Sourcing of ingredients? GMO's and pesticides?

Are there genetically modefied ingredients? Pea protein, and oat flour etc- what if any, pesticides have been used? Where are these vitamins, minerals, and amino acids sourced from?

Hello, thank you for your question.

Huel is a completely non-GMO product. All ingredients are sourced from farmers and suppliers who are in compliance with all local laws relating to health and safety. Over half of the vitamins and minerals in Huel are naturally occurring from the food ingredients (76% actually). The remainder have been added as part of a proprietary micronutrient blend, designed to reach or surpass the daily recommended value of each micronutrient.


I’m quoting from the FAQ section of the website

"Is Huel Organic?

We don’t create an organic version for a couple of reasons. One of them is cost, organic is far more expensive. There is an organic, nutritionally complete powdered food product out there; it’s called Ambronite. However it costs over $10 per 500kcal. That is 5 times the price of Huel and really doesn’t fit in with our mission to provide universally affordable, nutritionally complete food."

So… which is it?

“Organic” and “non-GMO” are not the same thing.

According to the USDA:

Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled “organic,” a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

Whereas, non-GMO refers to:

A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified using recombinant DNA methods (also called gene splicing), gene modification or transgenic technology. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.


Yes, thank you, this is correct - “non-GMO” and “Organic” are two completely different classifications.


Hi, I’m new and I had a question…so Huel is not organic? Is it GMO free? Thank you for your time

Aliusia, do you know the difference between “organic” and “GMO” ?

If not, please scroll up to the fourth post in this thread. (By Desert_Way)

Also, can you explain what is your concern about these classifications? I would like to understand why people focus so much on gmo vs organic instead of the quality nutrition itself.

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Yes I know the difference between the two. I have some health issues and instead of taking harsh Parmacuticals I choose to use food to heal and maintain my health. In the US the quality of food is not very good partly because of the mass production of cows, pigs, chickens, etc…leaking manure into our crops and causing e-coli outbreaks. Also to feed demand specific high producing crops are being genetically modified which when eaten are causing health problems. So most health conscious ppl in the US strive for organic and GMO free because of the poor quality of food here. Let me know if you need further clarification :blush:

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I think one of the Huel reps answered this a month ago. I think the reason they didn’t go with organic ingredients is because it would increase the cost significantly and one of their goals is to make an affordable, nutritious meal replacement. (I’m just paraphrasing, since I don’t work for the company.) As of now, Huel is less than $3 per meal or something like that. Real good pricing, IMO.

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In a post above swash said Ambronite is a product like Huel that is non-GMO AND organic … it costs quite a bit more but if you value that or need that then it would be something to look at.

I’m pretty sure if the Huel team could add organic to their checklist of awesome things at the same cost/price they would … but sometime you can’t have everything.

Huel is GMO-free, but not organic. @Deron was spot on with his reply above. Part of our mission is to provide complete nutrition at affordable of a price as possible and unfortunately, making Huel organic would raise the price significantly. Hope this clears things up!

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Ok, thank you…gmo free works for me!

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I don’t understand why people are so afraid of GMO’s in regard to plants. Thanks to science, we’ve developed corn that has higher yields and can withstand droughts, rice that is packed with beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant), soybeans whose fats have been changed so they’re more like olive oil and can be turned into a heart-healthy replacement for oils with trans fats, the list goes on. There is a special team within the FDA that focuses on GMO’s and they do their due diligence so that we don’t accidentally make a soybean that causes a reaction in someone allergic to nuts (true story). Do people even realize how many random genetic mutations the food we have today has gone through? It isn’t the same as what our forefathers ate 100’s of years ago. But because a scientist develops something brilliant in a lab that has been thoroughly tested to be safe for human consumption, and not randomly produced by nature (looking at you red grapefruit), people freak out. We can’t avoid GMO’s forever. My point being, as the world population exponentially increases we’re not going to have the “luxury” of consuming non-GMO’s because we’ll need to find a way to meet the nutrition requirements of the people that inhabit this planet. Creating a variation of a plant with higher yields, more vitamins/minerals, that requires less resources sounds like an incredible efficient way of tackling that problem. End Rant


Most people consider GMO as Monsanto’sRoundup Readup corn - and all the evil use of intellectual property that represents (or the literal health impact of pesticides in food)

Few people appreciate the advances of golden rice …or similar world-changing potential of GMO

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Hi Bret! :wave: It’s worth noting that we don’t believe all GMO is bad. If we can make crops drought resistant, for example, it has benefits for mankind. However, we disagree with certain GMO practices.


I appreciate the info, thanks for your input.

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When I first started on Huel I read the description of the product and it specifically mentioned that it is NOT GMO-free due to the fact that the non-GMO craze is unsupported by scientific evidence. I applauded Huel’s forward thinking in not becoming a slave to uninformed, pseudo-scientific nonsense.

This move to non-GMO represents a backward move in my opinion. I specifically do NOT purchase products that are marked non-GMO because I do not like to support businesses that promote ignorance and profit from the population’s lack of science literacy. Non-GMO products have been proven time and again by scientific research to have no adverse effects and many economic and social benefits.

Unfortunately, I will have to end my subscription to Huel because of this move to non-GMO. I really enjoyed your product but I cannot willfully support a company that exploits people’s ignorance.

“Free from” Labels: Enough is Enough

GMO safety debate is over

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I’ll weigh in my non-educated 2 cents on this. I’ve never really felt that Huel is placing “non-GMO” at the forefront of their advertising. In fact, until you just brought it up, I didn’t realize Huel used non-GMO ingredients. I do see it now listed on their front page, along with vegan, lactose free, soy free, etc. So, their non-GMO stance is only part of the overall equation for choosing their ingredients.

The first article you linked to has an issue with “non-GMO” labeling, suggesting this may be a tactic to raise the price. It says " but you might notice a price increase on foods bearing the Non-GMO Project verification label. The manufacture pays a fee for this, and consumers take on part of that premium pricing." Sounds like a legit argument. I know that I don’t like paying a premium price on Organic produce when I think non -organic might be just as healthy for me. So I get the argument. Problem is that Huel powder remains very affordable. Less than $2.50 per 500 calorie dose for a complete meal (using quality ingredients that are recognizable) is a pretty good economic deal. If you actually look into to buying all the bulk ingredients yourself to mix your own bastardized version of Huel, it’s more expensive than buying the Huel itself. (I’m actually not sure how they make a profit from their powder.) And the cost/price rationale is why Huel doesn’t use organic ingredients. It would make their powder prohibitively expensive for the average consumer.

I guess the other argument is proclaiming Huel to be “GMO-free” is unnecessary since none of the ingredients used are on that list of 10 crops that are genetically modified. So maybe the Huel company is trying to piggyback onto the GMO-free trend going around, purely for marketing purposes. It’s like advertising my broccoli as “gluten free”, when there is no gluten in broccoli, ever. So, I get your point on this.

The real question I have for you: is it worth cutting off your nose to spite your face for a rather minor argument? I buy foods sometimes that have those superfluous labels like “low fat” or “only xx net carbs”, and I don’t count my macros. These labels don’t affect me directly. So long as the products don’t contain stuff that harms me, I don’t get all bent out of shape for minor stuff like this.

Oh, and I can have your left-over, unopened Huel bags? I’ll use 'em.

Hey Eric! I’m sorry to hear you no longer want to use Huel, but I wanted to provide clarification here.
Since starting at Huel during our US launch, I don’t recall claims of Huel containing GMO’s. This is, however, a point of pride for a competitor of ours, so maybe that’s where the confusion came in. We never moved to GMO-free, Huel just is GMO-free. As I said before, it’s worth noting that we don’t believe all GMO is bad. If we can make crops drought resistant, for example, it has benefits for mankind. However, we disagree with certain GMO practices.

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My gripe with the non-GMO labeling has nothing to do with price. It’s based on support of pseudo-scientific nonsense and the exploitation of a deficit of science literacy by the population.

I find it unethical to promote paranoia to placate someone’s ignorance. As I stated, when I first started using Huel earlier this year, the web site specifically addressed the GMO issue correctly by stating that it does not use “non-GMO” ingredients due to the overwhelming evidence that it does no harm. Furthermore, the same article (on the Huel site) actually praised GMO technology for it’s benefits (more resilient crops, increased nutrition, etc.). This reversal of position indicates to me a marketing push for all the wrong reasons.

If someone at Huel can sufficiently explain their change of heart concerning GMO’s (without resorting to psuedo-scientific nonsense) I will consider continuing the use of their product.

Otherwise, just another thing I will leave on the shelf.

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