PIONEERING THE END OF ORGANIC
Driving through the Romanian countryside was inspiring in many ways – the raw lifestyle of the locals felt like taking a few steps back in time. All houses here have gardens, and the fertile soil allows most fruits and vegetables to flourish. However, in such a beautiful place, we were shocked to see the heavy use of GMO corn crops. Scattered everywhere across the country among non-GMO crops, alongside the borders of small towns where people use their own soil to grow seemingly organic foods. People seemed to be oblivious to the harmful effects and side effects of these GMO plants.
Genetically modified crops were designed primarily to produce ‘supercrops’ that would have bigger annual yields, shorter harvest time and longer shelf lives, as well as being tolerant to the companies’ specific herbicide used. From then, some extremes have been pushed, such as adding animal genes to fruits, enhancing the sugar, vitamin and mineral content and genetically incorporating pesticide resistant properties. All these factors have effects on the ecosystem and other crops in the area, and even though associations responsible for GMO plants claim to ‘contain’ their crops, they have no real control over spreading that occurs via cross pollination or moderate winds. Being remotely close to plants that have been genetically modified has severe effects. Heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, the excess insects turn to the organic farmers, completely destroying their crops and thus causing them to turn to GMO seeds and heavy chemicals. The question then becomes can anything truly be organic? Some argue that the intent of GMO crops was a movement to create more crops for the worlds increasing population; others argue it to be a way to make more profit in less time. Regardless, modified crops lack natural taste and components they would normally have from organic soil and natural manure. More so, the negative health effects of introducing genetically modified organisms into your body overpower the actual benefits you would obtain by eating fresh fruits and greens. Gene insertion is done by forcing foreign genes into a plate of cells or using bacteria to invade a specific cell with foreign DNA. The modified cell is then cloned into the plant. However, the artificial gene insertion causes severe damage and mutation to the plants DNA. Genes artificially introduced are not permanently ‘attached’ to the gene strand in which they are introduced and because of this the genes often rearrange and can create gene combinations that have unintended effects in the human body. More so, functioning GM genes can remain inside of you, being transferred through all your vital organs, and even into unborn children. Because no trails are done on humans for ethical reasons, it is relatively unknown what effects can come from consuming modified foods, however recent increase in allergic reactions and sterility of farm animals gives us insight on what to expect if we continue to consume modified foods.
Never mind a worm or two, at least that protein is natural.