Whether or not you accept anthropogenic-caused climate change, you probably realize that we face tough issues in the years ahead. Food security and sustainability in the light of a rising global population are weighty matters. And one of the tools we have to manage it is GMOs.
GMOs and Technology
It’s important to keep a basic principle in mind when discussing GMOs; we have to look at is as a technology rather than a cause. The reason you can go to the grocery store and buy just about anything you want is because of technology. Technology makes food processing possible.
Take livestock management, for example. Through technology and science, effective and efficient management is possible. Farmers have selectively bred cattle to produce a leaner animal. The average beef roast has 30 percent less fat than it did just 10 years ago. With over 33 million beef cattle slaughtered each year, you know that there is some heavy-duty technology behind the industry.
GMOs and Crops
California’s drought has acted as a huge wake-up call. It is costing the state billions of dollars—if just in drought relief. This is why technology such as the DroughtGard corn is imperative. It is the only commercially available GMO corn that is drought resistant.
And other eco-friendly GMOs exist. To offset heavy pesticide use, scientists from the Max-Planck Institute in Germany have gone straight to the problem with an anti-pest potato plant. The plants are able to withstand attacks by the international superpest, the Colorado potato beetle.
These two products make a strong case for the environmentally-friendly options that GMOs have to offer. Plants that require less water? Plants that negate the use of pesticides? To can development of such products based solely on principle (the science that says otherwise doesn’t exist) take foolishness to a whole new level. That, my friends, is food waste.
GMOs and Food Waste
GMOs offer one solution to the growing problem of food waste. Consider these numbers gathered by the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) in Great Britain. The United States alone wastes 60 million metric tons of food each year. Technology, specifically GMOs, offer a means to reduce the waste.
But improved efficiency is not the only benefit from using GMOs. Next time, I’ll look at the emerging technology to make healthier foods.