In regard to designer vegetables vs. genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) vs. organic foods, the three should not be spoken of in the same sentence. The difference between the three is simply the way they are grown and the agricultural processes that take place in order to produce these fruits and veggies. But which is the safest?
Lets start by saying organics are a “YES”, designer vegetables are a “WHY NOT”, and the GMO’s, well lets just say “NO.”
The designer vegetables are species that are cross-pollinate; this is fundamentally ensuring the proper evolutionary origin. Designer vegetables cross-pollinate between two closely related plants, making them healthy. GMO’s use actual genes of several different sources that are completely unrelated. GMO foods and/or crops may be engineered from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans1. Personally, I would never eat GMO, but there are no standard methods for the evaluation on safety2. Organic foods, the most popular among the three, are crops that are grown in safe soil with no modifications made to the crop. Additionally, the crops are grown with no pesticides, petroleum and/or sewage based fertilizers. Equally as important, organic livestock are not given antibiotics or growth hormones, but are fed organic feed with the ability to roam freely outdoors.
I believe crossbreeding vegetables is an affective technique. When cross-breeding the desirable fruits and veggies, there could be an increase in the amount of nutrients taken in by the general population. This would be practical for several reasons. The hybrid fruit or veggie could be two foods combined that the individual actually likes therefore they will be more inclined to eat them more often. The “new” fruit or veggie also has the potential to possess more nutrients. These designer foods are more natural and are not loaded with pesticides, chemical fertilizers or insecticides like GMO’s. By crossing two fruits or vegetables we can get twice the nutrients as eating one, with a different look and taste.
“Technically speaking, all fruits and vegetables are hybrids.
You go back far enough and it’s just pollen and seeds and wind and bees- one big swirling floral orgy-and every single plant we know today has ties to that epoch of love.” Mark Sisson3. In the future, check labels and avoid foods made from these five ingredients: corn, soy, beet sugar, canola and cotton2. This will help you steer clear from harmful GMO’s. The only problem with designer vegetables is that they can be hard to find. Organics however, are found in just about any market that sells produce. Organic foods are completely safe because they are grown in safe soil with no pesticides, petroleum and/or sewage based fertilizers, weeds are controlled naturally through crop rotation and hand weeding, and even insects are controlled naturally as well through the use of birds and insect traps. Through these methods, we can eat organic foods with 100% confidence knowing that what we are putting into our bodies is healthy and beneficial towards living a long healthy lifestyle.
- Calderón de la Barca AM, Magana-Gomez JA. Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Crops for Nutrition and Health. Nutrition Reviews. 2009; 67: 1-16.
- True Food Shopper’s Guide: How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Foods. Washington, DC: Center for Food Safety; 2013.
- Mark’s Daily Apple. Are Hybrid Fruits and Vegetables Healthy? Available at: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/hybrid-fruits-vegetables/#axzz2fxJv6s4s 9/25/2013