this means the food is certified organic, but it might also mean that it is grown and/or made sustainably and without GMOs – even if it isn’t organic. Our commitment to excellence in this regard is what placed us among the Organic Consumers Association’s Top 12 Grocers in America in 2013, and it is a title which we are proud to uphold.

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~ This article was written for Berkshire Organics by Maya Greene, professor at Columbia-Greene Community College. www.berkshireorganics.com.

any years ago, Berkshire Organics started to do extensive research into the origins of organic foods. What we discovered was a web of ownership that often pointed back to enormous corporations who have adopted the “organic” label in an effort to be more marketable (in other words to make more money). These large corporations are most often the ones who support genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food system (and the lack of labeling for foods with genetically engineered ingredients), as well as lobbying against sustainable practices and the protection of smaller farms and companies.

Horizon Dairy (owned by Dean Foods) Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms (General Mills)

Kashi and Morningstar Farms (Kellogg�s) R.W. Knudsen and Santa Cruz Organic (Smucker’s) Applegate meats and cheeses (Hormel) Green & Black’s chocolate (Kraft Foods) And many, many more

Chickpea Salad with Pesto

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his delicious chickpea salad comes together quickly, and is a great way to use the garden-fresh veggies that are prolific this time of year (like basil, zucchini, onions, and peppers). It keeps well for several days, and is delicious both as both a side dish and on its own. Ingredients 1 can drained and rinsed organic chickpeas (preferably from a brand using BPA-free lining) 1 cup homemade pesto (blended basil, garlic, romano cheese, olive oil, pine nuts, salt) 1 finely chopped fresh zucchini 1 finely chopped sweet onion Finely chopped sweet bell pepper, preferably a mix of small red, orange, and/or yellow Salt and pepper to taste Crumbled feta cheese Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and let marinate for an hour or two. Taste for seasoning, and top with crumbled feta cheese before serving.

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