GMO’s (aka biotech crops) have a bad rap – actually seems like most things farmers do anymore does, but that’s what happens when the hardworking farmers forget to tell what I know as the beautiful story of agriculture. So I thought I’d take a brief moment to enlighten my followers about what they really are and why we plant these “biotech” crops on our farm.
What are GMO’s?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, hereafter referred to as the FDA, “Genetic engineering is the name for certain methods that scientists use to introduce new traits or characteristics to an organism. For example, plants may be genetically engineered to produce characteristics to enhance the growth or nutritional profile of food crops. Food and food ingredients from genetically engineered plants were introduced into our food supply in the 1990s.” Historically speaking we’ve been altering the genetic makeup of plants and animals for thousands of years, it’s only recently that we are actually doing it in the lab. Read more about the evolution of genetically engineered plants here. Very interesting read.
Why do you grow them on your farm?
- They’re Safe: GMO’s must go through rigorous research and testing before they even make it to our farm let alone a grocery/farmer’s market near you. The USDA, EPA and FDA must all approve the new genome before it is released for farmers to plant here in the United States. (The FDA also approves the prescription drugs you may take.) To date no health risks or side effects have been cited regarding the consumption of a genetically modified crop. Learn more about safety, nutrition and testing here.
- Less Chemicals: Genetic modifications to our corn and soybeans have made the plant inherently resistant to many diseases and bugs/pests. This allows our farm to spray fewer pesticides. While our farm believes in spraying chemicals like pesticides when appropriate, it is very costly to do so. Fewer chemical applications = lower input costs for us and happier consumers – high fives all around!
- Feed More People: Farmers are constantly looking for new ways to boost the yields of the crops we grow. It is simple math: more food = more people fed. GMO’s safely allow yields to increase so we can continue feeding a growing population.
Some “Biotech” corn growing right behind our house
Why You Should Love Them
- Environmentally Friendly
- Feed more people
- Allow you to do what you love to do (be a doctor, teacher, computer geek, salesman, nurse, athlete, police officer, stay at home mom, photographer, whatever makes you happy in life) and leave this farming game of life to those of us who enjoy gambling with mother nature and commodity markets on a daily basis. 🙂
Why should you be concerned about them?
Without GMO’s more and more people will starve as the population increases. There are many touting that eating GMO’s negatively impact the environment, pose health risks and lower the nutritional value of the plant. These statements and false and sadly used trying to convince mothers and fathers that in order to feed your family safe, nutritious food you must stay away from GMO’s. These statements are marketing myths – period. You should be concerned about the people spreading these myths because they potentially risk hungry children and adults from eating. We feed our family the same food we raise for you – our farm is committed to growing the safest, most nutritious food. Our farm stands behind GMO crops not only in what they offer our farm but also how they allow us to continue feeding a growing population.
The Fashionista Farmwife
Bibliography/Additional Sources for More Information
- FDA: Questions & Answers on Food from Genetically Engineered Plants
- GMO Answers
- History of Agricultural Biotechnology