From healthy gluten-free bread to healthy oils - a new wave of healthy food is on the way. Is it a trick?
When you chew fries in the restaurant, stop for a moment and think. What if the French fries are healthier than the oil in which it was cooked? Or is the oil better because it consists of genetically modified plants?
Consumers are not interested in food with GMO. In fact, every crop of GMOs was delivered to the market to help the peasant who grew it, not the man who consumed it. Now everything is changing. The new generation of GMO products is healthy and tasty.
New GMO products:
Apples that do not darken. Some people do not like to consume fruits with discolored flesh. It never happens to Arctic apples. They went on sale in the USA in November 2017
Potatoes “White Russet” are less prone to blue and black spots, and do not produce potentially dangerous chemical acrylamide during frying. It has been in the USA market since 2015.
Wheat with “healthy gluten”. People with coeliac disease will soon be able to eat cakes. Two expert groups around the world are editing genes for gluten proteins that can damage intestine of people with digestive disorders. GMO wheat is undergoing clinical trials in Spain.
Pink pineapples. They are pink because they accumulate lycopene, a pigment that makes the tomatoes red, instead of turning them into yellow beta-carotene like it is in the case of regular pineapples. The US has encouraged this diversity. Pink pineapples have been consumed since December 2016, but they are not yet on sale. Lycopin is good for health. Also, pink pineapples are sweeter. This is a new turn to Pina colada.
Rapeseed oil with Omega-3 fats. Canola seeds are enriched with docosahexaenic acid, from which healthy oil with Omega-3 fats is made. The product is planned to be sold as food for fish, and subsequently as food for people. Over the past year in the United States canola was harvested in the area of 1200 hectares.
White bread with high fiber content. White flour from genome edited wheat contains three times more dietary fiber than white flour.
Blood oranges Oranges are considered healthy because they are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins. Regular blood oranges get red if they experience cold nights when ripening. Blood oranges with GMOs are full of anthocyanins regardless of the weather. Oranges are not on sale yet.
Bananas with enhancer. Bananas are the main product in Uganda. GMO grade contains provitamin A, the lack of which can lead to blindness. It is being tested in Uganda and will go on sale in 2021.
Rapeseed oil with low saturated fat content. Regular rapeseed oil contains 7% of saturated fats. A variety with an edited genome will have half that amount.
Golden rice. It is a vitamin enriched rice that prevents vitamin A deficiency which causes blindness and even death. The development of the product has been observed for many decades, but it has not yet entered the market. Golden rice got a big boost this year when Australia, New Zealand and Canada declared it safe for people. This means that there will be no regulatory issues when importing it.
GMO and control
So far, these products have been produced in small quantities. But soon the production of GMO products will be huge.
Most people do not know that white potatoes or Arctic apples are genetically modified. In the United States, starting in July 2018, the companies have to add a scanned barcode for products containing GMOs.
However, the rules of the project were published only in May, so the harvest of this year with GMOs does not need to be marked.
Plant varieties are created by changing their own genes, instead of adding additional genes from other organisms. US regulators agree with this. For example, Calyxt said that their flour containing healthy glutens produced by cutting genes is treated as an ordinary product, not as GMO.
Consumers have to have a choice. And they should be informed of what they buy. But the potential of consumer goods can negatively affect public opinion and cause negative reactions from opponents. Any GMO organism can be considered a threat.
For example, golden rice, rich in vitamins and GMOs, promises to improve the lives of millions of children. But many organizations oppose it. The stakes are high. GMO crops can help produce healthy food in an environmentally friendly way so that the population will grow and the planet will continue to develop. The new generation of GMO crops has clear benefits for consumers. But it is difficult to win the hearts and minds of people.