Glyphosate, the world’s most used herbicide, has recently become a major issue for the U.S. food and supplement industry because of its residues in foods. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifying glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. A very well publicized testing report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found glyphosate in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children. And Henry Rowlands at The Detox Project estimates that nearly 20 percent of organic consumer packaged good brands have pesticide residue in their products – truly frightening. Our customers told us glyphosate is of particular concern to them, which is why we conducted testing. We found that consumers need deep transparency and verification when it comes to food, especially pesticide-free products and foods heavily consumed by children further solidifying our decision to move forward with The Detox Project and get Glyphosate Residue-free certified.
Together with my two other co-founders, Galit Laibow and Sarah Michelle Gellar, Foodstirs began with a simple mission: help families create indelible memories together through the power of good clean food. When it comes to Foodstirs products, we are committed to providing deep transparency that gives our consumers the peace of mind they deserve. When The Detox Project launched the Glyphosate Reside-Free Certification in 2017, we were thrilled there was finally a way to test packaged products for pesticides so consumers never have to question whether they are consuming glyphosate while eating our products, helping them feel safe so they can enjoy the ultimate home baking experience.
To gain our certification, we worked closely with The Detox Project Director, Henry Rowlands, whose beliefs align with the Foodstirs mission that verifiably clean ingredients are crucial to consumers, especially as we see more and more consumers growing their education around food labeling. The thorough process took 2-4 weeks, where we sent our products to be tested by a third-party lab using equipment that has the ability to test down to parts per billion, which is the only way to ensure there is zero trace of the pesticide. Note: the US Government only tests down to parts per million, which is not effective at knowing if there are traces of pesticide residue in a finished product. For most brands and even organic certified brands there is a way to ensure you pass the test. Using crops made with purest of growing methods is key. This includes Biodynamic(r) and Single-Origin Identity Preserved (non-tilled) where no outside chemicals are allowed. If you are currently using crops most susceptible to glyphosate residue, like Oats, Wheat, or Pea, then replacing with Biodynamic(r) or IP is the best chance at ensuring you will pass.
Foodstirs Organic Chewy Oat Bar Mixes in Chocolate Coconut, Cinnamon Raisin and Very Berry Chocolate Chip flavors were the first to become Glyphosate Residue-Free certified, which is important given oats are a major glyphosate-impact crop. As of today, all Foodstirs products are Glyphosate Residue-Free certified. To make sure our offerings are 100 percent free of glyphosate, The Detox Project tests each product 3 times a year and perform spot checks at manufacturing facilities and products sold at retail. To guarantee there are no pesticides, it is important to regularly test your supply chains, which is exactly what The Detox Project does. According to Henry Rowlands, the main reason that glyphosate is appearing in many GMO and conventional food products is because glyphosate is used to dry out crops a few weeks or days before harvest. In order to reduce the possibility of glyphosate residues in their products, food brands can request that farmers in their supply chain do not use glyphosate to dry them out.
Looking ahead, how to be transparent on the glyphosate issue will be one of the main focuses of discussion and action for the food and supplement industry in 2019. With The Detox Project certification, we now have a trusted way for brands to validate their glyphosate free products so that all consumers can have an informed choice. This is great progress towards cleaning up our food system!