When walking into the produce section in the supermarket you will often find mystery stickers all over your fruit and vegetables. These labels describe the grade of your produce as well as a federally mandated description. A very common description found on produce is that of GMO. GMO’s, or Genetically Modified foods are a common descriptions found on many foods that can be purchased at your neighborhood store. I’ve realized that the GMO description can be a very overlooked category in terms of explaining what it actually means and why we should care about it.
So…What the Heck is a GMO?
A GMO is an organism in which the DNA has been changed in a way that does not occur naturally, it can allow select individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another. This means that its genetic composition has been altered to survive through unfavorable environments and to also best suit the needs of the manufacturing food supplier. GMO’s area so not regulated federally which means all GMO foods are not labeled. Unfortunately, GMO’s are difficult to avoid in the U.S. due to the amount of imported produce which makes it very hard to dodge its large presence in our markets.
Why is it so bad for you?
GMO’s are not the best for you because they can inadvertently contain allergens from other organisms and can contain antibiotic resistant genes. These foods can be dangerous as they do not have a long term track record within the food chain. I personally grow weary of eating GMO’s because the idea of preserving a pineapple for 2 months doesn’t seem like a good idea. I also believe that we must be very aware of the possible negative effects science can have on our environment and ourselves.
It has been so awesome eating fresh organic fruits and vegetables here in Nigeria. It is astonishing how delicious the pineapples and oranges are here. It may surprise you that the fruits and vegetables that we often see are visually very different when they are left to naturally grow. For example, the bananas are about a third of the size you find them in the U.S and their peels are a light green.
Travelling out of the country has truly been an eye opening experience in that it has made me very aware of the quality of farm fresh produce and meats. It is interesting to observe the differences in your favorite things that you may consume everyday as well as makes you appreciate the food on your table. I challenge you to do more research on the ways we manufacturer foods. Watch a documentary, read some internet articles and gather important knowledge on the world of food! ❤