When considering sustainable farming and minimizing impact, it is important to consider the possible costs and methods of different methods of sustainability. In recent years, one of the issues being discussed in the headlines is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) and the impact they could potentially have on a person’s health. With so many people saying it is harmful, it is important to evaluate the issue and realize the possible benefits while acknowledging the cons as well.
According to the Center for Food Safety, GMO seeds are used in 90% of corn, soybeans and cotton grown in the U.S. Foods are changed genetically for a variety of reasons, including:
-a heightened resistance to insects, helping to generate healthier crops in general by lowering the risk of failed crops due to weather and other factors.
- GMO foods also have a longer shelf life, making it possible for them to be transported to people in countries who may not have proper nutrition otherwise.
- There are environmental benefits to GMO foods too, including needing less time, machinery, land and chemicals to grow, reducing pollution and greenhouse gases.
- There is also increased nutritional value, as GMO’s contain more mineral and vitamin content.
- The use of GMO’s has helped to successfully develop a variety of vaccines and proteins from engineered plants.
- There has been a spike in food allergies in children since the widespread use of GMO foods.
- GMO’s pose allergy risks, as they combine proteins that were not in the original organism.
- Some GMO’s have antibiotic qualities that strengthen immunity, but the consumption of these can actually lessen the impact of actual antibiotics.
If you would like to avoid eating GMO’s, be sure to look for foods labeled “organic” or “USDA organic.” Some products will even choose to include a separate label that says “GMO free.”
Do you think GMO foods are worth the risk? Why or why not? Be sure to do some research on your own and continue to learn the facts as research on GMO foods continue.
Leave a comment and let us know what you think!