You’ve likely heard the term GMO before, but how much do you actually know about them? It turns out, those who know the least about them scientifically tend to have the most reliable opinions on them. Those who say they avoid GMO’s in their day to day food consumption actually had the most misconceptions and incorrect facts about them in a recent survey. Instead, you support the use or GMO’s or think they’re terrible, it’s important to know the facts.
What Are GMO’s?
GMO’s are used to modify crops genetically. To put it just, farmers are able to use GMO’s to change or alter a plant to their desired needs. This could involve color, size, and other traits that typically vary in nature. Another common reason GMO’s are used is to increase a plants resistance to insects and pesticides that could harm them.
Why Are GMO’s Used?
Now that you understand what GMO’s are, you’re probably wondering why they’re needed in the first place. GMO’s can be used to enhance the nutritional content of a crop. They can also be used to reduce food waste by improving the plant’s resistance to bruising and browning as they’re handled and shipped. With a large number of foods wasted in this country each year, that’s definitely a good thing! GMO’s can have environmental benefits as well. Certain corn varieties are used to make biofuel, which is a long process. The use of GMO’s can result in corn that more easily breaks down during the biofuel process, leading to higher production rates with less electricity, gas, and water needed to achieve the finished product. Overall, GMO’s are used to improve the food itself and the available number of crops from each harvest. Without GMO’s more food and resources would be wasted, leading to higher prices on the shelves.
Are GMO’s Safe?
The short answer to this question is yes! GMO usage is monitored and regulated through the FDA to ensure safety and quality. The most commonly genetically modified foods that you may consume include apples, corn, papaya, potato, soybeans, and squash. Most of these foods contain GMO’s to improve appearance and quality of the food by the time it reaches your plate. The shipping and packaging process of fresh produce can easily lead to bruising and discoloration, but with GMO’s that problem has become nearly obsolete. If you still feel uncomfortable consuming foods containing GMO’s, there are no GMO options available to purchase.