Here's How Your Food Has Been Genetically Modified

Here's How Your Food Has Been Genetically Modified

We all change over time.
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If you've looked in the produce section of a grocery store within the last few years, you will see two specific labels making their way on to more and more produce items: Non-GMO Project and Certified Organic. Generally they are sitting side-by-side in the healthy foods section with packaging that is green, nature-like, and peaceful. What do these labels mean? Many people will assume they mean the food inside is safer and healthier than alternate options. Organic foods pride themselves on not containing GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. Even though GMOs are safe, it is important to know that Non-GMO is not equivalent to "the DNA in this plant has never been altered."

Ever since the dawn of agriculture in 9000 BC, man has been cross-breeding plants in order to suit their nutritional needs. Some of the most common crops today looked excruciatingly different before they were domesticated, and they held little nutritional value. The watermelon, pictured below, is a prime example.

Methods like cross-breeding instantly changed the genetic makeup of today's crops. Science has come incredibly far since then, and we now use a variation of breeding methods to create the healthiest foods possible. Methods like mutagenesis, polyploidy and protoplast fusion are in common practice and are all involved in Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project foods, and genome editing is currently being researched. So far, it has mostly been used in the medical field for cancer and diabetes research. Below, you will see a breakdown of how all the different breeding methods take place.




Transgenesis, or the method that produces GMOs, is currently the only form of breeding under fire from society. Now, let's look at some of these other methods.

Mutagenesis may involve introducing radioactivity to the foods we eat. If we were using the same logic as those opposed to transgenesis, there should be people screaming about how unsafe radioactivity is and that we should keep it away from our food.
Genome editing is not being widely used yet, but many biotechnology companies are looking into it so they can advertise they are non-GMO, when in actuality they are just as modified as the GMO crops. Understand that transgenisis is just another form of breeding, except a protein from another crop is introduced. All of those stock photos you see of plants being shot with crazy neon liquids is definitely not how it works.

One famous experiment by scientists talked of an apple that was slow to deteriorate. It was a GMO crop, and it was quite the talk of the scientific community. All they had done was found a protein in bacteria that suppressed the chemical that caused rotting. Scientists introduced the protein to the apple, and boom. The apple had a shelf life for weeks. However, all you saw on the internet was people screaming about the "Franken-apple."

GMO crops have made great strides in science and have helped maximize farm production. It is important to know they are to be embraced and not feared. Many people are scared of the weeds that are now intolerant to our herbicides due to wide GMO use, but GMOs can very well be the answer to their own problem. They have fixed many other problems like vitamin A deficiency, and they have cut back on pollution from nitrogen fertilizers.

At the end of the day, we need to embrace the new strides in science that keep our bellies full and our bodies healthy. No matter what food it is you are buying, know that the DNA is contains has definitely been modified over the years. It doesn't matter what label is on the front. Your food is healthy, and is produced specifically for you from farmers all over the world.

Cover Image Credit: wikimedia.org

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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