By Analiese Paik
Perusing the honey aisle at Whole Foods Market, I spotted Bee Free Honee on the shelf and immediately figured it was conceived for vegans. A good idea I suppose, but what’s in it? Too often attempts at recreating a beloved food so that it appeals to people with special dietary needs ends in a cocktail of industrial ingredients.
The ingredient list on Bee Free Honee is short, but I was stunned to see “beet sugar” on the list. In 2011, 95% of sugar beets grown in the US were from genetically engineered seed, as in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets.¹
Could this “natural”, “vegan” product contain GM sugar made from plants regularly doused with RoundUp to control weeds? How natural would that be? How healthy?
I decided to contact the company via their online form after reading their website and seeing no reference to non-GMO sourcing. When I get a response, I’ll let you know. (Update: I got an almost immediate response and you will find it below in the comments section.)
In the meantime, become a GMO sleuth by reading labels. This company opted to put “beet sugar” on the label rather than just “sugar”, tipping us off to the great possibility of GMOs inside. Tip 1: “All natural” is meaningless Tip 2: Look for “cane sugar” on labels to avoid GMOs. Tip 3: When in doubt, call the company. It’s good to know what brands you can trust (like this one!) To learn more about how to avoid GMOs in your food, read my Hand-Holding Consumer Guide to GMOs or attend one of my upcoming workshops. The next GMO workshop is at Sport Hill Farm on April 27 at 10 am.
1.ISAAA Brief 43-2011: Executive Summary, Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2011