With more than 5,000 products now Non-GMO Project Verified, and well over 1,000 natural foods stores expected to participate in the third annual Non-GMO Month this October, it’s time for the Non-GMO Project staff to keep growing! The most recent addition to our small but mighty team is Arielle Stein, Retailer Programs Assistant. From now through October, Arielle will be working closely with Outreach Coordinator Chris Keefe on retailer participation in Non-GMO Month–getting stores registered and helping them use our Non-GMO Month Retailer Toolkit. While Non-GMO Month planning and execution has become a core year round activity for us, after October Chris and Arielle will also be working on our expanded Supporting Retailer Program, assisting stores in helping their shoppers find Non-GMO Project Verified choices during every month of the year.
Here’s a little info to help you get to know Arielle better…
I have always had a great respect for the natural world. My studies in biology made me aware of how delicate the balance in our planet’s ecosystems is, and how significant human impacts on them can be. This knowledge led me to take an active role in helping shape environmental strategies for the future. Whether through personal lifestyle decisions or professional experiences, I strive to minimize my environmental impacts, and promote positive outcomes.
My professional experience includes directing a research team studying temperate rainforests, working in a natural foods market, and administering programs to promote healthy organic foods from local farms. I hold an MS from Western Washington University in Environmental Studies. In my free time, I enjoy gardening and studying medicinal plants. I look forward to working with the Non-GMO Project to promote sustainable, healthy food choices for the future.
What interests you about working with the Non-GMO Project- what about this opportunity caught your attention?
There are many social and environmental issues connected to the production of GMO foods. I appreciate the role that the Non-GMO project plays in educating consumers to make informed choices about what they eat. Consumer purchases send a significant message to drive the market toward providing healthy options.
How do you think your prior experience will help you in working with the Non-GMO project?
I have worked on public outreach and education for a variety of environmental issues, and have conducted research with retailers and manufactures of alternative building materials to support market based campaigns. For my thesis research, I handled large volumes of data as well as conducted studies to gauge public opinion. I look forward to applying my interests and background to further the work of the Non-GMO Project.
What is important to you about the work you will be doing with the Project?
Food is a fundamental aspect of our lives, health, and the health of our ecosystems. Our society faces important choices at this critical time in food production, and the collective decisions we make now will shape the foods that may or may not be available for future generations. Choosing to protect Non-GMO foods is one way to help direct a positive outcome for our valuable farmlands and ecosystems.