There has been a boatload of hullabaloo in the past few years about “genetically modified organisms,” or more specifically, “genetically modified foods.” A boatload of people are up in arms, but what no one seems to get is that all foods are genetically modified.
List of genetically modified foods includes everything
In any given week, there’s another round of outrage over “genetically modified organisms” or “genetically modified foods.” Right now, according to Businessweek, there’s a push in California to get the state legislature to mandate a label be placed on any foods that aren’t “natural” and contain “genetically modified” ingredients.
One hates to be the dog in the manger, but the following is a list of foods in the local supermarket, right now, that are genetically modified: everything. Nearly every crop, in every country everywhere, including organic farms where the farmer wears clogs made of recycled hemp fiber and reeks of patchouli, is genetically modified.
Apparently everyone skipped biology
Ancient man figured out certain plants had properties he liked. Larger grains of wheat, for instance, diminished chaff and so on. Eventually he also figured out that if you plant only the plants you like together, you get more of them. Eventually, he planted them alongside other strains of those plants that had other desirable traits, improving the crop.
That is how agriculture started, which sort of led to this entire civilization thing to begin with. Granted, the purpose was to grow more grain to brew more beer and also, this civilization thing is way overrated. Malls? Could do without them. Suburbs? More earthquakes, please. Golf, golf courses and the people that actually like them? Let there be wildfires. The Kardashians? I pray for an asteroid. A big one. Hopefully before the election because that’s getting really old, really quick.
It’s called selective breeding. Oh, and it was also done with animals; notice how cows don’t look like wild buffalo? There’s a reason. Most meat and produce most people will ever eat was genetically modified. Pets too, by the way. Without genetic modification, the Golden Retriever wouldn’t exist. Or dogs at all, for that matter; they’d just be wolves.
Benefits and risks
According to the World Health Organization, evidence of any detrimental effects of eating GMO foods is practically nonexistent, as “no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods” where they are sold.
What about the benefits? So far, some benefits include higher yields and drastically lower use of pesticides and herbicides. According to a PBS series on the GMO debate, soybean farmers in the United States were able to save $280 million on the cost of pesticides in 1998. Monsanto’s GM sweet corn, according to the Chicago Tribune, requires up to 85 percent less pesticide and herbicide than traditional corn.
According to the BBC, a trial in Ireland has been given the go-ahead to grow genetically modified potatoes that are resistant to blight, a disease native to potatoes. You know, kind of like the kind that caused the Great Famine, which resulted in a lot of people in Ireland starving to death. How dare these companies try to make more food to feed more people and cut down on the use of pesticide! Harumph!
Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-walmart-to-sell-genetically-modified-sweet-corn-20120803,0,7931450.story