What Is NOT Genetically Modified These Days?!

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Did you know that the FDA does not require that GM crops be labeled and 70 to 90 percent of processed foods already have genetically modified ingredients?

I was reading the other day that not only is over 80 percent of corn in America genetically modified, but 90 percent of soy and soy products are as well! So buying soy milk and tofu may seem like the healthier choice, but in reality, it isn’t.

The only way to be sure of what you’re eating is to grow it yourself or know the farmer who does. I realize that not everyone has the space or funds to grow enough food to feed their family year round, but every little bit helps. You can start now even… Fall planting starts now!

Be sure to buy heirloom open-pollinated seeds! If that seed packet doesn’t say “heirloom“, don’t buy it. I have had good experiences purchasing seeds from:

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seed Savers Exchange

3 thoughts on “What Is NOT Genetically Modified These Days?!

  1. Just thought I’d drop in and offer my viewpoint, since I’m coming from a very different background.
    While I understand the desire to avoid GMOs, I would highly suggest (and appreciate) seeing the same degree of research and thought go into this that you put into your other posts and endeavors. The idea between GMOs is to improve what we have more rapidly or more dramatically than can be done simply by selective breeding, or in ways that are difficult by that method (say, removing a gene for frost intolerance that’s right next to one for color). The main issue lies in what is done with the organism after creation; patenting, copyrighting, etc. This is currently a mess (I want to work with GMOs and believe me, it’s a mess no matter where you look at it from!). If you want to address the issues around GMOs, try to find companies that have better business practices, rather than restricting your search simply to “unmodified” foods and seeds.
    In terms of health, GM foods aren’t automatically unhealthy. I would venture that an ear of GM corn is still much better for you than a fast food burger!
    The image you posted notes that genetic modification may (note, MAY, not ALWAYS) involve adding DNA from different species or removing strands of DNA.. This is quite accurate. Examples include adding antifreeze genes so that crops can survive cold snaps (see the weather in the Eastern United States for why this might be useful).
    I know I haven’t cited any sources; I’m right in the middle of my senior project and don’t have a huge amount of time to dig up all the information. >.< If you're interested, though, I can go back and find the articles for you.
    Just to make it clear, I have NO issues with anyone choosing to avoid purchasing or using GM foods. I just want to see people do a little more research before they make a decision.
    Personal note: Why do I care? I'm currently majoring in biomedical engineering, and the career path I'd be trying to pursue if there wasn't so much public resistance limiting opportunities is GMOs. Personally, I'm really interested in bioremediation (trees or plants that can take up and transform extra carbon dioxide, toxic wastes, etc., into something harmless or useful) and increasing diversity via genetic modification. With the latter, what I would love to do is work with people who grow heirloom varieties (I know there's a fairly large movement with tomatoes, I'm not sure what else. Haven't had time to look anything up. :/), and find ways to work with that stock and diversify it further to provide a wide variety of healthy, home-growable foods that won't all get knocked out in one swoop (see Ireland's potato famine).
    At any rate, sorry for sending in a response longer than your post! I wish you the best of luck with your microfarm, and I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing how things go for you. I'm super-jealous; it's kind of hard to grow anything in an apartment! (Though, a mini sprouted-fodder system has had on-and-off success. Speaking of that, I wouldn't mind doing some genetic modifications for mold resistance…I'd use less bleach. *sigh*).

    • Wow.. Your response IS longer than the post! Hahaha! That’s okay. I really appreciate you writing your experience and viewpoint. There is never one side to any subject and I think we should value all views. Especially with GM crops being so controversial.

      I do agree that food being genetically modified does not automatically make it bad for you. And there are also a lot of foods out there that are much worse dietary choices than GM foods. I also agree that we need more crops that are resilient to common growing, pest, or weather issues.

      But, I also think that selective breeding (commonly mistaken for genetic modification) could create more plant diversity and, therefore, more resilience and adaptability. That idea in itself actually has nothing to do with GM crops, but I think selective breeding should have seniority or priority over genetic modification.

      I, personally, go out of my way to find organic and non-GMO foods, but that is mostly because I am not comfortable eating foods that have DNA that has been changed manually.

      If that makes sense…

      In any case, I admire your passion and conviction. It can be hard to stand your ground on this kind of issue.

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