GMO: 10 Foods you didn't know were Genetically Modified Organisms!
GMO: 10 Foods you didn't know were Genetically Modified Organisms! Now, you most likely keep an eye on sugar contents and other unhealthy ingredients that you need to eat in moderation, but how many of you watch out for genetically modified foods? Most probably not many of you! For most this won’t be an issue, but if you live in the U.S., there’s a good chance that at least some of your food has been genetically modified. Stay tuned to number 1 to find out which item you thought would be completely natural…is actually genetically modified!
Find out which Monsanto-like biotechs the FDA has approved, and what isn't really organic! This list brought to you by Zero2Hero!
Number 10: Canola. Developed through conventional plant breeding, Canola was developed by breeding rapeseed, which has been in use for millennia, and was even used as fuel by many ancient civilizations. The first Genetically Modified version was originally bred by University of Manitoba, Canada by Keith Downey and Baldur R. Stefansson during the 1970s. That strain was called Roundup Ready canola, developed to have a tolerance to glyphosate. This was done by introducing two genes, the first called Agrobacterium, which is a common soil bacterium, with a gene from Ochrobactiurm antroi strain LBAA… which honestly won’t mean much to most of us. Surprisingly, a whopping 90% of the U.S canola crop is genetically modified. Number 9: Potatoes. Nearly all of us will be familiar with the hardy potato that has been a stable part of diets for thousands of years, but did you know some strains have been genetically modified? The potato was first domesticated in modern-day southern Peru in between 8000 and 5000BCE. It was first introduced to Europe following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire and since then it has been introduced to all corners of the world. An estimated 382 tons of potatoes were produced in 2014 with the People’s Republic of China producing the most at 95.5 million tons. In recent years genetic researchers have produced several genetically modified varieties of potatoes. The New Leaf potato was genetically modified to resist attacks from the Colorado potato beetle, but was unsuccessful in making a dent in the market so sales were discontinued in 2001. In more recent years, the USDA approved a modified potato, the Innate potato, which contains genetic modifications that reduced or prevented bruising. Although these have gone into circulation, the Food and Water Watch petitioned McDonald’s, a major consumer of potatoes, to not use the new strain of potato. Thankfully, McDonald’s agreed. So if you eat McDonald’s fries, at least you don’t need to worry about consuming this particular GM food! Number 8: Eggplant. Eggplant, also known as aubergine, has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory. Strangely, the plant has also played a role in Italian and Egyptian folklore. In the 13th century Italy and 19th century Egypt, the plant was liked to cause or increased levels of insanity amongst the populace. The genetically modified version of the eggplant is also known as Bt Brinjal, and was created by inserting crystal protein gene taken from bacterium Becillus thuringiensis to make it resistant to pests. It works by enabling the plant to produce a toxin that kills the worms that devastate crops. This strain of the eggplant is only cultivated in Bangladesh, but as it is only a recent phenomenon it is too early to judge its success. Number 7: Papaya Papaya is native to Mexico and northern South America, but has since been introduced to Florida, California, Hawaii and other tropical and subtropical regions like India. It turns out that only the female plants are used for cultivation, though, as the male plants provide poorer quality fruit. In 2014 India produce 44% of the world’s total estimated at 12.7 million tons – which is a lot of papaya. But it hasn’t been an easy ride for the plant. Papaya production was hit with a deadly virus that nearly wiped out the entire world crop. The virus, known as papaya ringspot, first hit the crop in Hawaii in the 1940s and within 50 years the virus had spread to nearly every area that grew the crop. Regardless of whether you agree with the GM food industry, if it wasn’t for the Hawaiian born scientist, Dennis Gonsalves, we wouldn’t be able to feast on the delicious fruit today. His creation, known as the Rainbow papaya, was designed to be resistant to the virus, and has ensured a stable and sustainable income for the people of Hawaii and other places it’s grown. It clear that the genetically modified papaya has helped ensure its continued availability today. So…maybe not all GM foods are bad.