By Hannah Becker on April 10, 2017
From mega-salmon to never-browning apples, today’s examples of GMOs are downright fascinating.
While many of these latest scientific advancements are not available in the marketplace, their enhanced attributes leave many consumers wondering, “What new ‘superfoods’ will GMO research produce next?”
Regardless of which GMO camp you pitch your tent, these innovative products are pretty cool.
Here are five crazy cool examples of GMO products you didn’t know existed:
Why genetically transform tomatoes into antioxidant-rich foods, when such health benefits are readily accessible in a variety of berries?
Dr. Cathie Martin, of the John Innes Centre, cites the genetically modified (GM) tomato advantages are twofold: 1) Consumers eat tomatoes in more significant amounts than berry products, and 2) Tomatoes are typically more affordable than antioxidant-rich berry products.
AquAdvantage Salmon is a genetically modified species, containing genetic material from Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon and Ocean Pout, designed to speed up the fish’s growth processes so they’re active most of the year versus only part of the year.
AquaBounty Technologies, the GM salmon’s developer, claims these advances allow AquAdvanatge Salmon to grow a twice the rate of non-GM farm-raised fish, allowing them to hit the market in half the time.
These genetically modified salmon were granted approval by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), only to be slapped with a ban on the import and sale of the fish two months later. Availability status: still waiting.
Cleaner Pig Poop
Yes, you read that right. Genetic modification has extended into the realm of making pig poop “cleaner.”
Non-GM pig’s cereal grain diets produce phosphorous-ladened manure, a possible environmental concern when not managed correctly. To help make pig manure more environmentally friendly, and to assist with swine digestion and nutrient absorption, farmers supplement swine herds with an enzyme called phytase that helps the pigs absorb the phosphorus instead of passing it out the other end.
A team of scientists at the University of Guelph (Canada) created the Enviropig™– a pig that makes phytase (that essential enzyme for better phosphorus absorption) themselves. End result: really clean pig poop.
Who’s ready for an apple that doesn’t brown? Talk about a lunch-box lifesaver!
In 2016, Okanagan Specialty Fruits received USDA approval for their GM apples, also known as Artic® Apples. The first batch of these non-browning fruits is expected to appear in a cluster of Midwestern grocery stores in spring of 2017.
While browning is a natural process, the Artic® Apple eliminates the need for sliced apple producers to treat their products with antioxidants, and allows my mom to stop adding lemon juice to her grandkids’ apple slice snacks.