Farmers utilizing choices in seed technology, such as GMOs, allow us to have an abundance of food choices at affordable prices. Americans spend just under 10 percent of disposable income on food, the lowest in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For those not familiar, a GMO plant has a desired gene or portion of a gene, such as drought or pest resistance placed from one plant or organism to another plant. American farmers have choices to raise a total of 11 GMO crops depending on their climate and soil types, including corn (field and sweet), alfalfa, canola, soybeans, sugar beets, potatoes, cotton, squash, papaya and most recently, apples. This fall, Arctic Apples started being sold in limited U.S. grocery stores.
Farmers can choose to grow non-GMO and organic options of crops that have GMO versions. Non-GMO and organic options often offer a premium but require more intensive management.
Beyond value-added pricing, farmers choose crops to improve soil health, reduce passes over the fields, decrease compaction, reduce labor and resources and increase the overall sustainability of their farms.
Farming and food choices create affordable meals to be shared with family, friends, neighbors and even strangers. Celebrate the choices. Happy Thanksgiving!
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