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?
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.
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?