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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

An apple a day may help the allergies stay

As more and more processed foods come in airtight bags and sealed containers, it’s a relief to know you can always reach for a delicious, fresh apple, right?

Think again. Most of the produce you buy that isn’t labeled as organic may be genetically modified. There’s no way to know because no one is required to tell you.

According to an article about Community Supported Agriculture on Local Harvest’s website, genetically modified foods (also known as GM foods or GMOs) “have been modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits.” Often, the plants are changed to make them easier to grow and cheaper to produce. And we end up paying for it in the long run.

One of the problems with genetically altering plants is that when you add a new gene to a plant, you are potentially adding a new allergen. The same article from the Local Harvest website claims this is the root of the rising peanut allergy.

Also, many of the GMOs in the U.S. are modified to gain as much water weight as possible. This way, they are bigger and look healthier compared to their organic cousins.

Americans are always looking for the biggest and most beautiful product – this goes for the produce they buy.

Take grapes for example. Have you ever wondered how they get the bunch so perfect and how every grape is plump? If you look at organic grapes, each one is a different size and there are imperfections that look like sunspots. If you eat with your eyes first, you’re likely to choose the genetically modified grapes. But, in a taste test, the organic grapes will always win.

The kicker is there is no law in the U.S. that states that growers and stores have to declare that they are selling GMOs. That means you’ll never know if what you’re eating is organic or not. You should be able to tell by the difference in size when you go to the market, but what’s more of a concern is the modified ingredients in corn products like Frosted Flakes.

The long-term health risks are not clear yet because GMOs have not been around for very long. However, recent reports have come out that scientists are moving past simple crops and are genetically altering animals such as pigs and salmon. While it is a cheaper alternative, is it really smart to mess with Mother Nature?

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