Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Email That Took Me Weeks to Write (and the super short sentence I received in return.)

So I got some courage. I finally sent an email that I have been trying to cleverly craft for a few weeks. I
wanted it to be smart and impossible to ignore. And while the likelyhood of GMO ingredients being used in Shakeology is small, there is still a chance. I love Shakeology. I love what it has done for me in terms of my health and my energy levels. But I am also terrified of GMO foods and distrustful of companies. So I sent the email with the full understanding that I may be ignored, that I may be shuffled into the file of mass messages sent hourly, or that I may be told no. But I will not give up. For a company to put so much effort into developing a product that they call it the "healthiest meal of the day,"I feel the effort to assure the safety of the one or two ingredients that might have a chance of being GMO, is a small step that would mean so much to so many.

The email I sent to Darin Olein, the creator of Shakeology himself, is below:

I wanted to thank you for developing a product like Shakeology. It has completely changed my eating habits like it has for thousands of others. I absolutely love the product and am so pleased there is a vegan option available for those of us who like to limit their intake of animal products.

I was wondering if there is any talk about assuring customers that there are no GMO products in Shakeology. I know customer service has informed me that "to Beachbody's knowledge" there are no GMO products in Shakeology. However, there is a huge movement right now to force companies to label their products containing GMO crops. There is also a lot of talk about the harm GMO can do to our bodies, evidence of which can be found in the rising food allergies and illnesses diagnosed in our children who have grown up eating GMO foods.

Many states are taking it upon themselves to vote on mandatory labeling for GMO products. Many companies, such as Chipotle and Applegate Farms are moving forward with complete transparency and labeling GMO products while simultaneously trying to minimize or eliminate the use of them wherever possible. A non GMO verification process and label has been developed and was just approved to place on not just products that directly contain GMO's but on things like meat and dairy so the consumer knows the animals have not been fed GMO feed. It is truly unfortunate that the producers of real food are the ones that have to pay for testing and labeling to prove the safety of their product to their customers. It is terrible that the burden of all the testing is borne by the companies and passed onto the consumer, making processed foods more affordable than real foods. I firmly believe that it should be all the chemical laden and processed foods that contain the labels, but sadly that is not the world we live in.

With the effort put in by the Shakeology team, especially recently hearing about the process to develop the vanilla flavor, I am hoping that Beachbody is at the forefront of this movement. I do believe in Beachbody's effort to avoid GMO's when possible, but unfortunately trust is something that is hard to find in the business world. To see Beachbody stand up and voluntary label their product regarding GMO's, before the laws mandate it, would be an amazing thing to see. I truly believe in this company and the products. I want to be able to assure the safety of my customers and the safety of my child, who also loves drinking Shakeology daily.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this.

And guess what?!?!

He replied.


Sure it was one sentence (and I felt kind of deflated after the crazy excitement I had when I saw his name in my inbox) but I got an answer (sort of.)

And that is what is awesome.

And the answer by the way - and I quote "We test for gmos and do not accept any in our product"

From the man himself.

I knew the risk was small based on the ingredients themselves but it was nice to hear. Now I just need to keep bugging them until they get it tested (and labeled) by a third party like the Non-GMO project. And I will, even if I have to keep emailing Darin Olein himself.


I was perusing the Shakeology FAQ's again yesterday and found this....

And it is different than the response I got the last time I harassed Beachbody about GMO's and Shakeology. I like to think that I am not the only one giving them a hard time. So a big thanks to everyone who has emailed, called and in any other way made Beachbody aware that we do not want GMO's in our Shakeology. Because if it is truly "the healthiest meal of the day" it shouldn't include anything that is genetically modified.

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