Weirdest Genetically Modified Foods - Would You Like To Try Them?
Genetic Modification and controversy have become two sides of the same coin and genetically modified (GM) foods have come to be a major bone of contention between authorities worldwide and public health advocates. From being in the stages of infancy in the early 1990’s to becoming a part of our daily lives in the latter half of the last decade, the GM foods have come a long way. Notwithstanding the protests being made in all over the world, governments worldwide are making efforts to incorporate GM foods into public life. Therefore, it is the right time to cast a critical look at the genetic engineering sector, where each day brings us some of the weirdest Genetically Modified foods. After all, it is a matter of our genes.
Weirdest GM Foods
While those who support GM foods would leave no stone unturned in defending them but the truth of the matter remains that the bizarre outcomes of various GM experiments have left people suspicious. Have a look at some of the bizarre developments of GM and you will know too:
When the Japanese National Institute of Genetics started out its genetic re-programming of the raisin, it came up with The Giant Raisin (or Graisin). Graisin is a raisin, which has been genetically modified to grow far beyond its normal size. While Japan is a country known for its love for large fruits, not everyone would be happy to look at and eat these large raisins.
This one sounds just like something out of “Alice in the Wonderland” story. This UNICEF-funded project was created for the aid of Third World countries and, just like the name; it is a cross between a grape and an apple – Grapple. This fruit has the texture of a grape, size and shape of the apple, and flavor of both. While this GM fruit is not exactly as popular as either grape or apple, it carries a heavy dose of Vitamin C.
An “intensely flavored” fruit, the Pluots are another bizarre result of genetic tampering, as we like to call Genetic Modification. Created from plums and apricots, the pluots are heavily fortified with Vitamin C, and contain no sodium or cholesterol.
We love tangerines and also the grapefruits but would we love the Tangelo as well, which is a cross between both the fruits? Well, we would like to wait and watch before committing anything on this matter.
A significant portion of world population is fighting with diabetes that is a life-threatening illness. Thus, the diabetes-fighting lettuce should bring a smile to their lips. But is that right? Well, we leave it to you. For your knowledge, this GM lettuce, created at the University of Central Florida, carries the insulin gene, which reaches the intestines, and triggers the body’s natural insulin-producing response.
This may seem to be one of the most weird GM foods, where a lemon and a tomato were brought together to create a Lemato, which is a tomato giving off a lemony scent. This mission was accomplished by Israeli researchers and it has no apparent health benefits, so far.
Salmon, one of the most popular fishes that Americans like to eat, just got a new companion, a GM variety of Salmon, which grows twice as fast as the conventional variety. The modified fish has the same color, odor, flavor, and texture as the regular salmon. The debate still continues on whether it is safe to eat this fish or not. Till the debate is settled, we suggest you stick to the conventional salmon.
Flavr Savr tomato
First thing first, the Flavr Savr tomato is the first commercially grown GM food, which has also received official license to be used for human consumption. Prepared by the California-based Calgene Company, the conventional tomatoes were inserted with the antisense gene, which slowed down the ripening of tomatoes, which keeping their natural flavor and color intact. As expected, these tomatoes turned out to be delicate, as a result of which they could not be transported to the markets and had to be taken off the shop-shelves.
Chances are that the next time you visit your family doctor for a Hepatitis B or cholera vaccine, he might administer you a banana injection. Do we hear you smirking? Well, don’t because the researchers have concluded that bananas are an ideal vehicle for production and delivery of vaccines to humans. Although other foods like potatoes, lettuce, carrots, and tobacco have also been used to conduct experiments in this regard, bananas have come up winners.
This one is downright bizarre because the scientists took a gene that programs poison in the scorpions and combined them with cabbage. Now why would the scientists do that? Because they wanted to limit the use of pesticides and protect the cabbage from the caterpillar onslaught. In case you are already biting your nails, the toxin that kills caterpillars, is modified enough to make the cabbage safe for human consumption.
A pig that has been altered genetically to digest and process phosphorous better is called an Enviropig. However, a more appropriate name for these pigs could be “Frankenswine.” The convoluted reason behind creating this Enviropig is that the pig manure, which is high in phytate, should become less phosphorous-rich so that the chemical does not enter the watershed and cause algae blooms by depleting oxygen in the water. In other words, the enviropig is supposed to be helpful in saving marine life. How are these two connected? That is for you to figure out.
While genetic modification was started with the purpose of making human life better, somewhere down the line, the GM process seems to have got engaged into playing these bizarre experiments and nobody is sure whether or not these weirdest Genetically modified foods would be of any benefit to the human race.