Back in June, I wrote an article called, "You Can't Feed A Nation From The Back of A Pickup Truck." As I do with all my articles, I posted it to Social Media sites. This particular article garnered a few comments, nothing earth-shattering or controversial, but one made me do some more research:
"I feel you are messing with the wonders God created, when you start crossing a tomato plant with salmon. There's not a need for this!"
My first instinct was to agree. A fish tomato? Ewwww gross! But facts – not fear, like my rapidly growing fear of fish tomatoes – should and would prevail. So I did some research and found that it's real! But the reason it is real is ten times more fascinating and intriguing than my irrational fear of a tomato with fish eyes looking at me from my garden.
What I learned was that, very simply put, the concept was to insert an "anti-freeze gene" from the white flounder into a tomato, with the purpose being to increase the tomato's tolerance to frost.
Well, hello, what an ingenious idea! The idea that farmers and consumers would no longer have to worry about frost damage to tomatoes is intriguing.
But alas, the "fish tomato" never hit the grocery store shelves, because testing proved that the transgenic plant did not perform well against frost resistance. Not everything works, but without someone trying, how will we ever know?
I don't own a GMO picket sign – pro or con. Do I believe GMOs are safe? Yes. Do they need to be tested? Yes. Our farm is 100% GMO soybeans and 100% non-GMO corn! Why? It's a decision made exclusively by financial factors in our business.
An article popped up on my newsfeed the other day, titled "'Non-GMO' to Trump 'Organic' as New Consumer Buzz Word in 2014" via Nation of Change.
I read the article, but one line caught my attention: "A staggering 80% of consumers sought out non-GMO products in their survey." My question becomes: Do they know why they sought out non-GMO products?
Related: The Friday Five: Chemical Edition
Here's my take on it. If you are admittedly opposed to GMOs and know why, good for you. Take a stand for what you believe in! But if you don't know 100% exactly why you are, but think you should be, take a step back, do your own research, make your own decision.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.