Knowing where your food comes from has become a very trendy thing of late, and the "Buy Local" movement, which has garnered much media attention, is certainly part of the reason. Even Wal-Mart is looking to try and double sales of fresh produce from local farms in its stores by the end of 2015 Other companies are also looking to bump up their street cred with consumers who are increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from.
One company, Silk, which produces soy milk and tofu products, is one of those companies looking to make certain it's consumers know about its initiative to buy only Soybeans sourced in the United States. In an earlier blog post on the subject I noted that Silk had ceased using Chinese soybeans in 2006, but as that post noted, rumors that it still uses soybeans grown in China are still floating around. On top of that, Silk has been trying to put down rumors that genetically modified (GMO) soybeans slip in through the production chain. In order to combat these rumors, Silk has launched a new web-based traceability feature that will allow consumers to find out the counties of origin of the soybeans that went into their carton of soy milk. Silk has also provided a map of farm locations where the soybeans they use are grown.
Non-GMO Project's Product Verification Program in August. The Non-GMO Project provides an independent third-party test to determine whether a product has met defined standards for the absence of GMOs. While Silk has been doing it's own internal tests since 1996 to try and exclude GMO soybeans, verification with Non-GMO Project allows them to place the Project's verification seal on its packaging.
Several other soy milk and alternative dairy producers, such as WestSoy, Wild Wood, and Organic Valley, also use the Non-GMO Project's seal on their products.