Sustainability, Organics and GMO Free from The Big Carrot

The Big Carrot is a worker owned natural food store in Toronto’s east end. In November we will celebrate our 33rd anniversary. We work with over 250 local Ontario growers and vendors and are deeply committed to the development and success of Ontario’s real food economy. At The Big Carrot we are convinced that Organic agriculture is better for people and the planet. That is why organic is the foundation of all of our food values, our procurement, our initiatives and our giving.  Organic is a federally regulated, third party verified system that provides full  “farm to fork” traceability and oversight. This system ensures organic integrity all along the entire supply chain. Organic is the most holistic, multi-faceted food label on the market and it is the best current agriculture model for mitigating climate change. This resilient system promotes: soil health, reduces chemical exposure, it supports pollinators and wildlife, biodiversity and farmers- Canadian Organic farms create twice the jobs of conventional farms. They create opportunities for the family farm and next generation farmers. When you think of the environmental and social benefit of organic agriculture and then multiply that out by the 900,000 hectares of organic farmland in Canada- well that gets really exciting.

The Big Carrot’s fight against GMOs in our food system started in 1998. One of our proudest accomplishments is being a founding member of the Non-GMO Project. The ‘Project’s’ non-profit mission is to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products and provide verified non-GMO choices. There are over 40K products that feature the beautiful orange butterfly.

We may not have mandatory labelling in Canada, YET, but we do have all kinds of ways to consciously choose sustainable non-GMO foods. We can choose whole, nutritious non-GMO foods, we can choose Non-GMO Project Verified products and we must choose Organic to have the greatest impact.  Remember that organic farmers around the world are taking a stand and producing food based on organic values and those values do not include GMOs. That is why every organic standard in the world, prohibits the use of Genetically Engineered seeds and inputs.

When we choose organic we are doing so much more than just reducing our exposure to GMOs, toxic chemicals, and antibiotics…we are investing in a system of regenerative agriculture that will help us save this beautiful planet.

In association with:

Maureen Kirkpatrick

Maureen is one of seventy members of The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, a worker-owned cooperative retailer in downtown Toronto, Canada. The Big Carrot is Ontario’s first certified organic retailer and one of the founding members of the Non-GMO Project. In her role as Standards Coordinator and Chair of the Standards Committee Maureen is responsible for reviewing incoming products, staff and store education, as well as promoting the numerous sustainable food initiatives that the Big Carrot values. In addition to the board of the Non-GMO Project Maureen proudly serves on the board of directors of The Big Carrot as well as the Organic Council of Ontario.