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Local Food 101

Have you ever wondered why certain foods are labelled Organic and others Natural.  What is the difference between Grass Fed Beef and Corn Fed Beef?  Should you buy the Free Range Eggs or those from Free Run Hens?  Are there Nutritional advantages of one over the other?  And who makes the decisions concerning Certification and Labelling in Canada?  If you have asked any of these questions, then this section is for you! 

Based on some of the most commonly-asked questions about our food, Foodlink has compiled Local Food 101 to help you navigate through the confusion that surrounds food and agriculture terminology today. 

Choose topics to explore from the categories listed below.  This list will grow over time.  Should there be a term that's not here that you'd like to see covered, please let us know.  We'll do our homework to help get you the facts on your food!

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

Other terms include genetically engineered organism (GEO)

A genetically modified organism is an organism whose material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. With this technology, DNA molecules from different sources are combined to create a new set of genes, which can then be transferred to an organism in order to give it desirable new traits.  Transgenic plants (those spliced with GMOs) have been developed for purposes such as resistance to pests, herbicides or harsh environmental conditions; improved product shelf life; and increased nutritional value.

The use of GMOs has sparked significant controversy in many countries. Some groups or individuals see the generation and use of GMO as meddling with biological states or processes that have naturally evolved over long periods of time, while others are concerned about the limitations of modern science to fully comprehend all of the potential negative ramifications of genetic manipulation.

Proponents of genetic engineering believe that GMO plants will boost agricultural production and possibly end world hunger, improve nutrition, and reduce dependance on pesticides and herbicides.

At the very least, opponents to genetically modified food are calling for mandatory labelling of all foods containing GM ingredients.