Sunday, September 27, 2015

Genetic Modification Could Make Food Healthier And Reduce Waste

A) Genetic Modification Could Make Food Healthier And Reduce Waste: The non-bruising potato is here, but will consumers buy it?

Link to article:

Part B:

I think that “designer foods” that are genetically altered to meet the demands and expectations of consumers, instead of farmers, is a strange concept and may have unintended consequences. In the United States, grocery stores, restaurants, hotels and individuals are wasting millions of pounds of potatoes every year and other produce because it does not look good. Companies and farms are turning to genetic modification to fix the perceived “defects”. These potatoes also have been modified to have less of a chemical, acrylamide which is a potential cancer- causing when it is heated to high. Despite these benefits, I am still concerned about the long-term effects of GMOs on human health. It may be time to follow the lead of scientists in supporting GMOs. Still, I wonder if genetic modification is the only way for us to help reduce food waste. It seems like we could be reusing the discarded food in a new way or could we consider changing our mindsets about what edible food should look like.

C) - The Bullet Answers:
1)     The global impact, national impact, and local / personal impact. 
Creating perfect-looking potatoes and other “designer foods” that are resistant to bruising and contain less acrylamide may not be seen as a necessity to genetically alter foods on a global scale but could reduce food waste in some developed nations. In the United States, these GMOs could help prevent reduce the amount of food that was wasted due to American consumers’ expectations for perfect produce. As a consumer, I may not notice the difference at the grocery store because the stores usually just throw away the less appealing or damaged produce anyways.  I would appreciate being able to purchase potatoes and other foods with added benefits. Cooking potatoes with less acrylamide reduces carcinogens when cooked, which is a bonus health benefit that may outweigh the risk of GMOs.  

      2) Forecast the range of impact over the short term (the next 2 months to 2 years), to the long term (next 20 years to 20 + decades).

In the next 20 years, I believe we will see more “designer foods” genetically modified to perfection, with scientific advances in improving our foods through genetic modification. Next decade, I believe we will have a better understanding of how the GMOs are influencing people’s health and I think that more people will embrace it as a necessity to feed our planet’s growing population.

    3) What could you do, or could be done to create the greatest positive impact on the future.”

GMO foods reduce food waste and provides more appealing produce for the consumer. These modifications have the potential to create healthier foods and feed more people. Feeding our growing population on this planet and improving the health of the public would be the greatest benefit.

4 4) “What could you do, or could be done to create the greatest negative impact on the future.”

    Although we have an enormous food waste problem, there are still unknown about the long-term        p  impact of GMOs on our health. If consumers are not willing to embrace imperfections in foods, like bbruised potatoes, we could be going down a dangerous path in which we are unnecessarily altering the g genetic makeup of foods to meet the whims of the general public. By altering potatoes and other
  foods, we could potentially be harming, not improving public health.  

5 5)    “Which region of the future” does this related closest most to or does this fit in between – or perhaps a region of the future you’d like to define for yourself.

      Biotech. Nature tech, human tech

   Questions for class:

   Are genetically modified foods the only solution to reducing food waste?
   What makes us think GMOs are dangerous?
   What are some potential benefits to embracing GMO potatoes?
S  Should foods be genetically altered to meet consumer needs?

1 comment:

  1. Example of marketing solving the "food aesthetics" problem:

    As for danger:

    “The argument advanced… for the safety of GM food is false… Yes, the DNA of all living organisms is made up of just four nucleosides, and yes, virtually all proteins are made up from just 20 amino acids. But this does not imply that everything containing these basic building blocks is without risk to human beings. The same units, arranged in different ways, are contained in the smallpox virus, bubonic plague and influenza, deadly nightshade and other poisonous plants, creatures such as poisonous jellyfish, scorpions, deadly snakes, sharks – and people who talk absolute nonsense.”
    – G. D. W. Smith, Fellow of the Royal Society, professor of materials, Oxford University, UK1

    “Most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects and may alter haematological [blood], biochemical, and immunologic parameters, the significance of which remains to be solved with chronic toxicity studies.”
    – Artemis Dona, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, University of Athens Medical School, Greece, and Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis, University of Thessaly School of Agricultural Sciences, Greece2"


Just keeping things on the up and up since this is for my students to communicate first.