30 March 2012
Rumiano Cheese Company: The Organic Verified Non-GMO Cheese
An inside look at the Non-GMO Project and becoming verified non-GMO
Written in collaboration with Joby Rumiano
The Non-GMO Project is an organization created to bring awareness to the ever-growing market of genetically engineered foods in the United States. It is America's only third-party verification for the production of non-GMO (genetically modified organism) food products. This nonprofit's mission is simple; they are committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.
The Non-GMO Project began with natural food retailers who were interested in having readily available information on the genetically modified foods America was consuming and the potential risks of doing so. The organization pushed for the labeling of genetically modified organisms in foods and became the only third-party verification program for non-GMO products. In 2008, the program added the first products to the verified non-GMO lists and has been growing ever since.
The list of verified non-GMO products includes everything from soy milk to body lotion, but until 2011 there were no verified cheese products. Because of our interest in supplying a nutritious and healthy product, Rumiano Cheese Company, after insuring that all of the ingredients in the supply chain in the production of our cheese were non-GMO, went on to verify that the feed the dairy cows were consuming was non-GMO as well. As a result of these efforts, Rumiano cheese became the first ever organic verified non-GMO cheese in the world.
Many products are currently labeled Non-GMO. However, unless they are verified non-GMO they may contain genetically modified ingredients. At Rumiano Cheese, our producers' cows graze year-round on coastal pasture grass that contains neither pesticides or herbicides. The dairies are owned by families who are proud of the milk their cows produce and who have been in the business for generations.
In March, Rumiano Cheese Company was verified again as non-GMO through the Non-GMO Project for 2012.
The Non-GMO Project has expanded since its establishment in 2005 and has since verified hundreds of products. April 1 marks the beginning of Earth Month in which the Non-GMO Project challenges its supporters to eat verified non-GMO products instead of simply conventional foods. You can read more about the upcoming Non-GMO Challenge at the Non-GMO Project's website.