HEALTH & FITNESS
Genetically modified foods, depending on your perspective, are either a godsend for civilization and the the best chance to feed the world’s hungry or a hazardous intrusion on nature threatens our health and the future of agriculture. Either way, chances are high that you ate genetically modified foods recently. This controversial health and wellness story has been featured on popular television programs The Doctors and Good Morning, America Here are 10 common genetically modified foods that you may not have known about:
The tomato was the first widespread genetically modified food available in the United States. Genetically modified tomatoes are able to fully ripen on the vine and maintain freshness longer in grocery stores.
Genetic modification keeps papayas resistant to the harmful ringspot virus, creating a immunity reaction that guards against the this long-term agricultural problem for Hawaiian farmers.
Rice is genetically modified to make it more resistant to a wide variety of pests. Rice is the main food source for well over half of the Earth’s population, so it’s of vital importance to keep the crops healthy as an integral part of stopping widespread starvation.
Scientists are starting to genetically modify potatoes intended to be grown and sold as a starch food source. Around 10 percent of potatoes found in your local grocery store are genetically modified, as well as potatoes found in processed products.
Corn is one of the most commonly modified crops. The Department of Agriculture estimates that about 25 percent of corn crops are genetically modified. Products that contain corn include beer, margarine, flour and anything that has corn syrup in it.
Soy is also one of the most heavily modified crops. If the label of the food you’re eating says it
contains soy, it’s probably genetically modified. Soy can also be found in a wide range of food products from breads and cereals to ice creams and chocolate.
Without a doubt, one of the most controversial genetically modified foods is recombinant bovine growth hormone. The hormone is synthesized from genetically modified bacteria, and creates higher milk yields from cows. Critics contend that that these cows are more significantly prone to disease, translating into higher levels of bovine antibiotics in the milk supply.
Canola oil is another one of the most heavily used genetically modified crops. Canola crops are modified to be more resistant to certain herbicides, but there are concerns that genetically modified canola could ultimately result in the pesticides being useless.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, the result of combining two natural amino acids. Two different species of bacteria produce these acids, and one of the bacteria is modified in order to boost yield. Female laboratory rats that were fed aspartame had higher rates of lymphoma and leukemia than those who weren’t.
The controversial sugar beet was banned in 2010, then deregulated in 2012. Genetically modified sugar beets account for almost half of America’s sugar production.