GMO chocolate

GMOs, the Fun Side

GMO chocolateI think Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott, said it best when he penned,

“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

And that is exactly what the anti-GMO crowd has done. But the stakes are about to get higher. GMO technology, after all, is not just staying in the corn field.

We All Eat GMOs Every Day—And We Love It!

To read the rhetoric, you could easily be deceived about the scope and availability of GMO products. The truth remains that it ubiquitous. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to avoid it. According to the US Department of Agriculture, about 88 percent of corn and 94 percent of soy grown in the United States are GMO products.

You can surmise that it shows up in most all processed foods. But it’s not limited to pasta and cookies. If you eat cheese, you are eating GMO products most likely. And we all love cheese, don’t we?

If you’re not familiar with the cheese making process, it goes something like this. Milk needs to coagulate so the yummy bits and whey separate. Producers use rennet, or specifically, the enzyme, chymosin, to move things along. This enzyme is found in the bovine stomachs.

Despite the fact that upwards of 33 million cattle are slaughtered each year, we needed other ways to produce chymosin to keep up with cheese demand. We now have chymosin or rennin to fulfill our needs, with a little help from our GM-organism friends.

Oh, But You Do Love It

Recent technology is taking GMOs into a new realm that even the most staunch anti-GMO activist may be hard pressed to deny. Apparently, we are in the midst of a looming chocolate shortage. Demand and the unpredictability of the crop itself are stacking the cards against free-flowing chocolate. GMO chocolate to the rescue!

The process of developing a GMO is complex. The complexity fuels some of the angst individuals may experience. But complexity doesn’t make it bad or evil. Trying putting together a cell phone with its raw materials.

The process has begun with DNA sequencing of the cacao plant. This is the first step toward finding solutions. From there, researchers test and test and test. That’s where we’re at now. One day, your chocolate chip cookie may contain GMO chips—and that would be a good thing, especially if you love chocolate.

The alternative is to let the market play out the sequence of events. Expect chocolate prices to skyrocket in return. Chocolate may not be as essential to life on the planet as corn or soybeans. However, it speaks to an important point.

Embracing Technology

Technology is our friend. It helps us solve problems. The stigma heaped onto GMO foods is only a political ideology with no basis in science or facts. It is a living-breathing example of the confirmation bias and appeal to ignorance fallacy at work. The bogeyman isn’t hiding here.

The most perplexing thing to me about this whole drama about GMOs is the disturbing déjà vu going on here. I mean, haven’t we seen many cases of ignorance and fear of the unknown behind several sad events in our collective past? It’s time we let go of the make-believe demons interfering with ways to feed people nutritious food. Chris DR
photo credit: Shokomonk jalapeño split via photopin (license)

Posted in Lessons Learned and tagged .