If you’re a child of the 80s or even 90s, freaky was a word that was naturally inserted into many a teenage conversation.
“Oh my gawd, I just saw the freakiest thing!”
Unfortunately these days, freaky can be used to describe food that sounds like it came right out of a sci-fi movie! I sometimes struggle to even use the word ‘food’ to describe some of the stuff that’s been approved for human consumption. Seriously though, I am not a glass half empty kind of girl. I like to focus on positivity and happy thoughts, but I have to admit reading freaky things like this really challenges my thought process. 😛
Anyway…back to the regularly scheduled article. As I was saying, scientists are working daily to alter our food with the intention of improving it. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and hybridized foods are already in our supermarkets and undoubtedly swirling around your breakfast, lunch and dinner plates daily. Studies are still way too inconclusive in my opinion to have this frankenfood promoted as safe for human consumption. In fact, there are countless studies that disprove what scientists are hailing as safe. “Over 800 world scientists agree: GM crops are nothing short of a bio-war on our food” (source).
I have compiled a list of what I consider to be the freakiest of foods that have already come to a plate near you or are knocking on your door.
1. Super Broccoli
Sadly, this broccoli doesn’t wear a cape and tights but according to scientists it should. This new and improved variety of broccoli has been bred to contain twice the levels of the superfood nutrient “glucoraphanin. “If you eat it a couple times a week, it makes your metabolism work better,” says its Monsanto scientist creator (source). Trouble is there are no long term studies on this pumped up broccoli. Incidentally the original study conducted on humans (in 2002) was a measly 3 months long. This broccoli called Beneforte, has been sold in the UK since 2011 and is also available in the US. No plans to take it into Canada as yet.
2. Non-Browning Apples
These babies dubbed “The Arctic Apple” have been genetically altered to stay crisp and never brown. Why would I want my apple to never brown? Great question! According to its Canadian inventor – ‘Okanagan Specialty Fruits’, this would alleviate waste of course! They plan to do the very same to peaches, cherries and pears. This non browning apple has caused quite a stir across both side of the US/Canada border with bloggers and protesters taking a stand against this freaky fruit. As of today, neither country has approved the growth of this fruit…yet.
Between farmed salmon and wild salmon containing toxic amounts of chemicals from our oceans, salmon has been getting a bad rap these days. Never fear, science is here! Yes, I said science. A US company has genetically altered salmon to mature faster than its traditional cousin (that can take up to 3 years to reach maturation), and it will also reach twice its size! In theory this salmon would only be kept in farms and not allowed to grow to a freaky size but we all know how well that can go. If this salmon gets out into our water systems it could be tragic for wild salmon supplies. Incidentally the US government is one step away from approval. The U.S. company ‘AquaBounty’ plans to produce GMO Atlantic salmon eggs on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, ship them to Panama to grow out and then ship the processed fish to the US consumer market. According to federal guidelines, the fish would not have to be labeled as genetically modified. Canada has yet to approve.
4. Scorpion Cabbage
You may want to sit down for this one. Scientists have recently added the gene that creates poison in the tail of the scorpion to the humble cabbage. Why the heck would they do that? Great question! According to scientists they are trying to do mother nature a solid by reducing the amount of pesticide required to grow a conventional cabbage. How sweet! Wait…what? This freaky cabbage would produce scorpion poison that would kill the caterpillar who like to snack on growing cabbage, hence requiring less pesticide. Marketing plans are already in the works because the chosen scorpion toxin does not harm humans. No thanks, I’ll pass.
5. Banana Vaccination
A transgenic banana that carries antigens against E. coli has been developed by scientists at Boyce Thompson Institute in NYC. The poor unsuspecting banana is being tweaked to grow all the while producing a chosen vaccine. The original idea saw the same concept tested on a human trial group using the raw potato, however, according to scientists a banana is more palatable and easier to absorb. This freaky fruit is still in the works with no immediate plans to come to market.
6. Medical Eggs
Remember Dolly the sheep? She was the first mammal to be cloned. Since Dolly, the same scientists have genetically altered a rooster whose offspring lay eggs that produce medicines in place of a protein in egg whites. Yes, that’s right! Instead of the protein ovalbumin, which normally makes up roughly 54 percent of egg whites these hens could produce either miR24 (a monoclonal antibody used in treating melanoma) or interferon b-1a (an immune system protein used against multiple sclerosis), among other things. It would all depend on which gene was inserted into the chicken. Although, logically I understand the concept, tweaking with nature is too uncertain for this girl! For now, this freaky experiment is still in its trial period and is a few years away from the mainstream market.
One final thought…I really believe that there is a lot of fear mongering out there and my intention in writing this article and really my blog in general, is to inform you and not frighten you. You have the power to stop this craziness by making informed choices and not giving these sorts of foods and companies one cent of your food budget. Stick with what you know and ask questions. Buy local and organic when you can.
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
All this freakiness is shared with: This Gal Cooks, Say Not Sweet Anne, Uncommon Designs, Huckleberry Love, My Sweet and Savory, Natural Living Mamma, Nourishing Treasures, A Life in Balance, What Joy is Mine, Alderberry Hill, Homemaker on a Dime, Our 4 Kiddos, Our Table for 7, Mandy’s Recipe Box, Ladybug Blessings, Love in the Kitchen, Real Food Forager, A Humble Bumble, The NY Melrose Family, Tessa the Domestic Diva, Not Just a Housewife, Holistic Squid, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Mama Buzz, This Silly Girl’s Life, Intoxicated on Life, Gastronomical Sovereignty, Family Home and Life, Thank Your Body, Domesblissity, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Recipes for my Boys, The Mandatory Mooch, Live Laugh Rowe, A Glimpse Inside, Food Renegade, Ann Kroeker, The Veggie Nook, Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Joy in my Kitchen, All our Days,