Foods: Studies continue to show that irradiation may have
harmful effects on health (ref 1). Irradiation is often used where more
stringent butchering and food handling processes would be effective.
All whole irradiated foods must be labeled except teas and herbs from
China. Irradiated ingredients in processed foods do not have to be
labeled. Therefore we cannot monitor processed foods. Customers are
advised to look for organic ingredients.
Containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Studies
have shown that genetically modified (GM) crops may be harmful to human
health, detrimental to wildlife, threaten biodiversity, and produce
resistant weeds (ref 2). As of 2004, the US accounts for nearly
two-thirds of all GM crops planted globally. The three main GM crops
under cultivation are varieties of corn, soybeans, and cotton (ref 2).
The federal government opposes labeling, so it is not always possible
to determine that a product is GMO free unless it is labeled as
organic. HWFC is attempting to be as diligent as possible. Buyers give
preference to organic products when available. The HWFC Nutrition and
Education Committee also hosts letter-writing and other events to
support anti-GMO legislation and to influence producers.
Processed Oils: Refining oil at high temperatures destroys
nutrients. HWFC stocks cold-pressed oils and attempts to provide a wide
variety and grade of bottled and bulk oils, particularly olive oil.
Plans to expand the store include better equipment for storing and
Refined Sugar: White sugar is a highly refined product
devoid of nutrients. The HWFC bylaws stipulate that we will avoid
selling products with refined white sugar whenever practical. In 2000,
the Membership authorized the inclusion of minimally-refined sugars.
Changes in food production and the substitute of sugar as a cheaper
sweetener have made it increasingly difficult to monitor. There is also
no consistent term for sugar used on package labels. Department
managers attempt to stock products with a variety of sweeteners and
unsweetened products to satisfy a variety of dietary needs. HWFC
promotes alternative natural sweeteners in recipes in the Coop Scoop
and in cooking classes.
Refined Flour: Refining flour removes important nutrients.
Because of customer demand, buyers stock refined flour and products
containing refined flour. However, HWFC continues to promote whole
grains, whole grain flours, whole grain breads and pastas by providing
those items for sale, conducting cooking classes based on those
products and including them in our Deli.
Continue to Section 7: What We Don't