Together we’re working to build a better food system. This big undertaking breaks down into countless smaller actions, including being transparent about what goes (or doesn’t go) into your box. Every week, you’ll find incredible, responsibly sourced ingredients—and that means no GMOs.
GMOs are a hot topic of debate in the food policy and sustainability world, with many arguments for and against their use. The consensus? It’s complicated. Research suggests that GMOs aren’t harmful to eat, but there are more factors to consider—like whether they may be harmful to produce, economically and environmentally speaking.
Many of the GMOs that make it into the food system are herbicide-resistant commodity crops grown in monocultures (then processed into vegetable oil, sugar or other food additives). For example, the USDA estimates that over 90% of U.S. soybean, corn, and cotton acreage is herbicide-resistant. That means farmers can spray their fields with herbicides, without harming the crops. Over time, however, weeds develop a resistance to these herbicides, resulting in herbicide-tolerant superweeds that farmers control with ever-more toxic and powerful chemicals.
We have found that these growing practices, and other associated with growing GMOs, aren’t aligned with our goal of supporting and advancing regenerative agricultural systems, whether through direct sourcing from farmers who grow specialty vegetables or partnering with livestock operations to promote animal welfare. For these reasons, we’ve removed GMOs from our ingredients. To ensure that we do not source GMOs, we require that our suppliers certify to us that their products, and their ingredients, were not produced using genetic engineering. To learn about other ways that we’re working to support our vision for a better food system, visit our Vision Page.
Beyond their use as food additives like vegetable oil and sugar, GMOs are extremely prevalent in animal feed. Consistent with federal legislation, animal products (like meat, dairy or eggs) that are derived from animals given GMO feed are not considered GMOs. But we still think this should be addressed, as we’re aiming to reduce and ultimately eliminate our demand for all GMOs—and that means removing GMO animal feed from our supply chain. Through direct partnerships with farmers, we’re actively working to develop non-GMO alternatives for our animal feed, while incorporating more beef and dairy from grass-fed cows into our menus.
As the scientific debate around GMOs in food evolves, we’ll continue to encourage transparency on the part of food suppliers, keeping our customers informed on the key issues and updating them on our progress in building a better food system.
Though you won’t encounter them in your Blue Apron delivery, GMOs are commonplace in grocery stores (and in many different forms). Want to know a little more about them before your next shopping trip? We’ve got you covered.
- Over 60% of processed foods in the U.S. contain at least one genetically modified ingredient, usually sugar from sugar beets or oil from corn, canola or soybeans.
- Besides papayas, edamame, zucchini and summer squash, you probably won’t encounter a genetically modified fruit or vegetable in the produce aisle. For instance, most of the corn on the cob you get at the grocery store or farmers’ market is sweet corn, which is not genetically modified.
- Contrary to popular belief, no genetically modified wheat is grown commercially in the U.S.
- Roughly half of the sugar produced in the U.S. comes not from sugarcane, but from sugar beets, most of which are genetically modified.
- Legislation passed in 2016 will require labeling of many foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Regulations under this law will not require animal products (such as meat, dairy, or eggs) to be labeled solely because the animal was given feed containing GMOs.
- In 2017, the first genetically modified apple, engineered so the flesh doesn’t brown after one takes a bite, was approved for markets in the U.S.
- See what the food regulators are saying about GMOs: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Food Safety Authority, or the U.N. World Health Organization.