Beets, Beetroot, Sugar Beets
(Beet information doesn’t include nutritional values.)
Common Name: beet, table beet, garden beet, red beet, golden beet, sugar beet.
Scientific Name: Beta Vulgaris
Type of Plant: Root vegetable from the beet plant. The beet plant leaves are edible as well as the root.
Family: Chenopodioideae, is a subfamily of the flowering plant family Amaranthaceae.
Origin: It is believed that beets date back to England around 1400
Grown: Can be grown worldwide.
Species or Varieties: numerous
Visual Description: Beetroot is a root bulb-like vegetable which comes in different colors from red to yellow to a whitish color.
Uses: The beetroot can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be eaten whole, cut up and in other vegetable and food recipes. The top part or leafy portion of the beet is eaten in salad, raw, and cooked. Beetroot is used as a coloring in food and textiles. Sugar beets are also used as a sweetener.
Historical Information: The beet has a long history of being planted in presidential gardens from President Jefferson to the current president today.
GM (genetically modified) Beet?
You bet there are!
According to the USDA, approximately 50% of sugar comes from the sugar beet. According to many sources including NPR and USDA the majority of commercial sugar beets in the US are GMO. And producers are not required to tell you if your sugar is from sugar beets or cane sugar.
According to United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as of December 11, 2017, there are four petitions on the books for deregulation.
Beet plants were deregulated in 1998 and 2012, with one petition being withdrawn in 2003.
A deregulated status for GM products means that the USDA permits the planting and growing of the GM plant without any restrictions. And the growers, packagers, and distributors do not have to let the consumer know the product contains GMO materials.
Pesticide Usage on Conventionally and Organically Grown Beets:
Conventional agriculture may use any pesticides approved by the government including synthetic pesticides.
All Organic products are NON-GMO, plus organic products follow strict pesticide usage and raising standards. Pesticides in organic agriculture are made up of natural elements.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) does sample pesticide testing on over 20 products. You can find the complete results on the USDA PDP (pesticide data program) online.
We used the PDP database for beets:
We didn’t find any data return on a positive return on pesticides for canned beets. The database doesn’t have fresh beets in their database.
Now you know the facts about beets and sugar beets. You decide what you want to buy for your family and where your consumer dollars will go.
Good News for non-GMO and organic beet sugar.
Recently, the sugar industry began separating sugar beet sugar and cane sugar into their own commodities for sale. Plus, a push from companies wanting non-GMO labeling the GMO sugar beet is losing it’s momentum as manufacturers look to buy sugar cane sugar. Currently, there isn’t a GMO sugar cane.
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