From kale to cows: Modern supermarket full of foods genetically modified by humans

| | May 16, 2017
baby kale
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Here are just a few of the modern supermarket offerings that we have been genetically modifying for centuries:

Cow and Chicken
Plump white chickens belong to a domesticated subspecies of the red junglefowl of Southeast Asia. Supermarket birds are twice the size of their wild counterparts, and they lay eggs on a near-daily basis instead of a few clutches of eggs a year. Meanwhile, Holstein cows have been bred for hundreds of years to be milk-producing marvels, to the point where most milk in the U.S. comes from Holsteins.

The ultimate hipster ingredient has been grown in Greek and Roman gardens for at least 2000 years. So have its cousins broccoli and cauliflower, while the Johnny-come-lately Brussels sprouts appeared by the 1600s. All these veggies descend from Brassica oleracea, a wild cabbage.

By bombarding plants with x-rays, gamma rays and fast neutrons, scientists were able to create thousands of new plant varieties. Two of those are the Star Ruby and Rio Red grapefruit, with modified genes for enhanced color.

Some of the unintended consequences of long-term genetic modification mean we have sacrificed flavor for visual appeal. Tomatoes, whose wild ancestors were the size of berries, were bred to be big, red, round and beautiful. In the process, they also lost some of the genes that create sugars and antioxidants, leaving us with a tomato that’s lustrous on the outside, lackluster on the inside.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Sorry Hipsters, That Organic Kale Is a Genetically Modified Food

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