On the first and third Monday of every month on her YouTube channel, food trends expert Dana McCauley gives us the lowdown on the trends that are happening in the food world. Stop by FBC on following Tuesdays for a little extra insight from Dana on how you as a food blogger can use this information in your work!
One of the things I like about being in the food business is that there is always something new to discover or something more to learn about a topic that I feel I understand.
When I was Vice President of marketing for an internationally successful frozen food company, my colleagues and I worked closely with many large US and Canadian chains to help them develop the right products for their stores. Many of the requests we got from industry leading chains put new demands on our procurement and R&D departments as these companies tried to stay on the leading edge of consumer trends such as organic, all natural and non GMO. These requests prompted me to examine closely the science behind each of these and many other topics. I learned a lot every day and I loved it!
In the case of the GMO debate, I never felt I had all the correct information. Yet, companies I admired such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods were demanding that no GMO's could be included in the ingredients used to make products to be sold under their brand names. Likewise, sophisticated grocers in Europe were equally adamant.
As an advocate of organics and a food professional and consumer committed to using as many whole and local foods as possible, the arguments I heard about avoiding GMOs resonated with me emotionally. In many cases the no-GMO advocates in the media were people I respected and who shared my food values. I began to shop with an eye to avoiding GMOS myself.
Fast forward to last summer when I was invited to join Saskatchewan Farm & Food Care on a press tour that introduced me (and many other 'influencers') to scientists, farmers, government and agri-biz insiders who all share the opinion that bio-technology is not only not evil, but beneficial for nurturing the soil, increasing yields and growing enough food to 'feed the world' (their words).
I learned a lot on that trip. Some of the farming technology I saw made me better informed and inspires me to hope that our food system can flourish whether farmers are using conventional or organic techniques. And, the info shared about by Saskatchewan’s agriculture leaders GMOS helped me to crystallize my opinions on that topic at last. In a nut shell: I have to say that the Non-GMO debate now seems faulty to me and that there are other food safety battles we could focus our energies on to greater wide spread effect. I explain why in more detail in the latest episode of Food Trends TV.
Not only would I like you to watch this video and share your opinions on GMOS, I'd also like to issue a challenge to all Food Bloggers and food industry professionals for 2016: keep questing to learn more each day about your area of food expertise. Examine your opinions and listen intently to those that differ with you. If you're like me, it will make you better at your job.
Dana McCauley is a seasoned marketing executive with extensive experience in all facets of the food business and a track record of taking ideas from concept to kitchen to commercialization. Dana is also the Executive Director of Food Starter, a food business incubator that helps entrepreneurs bring new food products to market. Dana is also a recovering cookbook author, blogger and food trend correspondent for morning shows such as Breakfast Television and Canada AM. Follow @DanaMccauley on Twitter for daily insights about her dog and for breaking news about what she’s making for dinner.