You're what you eat (Blog 7)

What would Popeye say about this Spinach?


Fruits and vegetables continue to be a large part of the foods that are subject to genetic modification. Genetically modified (GM) foods, are those, in layman’s terms, that are altered by molecular biology to change the foods genetic makeup. That definition wasn’t really in layman’s terms for me either… so I did a little research and this CSA article was a big help in my understanding whatwas going on.

The large takeaways that this topic brings to mind for me are population growth and health concerns.

A main argument for the use of GM foods is that with a growing population we need to be able to support dietary needs. Also that it is beneficial for fruits and vegetables to provide us with the greatest nutritional benefits possible through their consumption. Also with growing numbers, this food needs to last us. It doesn’t help us if the produce goes bad before it hits our tables, so genetic modification jacks up the preservatives in our food. Great right?

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People are not known for their intense scrutiny of food labels. Now than ever it is crucial to look at what we are eating. Preservatives are on the rise. And the more modifications, the less natural, and essentially safe our food is to eat.

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However, the long term effects of these changes haven’t been evaluated in the long run. The foreign genes being inserted into crops to help them suffer frost, deter bugs, prevent crop disease, are then being consumed by us. And who knows what frost resistant genes will do to our interiors…

Although our healthcare system is working hard to keep us healthy and life expectancy has dramatically increased, cancer is on a rampage. It is undeniable. And new studies come out all the time about what to avoid in order to beat cancer. But what if those blueberries that protect your health are modified and are hurting, not helping you. Although GM are labeled, it isn’t in the big red letters some people feel that it should be. People need to know what they’re getting.

And in terms of the economy, in recent years the organic and whole foods industry has grown demonstrating people’s desire to know exactly what they are getting. Furthermore, how can these modifications be safely monitored legally. We don’t have eyes on each farm and crop in the country. Farmers earn more if there food looks better and if they can produce more thanks to modifications. If they can afford to modify, why wouldn’t they? How are we ever really going to know what we are purchasing in our local grocery stores?

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6 thoughts on “What would Popeye say about this Spinach?

  1. It’s true, if a food looks better, people are more likely to buy it. I’m guilty of standing in the grocery store and picking through the apples to find the best looking ones. I’m not really sure what other criteria to base my decision on…

  2. Well, in terms of farmers, one issue that has come up is that GM crops, like GM wheat made by Monsanto so it is resistant to its herbicide, Round Up, is owned by Monsanto. To be precise: they have patent control over the gene. So, you can’t just keep the seed and replant it. You have to buy seed from them every year. This makes the farmer more dependent on the seed company.

  3. I think the food industry says “but if we tell people, they will make uninformed, ignorant choices. There is no proof GM food hurts people.”

    What do you think?

  4. At home we shop at Wegmans, and every piece of produce looks absolutely pristine. Now I’m left wondering what has been done to make them look that way. I liked your comment about cancer research. Too often some study comes out saying that things that are initially supposed to be good for you might actually be cancerous. It makes me feel as though the only way to avoid cancerous things would be to live in a bubble, and thats not realistic.

  5. I understand it is vital to increase the amount of food produced to feed the increasing population, however I am not very comfortable eating GM foods. Who knows what the effect they have on people.

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