There is quite a heated debate in the parenting community about GMO versus organic, and which one is better for your child. The crunchier side claims that GMO foods and other products can lead to serious health risks and concerns and that these foods contain chemicals you can’t pronounce; therefore, they must be harmful.
The pro-GMO crowd, meanwhile, claims that GMOs are perfectly safe and that organic is just a marketing ploy designed with fear in mind.
Watching this debate unfold, it does make you a little weary with what you’re feeding your baby. If you have to use formula, should you go with the GMO or non-GMO formula? We’re here to make the decision much easier for you.
What Are GMOs?
Before doing the non-GMO formula vs. regular formula, let us discuss GMOs first. GMO stands for a genetically modified organism. These are foods with altered genes to produce better results. Some foods are changed to be more resistant to pests without the need for pesticides. Other foods are altered so that they grow bigger. Some apples are modified so that they never go brown.
Modifying a plant’s genes isn’t anything new. Farmers have been breeding plants in a way that thins out the undesirable traits for many years. Look at the banana, for instance. An unaltered banana is a lot different than the banana we know. It’s filled with seeds, smaller, and not as easy to open up.
With that said, the speed in which genetically altered food has been going has had some parents wanting to slow down and make sure these foods underwent testing, and thus they go with foods that are more organic and grown in a more “natural” way.
GMO Vs. Non-GMO Formula
When dealing with baby formula, a formula that is of natural ingredients is considered non-GMO, but it doesn’t have to be fully organic to get that label. It just needs no modified ingredients. You may be wondering what elements are altered in baby formula. What is this non-GMO formula vs. regular formula?
In a formula that from cows, are they modifying cows in a lab to produce more milk? Not necessarily? Organic milk means that they fed cows with food that isn’t GMO. We are aware that what we eat affects our milk, so many parents want a formula from animals that ate the best ingredients possible.
Let’s dive deeper into this concept now.
We’ll breakdown the pros and cons of non-GMO formula.
- It’s made from ingredients that you can trace more. Usually, the ingredients list is something you can pronounce, giving more parents peace of mind. Unpronounceable ingredients don’t mean the product isn’t safe, but parents like having ingredients they can pronounce.
- Non-GMO foods tend to come from more ethical sources as well. For example, cows that are raised in open fields rather than in a factory. While this isn’t true all the time, it is in many cases.
- It has no artificial ingredients whatsoever. They’re all-natural. For some parents, they don’t want anything harmful in the baby’s tummy. Even if the ingredients are safe for most, some artificial ingredients can indeed hurt a baby’s tummy.
- The non-GMO formula goes through a rigorous process to show that the ingredients come from where they say they do.
- The biggest con of non-GMO formula is that it’s expensive. When you have a kid, it’s a price to pay already, and shopping organic or non-GMO is another cost added on to that. Because of that, many parents stick with regular formula.
With that said, online shopping does make it easier to find a non-GMO formula that won’t break the bank. Also, buying the formula in bulk using online shopping or stores like Costco can help you get more for less.
- The regular formula is more readily available. Some non-GMO formulas are sold in specialty stores, or online. When you’re out of formula, you need it right now, and you’re guaranteed to find the regular formula in any store.
- The regular formula is also the more affordable option, giving you more for less. Non-GMO tends to cost more, and it offers less per container. Also, a regular formula may last longer due to having more preservatives.
- The regular formula is safe for your baby in most cases.
- For sensitive tummies, the regular formula may irritate the baby.
- You don’t know where some of the ingredients came from.
Which Is Better?
There is no right answer to this one. Both have pros and cons. If you have the money, buying non-GMO formula gives you a formula with more wholesome ingredients and less of a chance of irritating your baby.
However, if you’re on a shoestring budget, the regular formula will do fine for the most part.
In all actuality, breastfeeding your baby is the way to go, but we do understand that it’s not for everyone. However, if breastfeeding is on the table, give it a try.
In all honesty, the best thing for a parent is a happy medium between the two. Going non-GMO all the time is expensive, and may not necessarily be better for your child. You may end up losing sleep over worrying about what you’re putting in your mouth. However, in a case such as baby formula, maybe non-GMO is the way to go.
If you’re still unsure, going to a doctor is the best move. If GMO formula is hurting your baby’s stomach, perhaps there is another reason for that, and you can find a safe formula, and yet doesn’t cost too much.
Feeding your baby is difficult, but by doing a bit of research, you can find the formula for you. As we said before, there isn’t too much of a difference between GMO and non-GMO formula, but many parents may feel better with the non-GMO option. In this Non-GMO formula vs. regular formula comparison, there is no right answer. However, in the end, it’s up to you, and you have the final say.
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