It’s gearing up to be a meaningful month for Amy’s Kitchen, a brand built on organic, easy-to-prepare foods made with vegetarian goodness and chock full of non-GMO ingredients. October is Vegetarian Awareness Month and Non-GMO Month and Amy’s Kitchen is celebrating how it pioneered a stand against genetically modified organisms more than two decades ago.
While the United States has no official legislation banning GMOs, Amy’s Kitchen remains dedicated to working closely with ingredient suppliers to source non-GMO raw materials for its products. In 2000, the second National Organic Program excluded the use of GMOs in organic production and handling. However, Amy’s Kitchen was already ahead of the trend by not using products containing GMOs or bioengineered ingredients long before that.
It’s something Amy’s Kitchen’s co-founders Rachel and Andy Berliner felt was nonnegotiable since they launched the line in 1987 with a homemade vegetarian potpie.
“Only in America can you consume genetically engineered foods without knowing it,” Andy Berliner said during a media event with the Environmental Working Group. Berliner added that labeling foods non-GMO is something that can help consumers because so many people don’t realize the majority of packaged foods contain genetically modified ingredients.
Berliner also mentioned that he has friends outside the food industry who remain in the dark when it comes to offering genetically modified foods to their children.
With its entire collection of non-GMO foods, Amy’s Kitchen is a significant supporter of non-GMO labeling efforts. The innovative brand was also one of the first to market with cans that aren’t lined with BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor that’s been linked to infertility, obesity, diabetes, and reproductive problems, according to Time. Other studies have tethered the chemicals to preterm birth.
One of the major ways Amy’s Kitchen has addressed non-GMOs is through the farms with which it partners.
“We’re trying to create a nature-based system, something that’s actually biologically complete as much as possible,” Amy’s Kitchen President Paul Schiefer explained on an episode of the “Responsibly Different” podcast. “It’s also GMO-free, which is something I think a lot of consumers are looking for.”
As a Certified B Corporation, Amy’s has been involved in the #Call4ClimateNow initiative to battle climate change. “Our climate is under assault, and there is no longer any time to waste,” Schiefer said on amys.com. “We must act now, as companies, communities, and citizens, to make our voices heard and influence real political change. We’re taking part in the #Call4ClimateNow initiative because we believe that by banding together behind a clear message, we can push our lawmakers to solve the climate crisis now. We cannot live with the alternative.”
Call4ClimateNow is pushing for a clean electricity payment program to put America on a trajectory for 100% clean power by 2035. The movement further wants to direct 40% of funding to invest in front-line communities, quash fossil fuel subsidies, and assemble a civilian climate corps for millions of Americans to partake in a clean energy workforce.
According to a 2022 poll by the Alliance for Science, around 10% of adult Americans identify as vegetarians and abstain from eating meat or fish — a percentage that’s been rising for decades. Celebrities who consider themselves part of the herbivore crowd include Zendaya, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, and Carrie Underwood.
In April, Amy’s Kitchen shared the results of a survey they conducted and found that 52% of adults are vegan-curious — which means they’re interested in vegan cuisine.
Although Amy’s Kitchen is available in 43,000 stores across America and in 11 countries, those in California can honor vegetarian awareness and non-GMO months by grabbing a meal at one of Amy’s Drive Thru locations in the Golden State. The nation’s first organic, vegetarian fast-food restaurant has five locations. With a goal to bring quick, organic, vegetarian meals to the masses, the fast-food entity is continually offering customers perks such as a free shake for signing up for its app and on June 5, in honor of Veggie Burger Day, they dished out free meatless burgers all day long.
Ways To Celebrate Vegetarian and Non-GMO Month
Many people challenge themselves to go vegetarian for the month of October or start out with meatless Mondays. Another dynamic way to make the most of the month is to indulge in trying some new vegetarian recipes. Amys.com offers a multitude of veggie hacks to add flavorful twists to its fleet of frozen foods, such as vegan butternut squash sage risotto with candied pepitas, lentil stew with potatoes and kale, vegan cheeseburger pizza, and sweet potato toffee whoopie pies.
Amy’s Kitchen’s founding principles remain rooted in building a business around convenient vegetarian food to accommodate an ever-evolving world.
“It’s something that’s been always part of us, always will be part of us,” Schiefer shared. “The foundation of our business is built around vegetarian food.”