Are There GMOs In Your Grocery Bag?

dfagadfgGMO is a term that keeps popping up in the news and on our social media. You hear that you should fear them from some, and you hear the opposite from others. So what is the truth? And, are you bringing harmful GMOs into your home after visiting the grocery store? Well, this article is here to help you figure that out. Health is an important topic for us and we want to make sure our readers are continually getting accurate information.

What Is A GMO?

Genetically Modified Organism. That’s what those letters stand for. So, let’s break this down. Everything organic on this earth has DNA. This DNA is made up of genes, and all the DNA in one organism is called a genome. Within a genome sits all the data required to make that organism what it is.

In simpler terms, a banana has DNA. It has a gene that gives it the color of yellow and another that makes sure that banana has a peelable skin. Everything about that banana is written by individual genes that form strands. These strands pair up and form the DNA of the banana. All the DNA in that banana is known as its genome.

I was unable to find the exact amount of DNA in a banana, but it turns out that humans and bananas share a similar gene. To give you an idea though, the amount of DNA base pairs in a human reaches further than 3 billion. All of those human DNA strands are our own personal genome.

So, we covered the G part (genetic/genes/DNA/genome) and we covered the O part (organism), now we get to the part that tends to make folks a little nervous. That would be the M, which stands for modified. To modify an organism genetically, a scientist has to change its DNA to do something unnatural.

The best way to get around having any GMOs in your grocery bag is to purchase non-GMO meats and to grow your own vegetables. With the new hydroponic indoor gardens available on the market, growing your own produce at home is becoming easier than ever. Yet, before choosing a fertilizer, you might want to read a little more about GMOs, where you need to look for them, and how to get them out of your grocery bag.

Are GMOs Unhealthy?

This is the million dollar question isn’t it? We hear from one side that GMOs are unnatural and harmful to our health, while others say, “Seedless watermelons are GMOs” and we think, “Well, that modification can’t be that bad.” What is the truth?

Watermelons

I thought the first thing to do would be to find out if seedless watermelons are actually GMOs. As it turns out they are. Yet, using this fact as a positive example of GMOs might not be the strongest argument after all. Through research, we found that the reason why seedless watermelons are free of those little pests that seem to inhabit every bite, is because a seedless watermelon is a triploid, meaning that it has 3 sets of chromosomes, which makes it sterile. Watermelons with seeds are diploid, meaning they have only two sets of chromosomes.

To produce a watermelon without pesky seeds, the farmer breeds a triploid watermelon (seedless) with a tetraploid watermelon (containing 4 chromosomes), which forces the offspring to be triploid and not produce seeds. Another way is to add a chromosome-altering chemical called Colchicine, which change a 2 chromosome seed to a 4. After being pollinated with another 2 the result is the needed 3 chromosome watermelon that doesn’t produce seeds.

Evolution Is Genetic Modification

Plants and produce have changed naturally over time to meet the needs of the changing climate and population growth. Plants that require a lot of water in an area that starts out marshy but winds up dry has to either learn to adapt or die off. This goes for crops too. Since humans have been farming they have used the seeds of the good produce while discarding the seeds of the plants the produced weaker crops. Over time, the genes grew stronger and better produce dominated.

Science

Where it all gets tricky is that science has found a way to make the needed modifications in a short amount of time opposed to the natural evolution of these items. This can be done by removing a gene with radiation or chemicals. They also swap genes to marry species of vegetation.

What Foods Are GMOs?

This is the thing, it seems that nearly 80% of the foods we consume as a society are full of GMOs. Yet, the jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. If you eat processed foods you are definitely eating GMOs. Other food you might find in your grocery bag that fall under the GMO umbrella include corn and all its byproducts including cornstarch, corn syrup, hominy, polenta, corn oil, and cornmeal, canola oil, soybeans, alfalfa, apples, papaya, potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, and cottonseed oil.

So, Are They Harmful?

After researching the subject, I would have to say that there is no way of knowing the truth unless you did a study yourself. There are reputable sites like WebMD that say there is no scientific evidence that GMOs are unhealthy and talks about the FDA’s testing as thorough. Then you find another website like NaturalRevolution.org and read about how the FDA isn’t equipped to test for negative effects of GMOs.

It’s no easier for us to know who to believe than it is for you. We think your safest bet would be to just stick with foods that are organic and not genetically modified. If you don’t eat GMOs then you won’t have to worry about any unnatural effects.

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