How do you feel about foods that have their DNA modified? Should we be eating these foods? What are some of the pros and the cons? Would you eat a genetically modified food to save your life? What if you were given some genetically modified food and told that it would prevent you from getting diabetes and cancer? Would you stock up on designer rice, which is genetically engineered to assist you with the control of diabetes?
Time for a Little History-DNA Modification
Let me hasten to add that this practice was seen from as early as the 1990’s and tomato and tobacco were some of the first genetically modified foods grown. This same tomato was later used to make toothpaste. I also discovered that in the early days labeling was not a must and so the consumers were not informed.
Please note that tomatoes were selected because of a disease which kept spoiling the tomatoes and so it was deemed essential to create a solution for this problem. Yes, this led to the birth of genetically engineered/modified foods.
The Research Results
Today I will share with you the results of a research done in Australia, which aims to use what they call “designer rice” to help with the control of diabetes and cancer. Please see the results below.
Researchers from Australia found a way to genetically engineer/modify rice. This research took place at the University of Tasmania. The researchers found a way to increase the resistant starch content in rice. The result is that the rice is easier to digest and it should reduce the rate of diabetes, obesity, and even cancer which affects our bowels.
Resistant Starch-A Snippet
Let me explain what we mean by resistant starch. This kind of starch passes through the large intestine and acts more like a dietary fiber. They are not broken down into glucose in the stomach, unlike the digestible starch. Take a look above, the researchers modified the DNA of rice by increasing the resistant starch and so it would act like we ate more fibers.
Resistant starch prevents what the researchers called a “sugar hit” and so our blood glucose will not get that sudden, high spike. It will be more gradual and so it will not rise as much and as quickly. This kind of starch also will let us eat less as it cuts appetite and at the same time encourages the growth of healthy microbes, which are tiny single-celled organisms. Note, we eat and breathe because of microbes.
Thinking Out Loud
I am thinking out loud, ‘why not encourage people to eat more foods naturally rich in fiber?’ Readers, I take the responsibility to provide you with information to be a very serious one and so I am presenting the findings. I, however, encourage you to be educated and knowledgeable about the foods you eat. I spend a lot of time reading my labels, even for the foods I purchase regularly.
The Benefits-Genetically Engineered Foods
In spite of my views, from my research, let me give you a list of the benefits of genetically modified foods:
- High crop yields
- Economical as they can be grown cheaper
- Reduced need for pesticides and herbicides
- Less manpower needed to plant and grow these seeds
- Improved food quality (foods stay fresher for longer)
- Crops can do well in a variety of weather conditions, especially where there are fluctuations and extreme conditions
- They can be engineered to provide nutrients and minerals lacking in certain populations
Like I said before, I am giving you the information, mainly because we sometimes perish/suffer because we woefully lack the necessary information to inform our decisions. I would encourage you to do further research and decide what goes into your mouth and ultimately your ‘temple.’
To Eat or Not to Eat-The Drawbacks
Here now are some of the drawbacks to genetically engineered foods:
- Human beings sometimes get an allergy reaction. This may be because they use the genes from a food which causes an allergic reaction in some people. It could also be as a result of the mixing of two or more genes across species.
- Sometimes a harmful pest is removed so that the crop remains pest-free, but this pest would have been food for another animal and so we have a double tragedy created.
- Genetically engineered foods are sometimes toxic to an organism and they could face a reduction in their numbers or worst yet-extinction.
- Bacteria and viruses are used sometimes to modify these foods and the fear is that we could see new diseases.
- The seeds tend to be on the expensive side.
This article was written to inform my readers about designer engineered rice and the proposed positive impact it could have for diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The idea is simply to inform and to leave you to make a decision, especially now that you know something about designer rice.
The discussion could not be completed without a brief lesson about genetically modified foods, their benefits and the ills they bring in our world. Again, the intention is to inform, leaving you with the information to make an educated decision and encouraging you to continue the research.
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