Popcorn is a sacred food in this house. I’m not much of a snacker, but popcorn holds a special place in my heart. When slathered in rich, pastured butter and dowsed in sea salt, popcorn transforms any occasion into a celebration.
When I first chose to avoid GMOs years ago, there were two strains of corn that had still not been modified scientifically: blue corn and popcorn. Turns out that blue corn no longer makes that list. So we now shop non-GMO and/or organic anytime we buy all corn products.
According to a GMO expert, popcorn remains unchanged genetically. It’s literally the last corn standing.
Here’s what blogger Elizabeth Yarnell has to say:
At the Seeds of Doubt conference recently, Jeffery Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and GMO expert, assured us that even though almost 90% of the corn grown and eaten in this country is GMO corn, popcorn comes from a different seed and has not been genetically modified.
So, while you should assume that your Doritos brand corn chips and those sweet corn cobs on sale at the grocery store are Genetically Modified even though they are not labeled as such, you’ll never have to worry about your popcorn being GMO. Makes you feel a little bit better about ordering that large tub at the movie theater!
I double checked with the Institute For Responsible Technology website and was able to confirm that popcorn does not cross-pollinate with GMO varieties of yellow and white corn.
I still prefer to buy organic popcorn for my family, since there are dozens of pesticides heavily sprayed on conventional crops. Popcorn.org developed an agri-chemical handbook to inform consumers and popcorn-related industries “about the status of pesticide products that are registered for use on popcorn or in popcorn storage facilities.” There are giant lists of pesticides, insecticides, fumigants, and fungicides deployed around popcorn crops. Needless to say, it’s much simpler to buy organic than to read up on potential warnings and dangers of each chemical compound.