Non-GMO Foods VS. GMO Foods
To the naked eye, these tomatoes look exactly identical, right? They may look identical but they are far from it. There is 1 big difference between them, 1 is genetically modified.
Often called GMO foods for short, genetically modified organisms have been replacing standard food ingredients for the past few decades. These GMO foods have taken over our supermarkets, restaurants and our own homes.
This has birthed the subject of non-GMO foods vs GMO foods, but what is the difference? To a regular person, it is impossible to tell which is which, because the difference isn’t on the outside but in the very DNA that creates these vegetables.
I know it sounds amazing, but this process can actually be very dangerous for human consumption. This has led to many Americans backing the “non-GMO foods” movement.
What Are Genetically Modified Foods?
What differentiates a GMO food vs a non-GMO food is the fact that a GMO has had its genes tampered with. Yes, scientists have figured out how to remove certain genes from a DNA strand or add certain genes into a DNA strand.
There are many reasons why a scientist would want to do this. For example, it has been documented that the corn we eat has been severely modified in such a way that corn now repels the insects who used to eat it.
This is very good because corn crops have been devastated by insects for thousands of years, and would cost farmers thousands of dollars in damages. Although this cosmetically sounds great, it brings a lot of health concerns to the consumer.
Health Concerns Regarding GMO’s
Since GMOs have been a source of controversy over the past years numerous amounts of research has been done to really understand what’s actually going on. What has been found out about the process of genetically modifying food is quite shocking.
One of the most prevalent side effects is that GMOs contaminate the soil they grow in, and they contaminate other crops. The reason why this happens is because the seeds travel through air currents, and this is near impossible to control.
The impact of this is huge because it threatens future crop generations, and non-GMO crops have the potential to get contaminated. There are also unseen fears regarding GMOs. Mixing genes from different types of species can create undocumented side-effects. It can also cause a boom in new toxins, allergies, and nutrition deficiency.
As a point of reference below, I will list GMO crops that are approved by the American government.
Evolution Of Farming
The image that people have of farming is extremely outdated. When you think of farming chances are you’re thinking of images from the 1920’s or even earlier. A hard working man making an honest living feeding his community with crops. something like this:
In reality, the “farming” aspect of the profession has been replaced with science, and modern farming actually looks more like this:
As you can see, modern farming has evolved into this chemical engineering and gene altering profession.
Farming is one of the oldest ways of life. As a matter of fact, back in 1862, 90 out of every 100 Americans were farmers! You may be thinking how did farming evolve into this?
First of all, you must understand that farming is very time-consuming for starters. Farmers spend countless hours in the fields. As a matter of fact, GMOs help because they have growth hormones to make them grow faster and bigger, allowing crops to pretty much grow themselves.
We cannot, however, forget about the showers of herbicides and pesticides provided daily by farmers. This allows crops to mature in half the time and be insect free, but at what cost? The crops we eat are littered with chemicals and growth hormones.
Organic Options, Non-GMO Foods
First, let’s define organic foods. Organic foods (also known as non-GMO foods) are foods that are produced by methods that stay true to the old style of farming.
Again, Modern-day organic farmers really take pride in their farming, often taking the time to make sure the soil has the right amount of nutrients, and to make sure the seeds are healthy. Most organic food is locally grown which makes it really easy to spot out in a supermarket.
In fact, as a general tip for grocery shopping, if you are looking to go organic you must know how foods are labeled. As you can see in the diagram you can see that all foods are stamped with certain numbers. This is so people can distinguish the origin of the fruit for example.
Like I said, if you ARE looking to go organic any vegetable or fruit marked with a serial number that starts with a 9 would be considered organic or locally grown. Anything that starts with a 5 has been genetically modified and is more likely to be unhealthier for you.
There is a lot of back and forth regarding this topic, whether GMO’s are good or bad. I encourage you to do your own research and decide for yourself.