There's a lot going on in the organic food industry right now. We sat down with Jeff Johnson, Kashi* nutritionist, to get the latest on GMOs, happiness and the future.
I've always been passionate about creating positive change in the food system. Non-GMO Project Verification provides an important and credible way to help people choose food that will help fuel that change.
We've been involved in creating positive change in the food system since 1984 when the company was founded. We were among the first companies that chose to avoid things like white sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, synthetic colours, flavours and preservatives and use expeller pressed oils instead. In 2004 we began significantly ramping up our use of organic ingredients, which has increased sevenfold since then. Now we're partnering with the Non-GMO Project to achieve Non-GMO Project Verification for a number of our products, which is another important step in our journey.
Ultimately, people just want to know more about their food — who made it, how it was made and where it came from. Once you start asking questions, it kicks off a cycle of curiosity that just keeps going, which is just awesome. It sounds cliché, but it goes back to that old saying of "the more you know, the more you know you need to know."
Down the track I see Kashi* leading the way for helping people achieve their personal health goals in a way that's highly enjoyable. By doing that, I believe that we will not only turn on a wider audience to eating well, but we'll also pave the way for many other food companies to do the same with us.
We will continue taking a phased approach to achieving Non-GMO Project Verification. Some will be verified quickly and others won't. There are significant challenges associated with achieving Non-GMO Project Verification. In many cases, the scale of the crops we need are not available so that means we need to plant new crops and await those growing cycles. In other cases, because of the dominance of GMO crops in America and cross-pollination — both of which are outside of our control — it may take years to achieve. At the same time, we have been very successful at increasing our organic ingredient supply significantly over the last eight years along with Non-GMO Project Verification recently on four of our cereals, so I'm confident we'll continue to make steady progress on this journey.
A sunny day at the beach with my family and friends. A playful 4- to 6-foot combo swell running along with a plethora of surf craft on hand to ride. Great food, music and smiles until the sun goes down. It doesn't get much better than that.