CRISPR gene editing: Using ‘nature’s own tools’ to combat food waste and climate change

| | February 8, 2019
food waste
Image credit: Reuters
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A new technique is sneaking in our lives, potentially changing the foods we eat every day. From growing resilient crops, to boosting flavor to tackling allergens like gluten, gene-edited food brings to the table a new opportunity to improve health and pleasure, as well as fight climate change.

And, most importantly, many scientists say they’re working only with nature’s own tools. Given the impressive change this could potentially bring to our farms, supermarkets and tables, let’s explore how gene-editing could change the world, and the challenging questions we should be asking.

The possible applications are countless, from reducing food waste, water, and land usage to providing healthier fats to consumers. Some companies plan to use the popular new technology to give fruits and vegetables a longer shelf life. If successful, this could help prevent the sort of waste that comes from people tossing out vegetables and fruits deemed to be damaged or old. Each year, consumers throw away an estimated 400 million pounds of bruised and brown potatoes….

Related article:  Gene editing most innovative agricultural development in 30 years, USDA senior scientist says

Meanwhile, other universities around the country are working on plants that will withstand droughts, diseases and the ravages of climate change. Such improvements….could protect these plants in the future while cutting down water and chemical use, experts say.

Read full, original article: CRISPR is Coming to Our Plates

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