One of the biggest food and nutrition debates concerns genetically modified foods (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism). In short, GMO foods are made when the DNA from one species are placed into another. This might sound like something from science fiction, but the practice has been around since the early 1990′s. Many people feel that this is a quite bad for our health. Others believe that this makes food better.
Over 90% of the supply of some of the world’s most common food or crop plants like corn or soy beans are now GMO. Many GMO crops are able to live through hefty doses of herbicide due to their modifications. This makes the crop more durable and profitable. Yet, many wonder what price towards human health these GMO crops will cost. There have been intensive studies that show GMO foods affect the major organs like the liver, spleen, and kidneys. As a result, many countries require companies to inform the public if their product is genetically modified. Surveys have shown that over half of the U.S. population will not buy a GMO product if it is labeled as such.
GMO crops have had a huge impact on the agricultural industry. Many farmers used to save their seeds every year to use the following season. However, GMO crops can only be farmed once. As a result, only the wealthiest of farmers are able to afford new crops each season. This can be both a nightmare and a blessing in disguise. Crops that are not laced with modifications and pesticides can seek certification to be sold as organic produce. We can look for these and ask questions and try to support growers by shopping at farmer’s markets. People will feel more confident about the food knowing whether it is has not been changed. However, it can also keep small time farmers from really making big bucks with expensive GMO crops. You can learn more about the issue in this infographic, GMO’s The Good The Bad and The Ugly.