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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

GMO Wheat, Strawberries and Tomatoes

What do wheat, strawberries and tomatoes have in common?

Wheat field in Kansas in early spring.
Not much except they AREN'T GMOs. Yep, that's right - contrary to many internet infographics and Facebook posts, there is no such thing as a GMO wheat plant, strawberry or tomato.

Simple as that.

There is however a fairly short list of GMO foods that are available in the U.S.:
  • corn
  • soybeans
  • cotton
  • alfalfa
  • sugar beets
  • papaya
  • squash

Two other GMO plants have been approved, the Arctic Apple and the Innate potato. However, the apples will not be available on the market until fall 2016, in limited quantities. Innate potatoes have been available in small quantities for the past few months.

There are a lot of reasons to develop new GMO varieties and one that I am very passionate about is food waste. For example, according to GMO Answers, the Innate potato bruises about 40% less than conventional potatoes and will not show black spots or browning when peeled and prepared. This can help reduce an estimated 400 million pounds of waste that go to landfills each year. Additionally, since we are less likely to eat a gross, black and bruised potato, we as consumers will throw away fewer potatoes at home. Fewer wasted potatoes means that farmers can market more of their crop and reduce pesticide, water and carbon dioxide from farm production. I know I am less likely to eat a potato if it has a big black spot and how much goes to waste by cutting out the black bits?

Obviously, nutrition is a big component of all food products and the Innate potato delivers. Innate potatoes have up to 70% less acrylamide than conventional potatoes when cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamide is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in most starchy foods but is a probable carcinogen in laboratory animals when consumed at high doses. Subsequent generations of Innate promise to lower acrylamide by 90% or more, providing a healthier option for consumers. Healthier for humans and the environment!

Similarly, Arctic Apples are a non-browning apple - who likes brown apples a mere five minutes after you bite into it or slice it up?! Not me. They also don't brown after they have been bruised which leads to fewer being thrown in the bin because of nasty bruise. Again, this all contributes to less food wasted and I think we can all agree that less food waste = a healthier planet.

I hope if you have questions about GMOs you will reach out to a reputable source, such as, a FFT member, a state agriculture association or better yet, a farmer or rancher! Who better to talk to you about the food you eat than the farmers and ranchers who grow it?

So the next time you see a strawberry and a tomato melded together in a Facebook "infographic" be confident that it's not a genetic experiment gone wrong. It's merely food fear at work - don't play into the hands of those who wish to scare you. Food is meant to be enjoyed, not feared!

Questions about GMOs? Leave a comment!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

All facts taken from*

1 comment:

  1. Only applause from an Iowa farm girl- your blog is wonderful! Keep up the good work and keep AGvocating for farmers and GMOs! :)



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