Diana Reeves, GMO Activist, Founder and Executive director of GMO Free USA; recently sat down with our Founder, Cygnia Rapp, to discuss the inspiration behind GMO Free MELT Organic Spreads.
What inspired you to create MELT Organic?
I originally developed MELT out of a personal need as there was nothing in the market place that was as satisfying as butter. With several digestive disorders, I was on a restricted diet, including restriction of consuming my normal sources of fat, like butter. As anyone with a chronic illness knows well, it can be quite challenging to thrive on a restricted diet. After researching dietary fats, I discovered the amazing properties of virgin coconut oil and noticed an immediate benefit after consuming it. I experimented at home with making a butter substitute based on virgin coconut oil and the rest is history!
How has MELT changed your life (from both a dietary and personal perspective)?
MELT was and continues to be a Godsend for enjoying my food when I can’t eat butter, due to the lactose and casein. There is no other product like MELT on the market, particularly in regards to the unique combination of medium chain fatty acids from the virgin coconut oil and a healthy dose of Omega 3s from the flax oil. I am very proud of MELT being the best dairy-free fat blend out there for flavor, cooking and baking, and health. Having MELT instead of butter was a huge step forward for reversing my digestive disease because I could be consistent in following a diet-based therapy that included going dairy-free. Honestly, I still use MELT daily for its most basic application: on gluten-free toast.
What is your motivation behind having a verified non-GMO product?
I have serious concerns about industry-funded research that claims GMOs are safe to eat, especially since their trials have only been conducted on mice (none on humans) and the studies have a duration of only 90 days, which is too short to capture the effects of GMOs on health. Up to six different Bt toxins are inside every cell of corn, cotton (for cottonseed oil), and soy. Why would I want to consume toxins that has been bred into a food stuff, particularly in the form of a bacterium, which could interfere with my gut biome? It seems completely insane, especially since glyphosate is then required for external application, thus increasing exposure to pesticides: The scientific literature is quite clear about the serious, deleterious effects of consuming pesticides, specifically glyphosate, whether it contaminates our water source or remains in residual amounts in our food. While our product is certified organic, and organic certification bans GMOs, we sought out the non-GMO certification so our customers could have greater confidence of delivering against our promise. Because all MELT products are certified organic, use of synthetic pesticides is banned, which is much more restrictive than just the non-GMO certification.
From the perspective of a manufacturer, what is your take on the GMO Labeling fight? Do you favor an FDA mandate, leaving it up to the states to decide, or some radical new idea beyond the scope of what has been previously proposed?
I believe it is critical to have mandatory labeling of GMOs that, at a minimum, conforms to the same standard used by the European Union. There must be mandatory GMO labeling in order for people to have the option of making informed choices and the freedom to choose what they eat and feed their families.
Are there any new non-GMO products that we can be excited about from MELT Organic?
We are very excited to offer a new, breakthrough butter replacement, Probiotic MELT, which is version of Rich & Creamy Melt made with a probiotic, Bacillus coagulans. With the exception of probiotics, I personally do not support fortifying food products with isolated nutrients like Vitamin D, calcium, and Vitamin A because from my view, most fortifying is a gimmick by compensating for inferior ingredients, not being utilized by the body, or causing more harm than good. The exception is Bacillus coagulans because it’s a stable probiotic that remains inactive until its ingested, unlike Lacto-bacillus and similar bacteria found in yogurt and other foods, which decline rapidly following manufacture. Health practitioners widely agree that probiotic supplement is effective and worthwhile, hence I am thrilled to offer (and consume) Probiotic MELT.
We have also launched our baking stick version of MELT, which is specifically formulated for oxidative stability during baking and sautéing, and is just as creamy and delicious as Rich & Creamy MELT. Our customers have requested a baking stick product from us for a long time and we are finally delivering it!