Much of the produce acquired from your average grocery store has been genetically modified, but what does that mean really? Genes are the blueprints for our cells to make proteins, and each expressive gene makes a unique kind.
Food is genetically modified in order to optimize growth, enlarge the edible parts of the plant, and most generally to cut costs. While many argue in favor of GMO, there are many reasons for concern about its widespread use.
When a new protein is introduced into our diets, there is always a chance our body is going to reject it. Evolution builds our bodies up to handle and digest the foods that it itself created, not new proteins we’ve essentially invented. In other words, the further we get from nature in what we eat, the, the further we are from eating what nature intended and built us to handle.
There is evidence that GMOs have been a playing factor in the rise of new allergies such as soy. When a genome is tampered with, it can cause major changes to the whole organism. Genetic modification is not a cut and dry task, as every little change has the potential to affect the plant as a whole. Native genes can be mutated, some could turn off, or protein expression levels could fluctuate.
It’s important that people are made aware at least of what genetic modification is, and what risks are associated with it. It’s also vital that people demand business to disclose when they are using GMOs,so that we can make informed, personal decisions about the foods we eat.
Some may boast the benefits of genetic modification, but many of us are of the intuitive mind that GMOs are not the way to go. The sooner we humans learn not to tamper with nature too deeply, ultimately the better.