Pasturebird is Certified Glyphosate Free!
What this Means, and Why it Matters
We’re proud to announce that Pasturebird has recently been certified glyphosate free! This is a pretty big deal in the agri-sphere, and here’s why:
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp, and is the world’s most used pesticide. Not only is it an extremely effective weed killer (more on this later), but it is also used as a desiccant to dry out crops prior to harvesting. Sometimes, it is sprayed over entire fields to prepare them for replanting. As a result, it saturates into the soil and makes its way to the water supply, in addition to binding to certain types of soils and remaining in the soil long after application.
Glyphosate and GMOs - a not-so-perfect pair
Because Glyphosate is such an effective “weed killer”, it’s widespread application has resulted in the genetic modification of seeds to be “glyphosate-resistant” or “Roundup-ready”, meaning that they can withstand the liberal application of glyphosate over entire fields of, say, genetically modified corn or soybeans. Since the introduction of these genetically modified crops, glyphosate usage has increased approximately 1500%. While that statistic alone is staggering and scary considering the potential negative health effects associated with glyphosate, genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”) themselves are detrimental for several reasons, and Green America sums it up quite well, here:
The production of GMO foods requires mono-cropping—growing the same variety of crop in the same area year after year. This depletes nutrients and fertility in the soil, thereby forcing farmers to turn to damaging products like nitrogen fertilizers made from fossil fuels. In addition, overuse of pesticides doesn’t just pose a risk to health. Increasing their use has also led to pollinator decline, creation of chemical-resistant superweeds and pests, and disruption of local ecosystems.
We’ve spoken a lot about the positive environmental impacts of regenerative agriculture. As you can probably tell from the description above, this practice of mono-cropping is as far as you can get from regenerative agriculture. Not only does glyphosate poison soil and water systems, but its use has a butterfly effect on other negative environmental practices. Perhaps most troubling from a consumer standpoint is that from its permeation into soil, water, and the most widely-grown crops in the United States, troubling levels of glyphosate have been found in foods such as bagels, honey, flour, and infant formula. In fact, it has been hypothesized that the recent uptick in gluten-intolerance is instead, an intolerance to the glyphosate found in many gluten-containing foods. Furthermore, because of the increase in both glyphosate and genetically modified organisms, GMOs and glyphosate residue are found in most processed foods.
While supporters of GMOs and conventional agriculture (which as an industry is responsible for the application of over 9.4 million tons of glyphosate worldwide) have long maintained that these products are safe, countries worldwide (and many juries) are finally beginning to disagree. In fact, Monsanto, the maker of RoundUp, has been ordered to pay several billion dollars in recent years to settle lawsuits that found that RoundUp was responsible for causing plaintiffs’ cancers.
Pasturebird’s Commitment to Being Glyphosate Free
At Pasturebird, our two most important driving forces are healthy food and healthy land, and so it’s a no-brainer for us to steer as far from glyphosate as possible. We make it a point to feed our chickens a non-GMO, glyphosate-free chicken feed, and of course we avoid treating our land with pesticides and chemicals. That ensures that when our chickens are foraging on pasture, they’re only getting the good stuff, and not food sources treated with toxic chemicals. We rely on our chickens for pest and weed control, and they’re pretty happy with that arrangement! By following the principles of regenerative agriculture, we make sure that we can maintain healthy land and healthy chickens without the use of pesticides and chemicals such as RoundUp.
As a result of our commitment to these practices, we’re proud to have been certified as glyphosate-free by The Detox Project, a research and certification platform that encourages transparency in the food and supplement industries on the subject of toxic chemicals. You know we’re all about transparency, and programs like The Detox Project and Land to Market help to hold businesses accountable for their ethics, and allow customers to easily determine which businesses are worthy of their support.
It’s worth the effort to make sure that the foods you consume are glyphosate free, or as close to it as possible. You can do this pretty easily by following a few simple guidelines:
- Reduce your consumption of processed foods. Besides just being generally nutritionally lacking, most processed foods have been found to contain trace amounts of glyphosate. This is likely due to the fact that they are made with low quality GMO soy, corn, or flour. Eat whole foods whenever possible, or if you must buy processed snacks or cereals, make sure they’re verified non-GMO.