Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) unfortunately is one of the most misunderstood topics in the world. Instead of facts, it’s synonymous with corporations such as Monsanto or to some, even with poison, chemical engineering or cloning.
Let’s get one thing straight, GM foods are bred from plants that naturally grow in the world. GMs is the whole reason why today’s carrots don’t look like an old weed stems. In fact, it may be the reason while you and I are alive today, because today’s crops, fruits and vegetables are now more resilient and nutritious.
So, the company that grows your wheat and corn is able to use less pesticides and herbicides because the natural resilience has been enhanced by adding a gene from another plant.
That’s the reason why the crops didn’t get destroyed by the cold winter or hot summer.
That’s the reason why the vegetables are much larger and the supply manages to keep up with today’s ever-rising population.
Do we know everything about GMO?
Now, to the bad news. GMOs still need a lot of research, especially on long-term effects but that’s not to say that so far the scares have been justified. Some of the anti-rhetoric against the GMOs were born in the unrelated discussions of topics like allergenics. In many cases public opinion was turned against GMOs simply because it was new, unfamiliar and it was easy to blame GM plants for everything and anything.
Our ancestors were crossbreeding plants thousands of years ago, scientists are just taking a step further. GMOs are now almost 30 years old and has made significant progress to the supermarket shelves.
How genetically modified foods impacted our health?
It is hard to say how exactly has genetically modified foods impacted our health. On one hand, the food we put out on the tables is now more nutritious. On the other hand, depending where on the globe you point, you can see different ‘epidemics’ prominent. Some may argue that now more often than ever in the Western world people get cancer.
Another potential ‘epidemics’ are connected to allergies, autism, etc. Whether GMOs are responsible for any of that is yet to be seen, although it is doubtful that tinkering with the genes of a plant has only brought us benefits without any risks.
Unfortunately, through misunderstanding, the discussion about GMO is widely clouded and is often more driven by emotion rather than facts.
Don’t be afraid to educate yourself. We eat 3 times a day and we do deserve to know what we put in our bodies.