The following is an edited excerpt.
Foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO) are called a lot of things, but “healthier” is not usually one of them. Our attitudes toward GMO foods range from outright hostility to, at best, apathy. GMO foods, like pesticide-resistant Roundup Ready soybeans and fast-growing AquAdvantage salmon, seem to exist primarily to pad corporate profits. But the purpose of GMOs is not only restricted to making something more convenient to grow in large quantities; scientists are exploring ways to genetically modify popular foods to make them more nutritious. In the near future, parents concerned about their children’s health may tell their kids to eat their GMO vegetables.
We’re urged to fill our plates with fruits and vegetables in part because they contain a variety of colorful chemicals that are lumped together under the term “antioxidants.” A diet rich in these substances can help prevent cancer and other common diseases. Unfortunately, the fruits and vegetables that we eat most, like apples and tomatoes, don’t have very high levels of antioxidants. Our diets would be healthier if we could make a tomato with the high antioxidant content of a blueberry.
This is exactly what a group of scientists at United Kingdom’s John Innes Centre did. Using genetic engineering, they created a blueberry-like purple tomato with high levels of antioxidants.
Read the full post here: Be a good kid and eat your GE vegetables