10 photos that capture how humans have genetically modified food for centuries


Just about everyone these days has someone in their life –a friend, a relative, a co-worker– who subscribes to the asinine notion that food was better back when people lived in caves. Most of those people are simply misinformed and misguided, but a handful of them are dangerously vocal in spreading their famine-inducing nonsense on the rest of the planet.

So when it comes to those people, show them these pictures to shut them up:

Mmm, look at that delicious dirt stick. Our ancestors could easily see how tasty that would be, right? (Wrong, they were probably starving to death and putting anything they could find into their mouths to stave off hunger.)

This is what Dirt-Stick Plant looks like after pesky humans modified it through the dastardly process of genetic manipulation:

Before Human beings started manipulating this weird sort of pizza-looking fruit, ye olde backyard barbecues must have involved a lot of spitting.

And here’s a Watermelon today:

I don’t know about you, but if I were living in prehistoric times, after I came home from a long day of trying not to die from sepsis or being turned into bear feces –you know, a “natural” lifestyle– I’d just love sink my four teeth into these delicious nubbins:

No, I’d just rather have a freaking proper ear of corn, or as I like to think of it, “The Iriquois’ Revenge”. And while it may be difficult these days to find any food that doesn’t have obesity-inducing corn syrup added to it, that’s not the fault of Science, it’s the fault of science-illiterate people who allow bureaucrats and lobbyists to determine what subsidies we should be giving to farmers.

Everyone loves Cherry Tomatoes in their salads, right?

Sure, but that’s what a freaking Eggplant looked like before we donned our lab coats, twirled our mustaches, and violated nature started selectively breeding so the damn thing would feed more people.

Now check out this weird, exotic fruit. How the hell would you even eat that?

Would you believe there’s a former child TV star who’s trying to make the argument against Evolution based on how “intelligently designed” this fruit is?

Wrongo Mike Seaver, you curly-mulleted, homework hating rascal. People modified bananas so they didn’t look like a pulpy beehive of buttholes.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: 10 Pictures That Will Shut Up Your Anti-GMO Friends

  • ColoradoBrit

    What a shame there are so many snide comments in this article. Would have loved to share this more widely.

    • Good4U

      Right on target. I thought the same thing. Its premise is good, but its execution is crude.

      • Eric Bjerregaard

        As you were perusing the article and thinking it is crude. Did the thought ever occur to you that I may have written it under a pseudonym?

        • ColoradoBrit

          You can still be polite / educational, even if you are writing under a pseudonym. Did the thought ever occur to you to do that?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Nope, such thoughts did not occur to me. Good4U has read my comments for quite a while and will realize that I didn’t write the article and was being a smart aleck.

  • morphd

    What about the massive genetic changes made to produce various kinds of seedless fruit (plants created having an unnatural three copies of all their chromosomes) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seedless_fruit ?

    In humans an extra copy of just one chromosome causes moderate to severe issues http://www.biology.iupui.edu/biocourses/N100/2k2humancsomaldisorders.html

    It seems those who fear the relatively minor genetic changes of GMOs (despite any scientific basis for that fear) would logically want to avoid the much larger genetic changes of seedless fruit. No more bananas for them!

  • vramaarnet

    The difference between the “GMO”‘s in the photo’s and what is regarded as GMO to-day is the process by which the genetic manipulation was achieved. Back in the day sexual breeding and mutation selection was applied. To-day the concern is what the effect the residue of the bacteria carrier responsible for the genetic change that is left behind in the plant having its DNA changed may have on either the plant or the consumer of that plant (pse excuse my grammar – hopefully the point is made)

    • morphd

      There are roughly 40 trillion bacterial cells – referred to as the microbiome – in our bodies http://www.microbiomeinstitute.org/blog/2016/1/20/how-many-bacterial-vs-human-cells-are-in-the-body Is it reasonable to be more concerned about small bits of bacterial DNA in GM food – which will get digested upon eating – than the massively greater amounts of functioning bacterial DNA already inside our bodies?

      In terms of those bits of bacterial DNA somehow changing the plant in some nefarious way, consider that the GM DNA doesn’t have any way of moving once inserted into the plant’s genome – and the region around that insertion can be analyzed to understand if any genes nearby could have been affected. Are you aware that plant genomes naturally contain large numbers DNA sequences called ‘Transposible Elements’ than can unexpectedly move to new locations in those genomes? Also referred to as ‘transposons’ or ‘jumping genes’, these elements can make up anywhere from 3% to over 80% of a plant’s genome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4196380/ Like with the previous example, if you’re worried about some unintended change from GM DNA, you should logically be much more concerned about unintended changes from transposons.

      Perhaps having some understanding of things like the microbiome and transposons is why a large majority of scientists express little concern over the safety of the relatively small changes made in GMO crops. Another likely factor is their understanding of evolutionary theory: nature isn’t like some finely tuned machine but is a dynamic system where organisms change randomly and some happen to survive in certain niches because their unique combination of characteristics are best adapted to those niches. In that context GMOs represent fairly limited, scientifically-informed changes compared to random changes (associated with the evolutionary process) where nothing is generally known about their impact https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

  • arie

    Great effort! With little more technical refinement, this could be a piece of art.