What is Baking Soda?
Question: What is baking soda?
Answer: Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), commonly known as baking soda, is a time-honored odor absorber and acid neutralizer. Baking soda can be found as a naturally occurring compound, but is more frequently manufactured from other naturally derived materials, like trona ore. Baking soda can be produced by the reaction of carbon dioxide and soda ash, a naturally occurring mineral.
Question: Does your Baking Soda contain any GMO ingredients?
Answer: It depends on your definition of GMO – and which brand of Baking Soda you’re referring to. To my knowledge there is not an “organic” baking soda.
Arm and Hammer makes sodium bicarbonate by mining trona ore from Green River, Wyoming. This method uses carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is often made from GMO fertilizer… A small point.. but the answer to the question would be, possibly. http://www.tourwyoming.com/discover-sweetwater/industry.html
Answer: If you use Bob’s Red Mill or another company who simply uses pure sodium bicarbonate naturally found in the earth, then no.
Let’s start by explaining the four ways in which baking soda can be made.
1. In 1846, Austin Church, a Connecticut physician, and John Dwight, a farmer from Massachusetts, established a factory in New York to manufacture baking soda. Dr. Church’s son, John, owned a mill called the Vulcan Spice Mills. Vulcan, the Roman god of forge and fire, was represented by an arm and hammer, and the new baking soda company adopted the arm and hammer logo as its own. Today, the Arm & Hammer brand of baking soda is among the most widely recognized brand names.
Named after Nicolas Leblanc, the French chemist who invented it, the Leblanc process was the earliest means of manufacturing soda ash (Na 2 CO 3 ), from which sodium bicarbonate is made. Sodium chloride (table salt) was heated with sulfuric acid, producing sodium sulfate and hydrochloric acid. The sodium sulfate was then heated with coal and limestone to form sodium carbonate, or soda ash.
2. In the late 1800s, another method of producing soda ash was devised by Ernest Solvay, a Belgian chemical engineer. The Solvay method was soon adapted in the United States, where it replaced the Leblanc process. In the Solvay process, carbon dioxide and ammonia are passed into a concentrated solution of sodium chloride. Crude sodium bicarbonate precipitates out and is heated to form soda ash, which is then further treated and refined to form sodium bicarbonate of United States Pharnacopoeia (U.S.P.) purity.
Although this method of producing baking soda ash is widely used, it is also problematic because the chemicals used in the process are pollutants and cause disposal problems.
This is how Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda is made.Summary:
Ask the company where their baking soda was made. The two top places where baking soda is made are Colorado and Wyoming.
The baking soda made in Colorado is just pure sodium bicarbonate and doesn’t need to be processed like the baking soda made from Trona in Wyoming.
A pretty good article: http://www.crunchybetty.com/the-great-baking-soda-anti-hoax