You're what you eat (Blog 7)

Square Watermelon is the new Round?


I found this week blog to be very interesting—different but very enjoyable especially considering I’m allergic to most fruits. I have never been in favor of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). The idea of alternating the genetics of certain foods to either make them different in shape, nutrition, or taste just doesn’t settle well with me. For myself, I find foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and meat, to be pure and from the earth, and therefore should never be altered in any way. Yes, obviously I eat food that is genetically modified, but I try my best not too. What I learned from the article I read this week is that up to 80% of packaged foods contain GMO’s, and what makes it even more disturbing is that most people don’t even know—I sure didn’t.
The article talked about both the positives and negatives of GMO’s. One of the positives they claim is that GMO’s have been highly tested on animals and proven to not cause any negative effects. But really are they sure about that? People don’t know any of the long term effects of eating food that is genetically modified. They say exposure can possibly cause some problems, such as allergens, which makes me wonder if that’s why I suddenly became allergic a few years ago. My allergy is stemmed from allergies to certain trees and pollen, but can it have originated because of GMO’s. square-watermellons_1
In a complicated way I also believe that GMO’s can contribute to our greed, especially with business. Scientists have genetically altered many different foods for different reasons. One reason they alter food of course is to add nutrients to the food, but they also do it to increase shelf life. This obviously allows foods to sit on the shelf more instead of spoiling to decrease spoiled foods which decreases profit losses for companies. Also, let’s take the example of the square watermelon. To be honest, what taste difference is there between a round watermelon and a square one—not much I bet. But the huge difference a square watermelon makes is that it’s so much easier to package and transport. More watermelons fit into one crate and they can fit so much better than round ones. Obviously most business people would love to do this because it makes them more profitable, but is it ethical? Are square watermelons, potatoes, etc .going to be the next generation of foods we will need to get used too? I believe that genetically modifying food just to make a company more profitable is a little too much for me. There’s no difference in taste or genetic makeup aside from shape, so why should consumers have to change and deal with GM watermelon just to make business more profitable?
One controversy I see with GMO’s is the ethics behind it. Sure we can easily modify fruit and other foods, but just because we can does it mean we should. People argue that genetically modified foods have more added nutrition to them, but does that make it ok? You don’t see GMO’s in Europe and other continents, but yet they are still so much healthier than America? America’s health problems have increased over the past few decades, so is it really a lack of nutrition, or just what we eat and how much we eat? I personally find our many health problems to come from our culture and just the portions and what we choose to eat every day. At the end of the day, although it may be old fashioned, I believe GMO’s are unethical and the food the natural earth provides us should be the food we eat. People did it in the past and survived, I’m sure we can too.

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7 thoughts on “Square Watermelon is the new Round?

  1. I found your blog very interesting and I honestly don’t know how I feel about genetically modified food particularly if there really aren’t any long term problems associated with it. What I found particularly interesting is your mention of portion sizes. It is always something I forget about when ordering food, particularly fast food, in the US. A small portion at McDonalds in the US is the equivalent of a medium in Australia, something I always find a little funny

  2. I like your take on the ethics behind GMO’s, more specifically, the greed. You’re right, there are pro’s and con’s for GMO’s, but if the main pro is that better shelf life is better for business, is that really a pro? I am only for GMO’s when the benefits outweigh the risks. It seems to me, square watermelons look like bigger bucks for the company rather than more nutrients for the consumer.

  3. I can’t believe that up to 80% of packaged foods contain GMO’s! Learning that makes me cringe. As you mentioned, I try to stay away from packaged foods as much as possible. Some of the ingredients on food labels are chemicals that most of us have never heard before. Who knows what we’re actually putting into our bodies? I think packaged foods are so popular in our country because we are constantly looking for convenient meal options. I agree with you that people should eat more whole, natural foods. They are the healthier and more reliable options.

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