Genetically Modified Food Essay Example

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD 7

Genetically Modified Food

Genetically Modified Food

Currently, the world is facing high levels of food insecurity resulting from increased population. Statistics indicate that the level of population has been in an increasing trend over the past decades. Nevertheless, the resources are not increasing. Instead, the current generation is reluctant in upholding sustainable development. On the other hand, the level of global warming is increasing tremendously. This results from increased industrialization which results to increased release of green house gases. As a result, there has been an increase in the size of the deserts in the world. Initially people would rely on rain-fed agriculture. However, this is not possible anymore. The seasons have become more unpredictable. In addition, some adverse weather conditions have been experienced in various parts of the world (Wolfenbarger & Phifer 2000). These conditions have affected the ability of the current resources to sustain the increasing population. This paper will therefore, discuss the reason why genetically modified foods should be integrated in our food chain.

Genetically modified crops produce high yields. The crops have been genetically engineered in order to produce more produce that other crops. As a result, the crops can be used to fight the increasing levels of food insecurity in the world. The statistics indicate one person dies each day as a result of hunger (Magnusson & Hursti 2002). Therefore, the genetically modified foods can close this gap by ensuring that the world has adequate food to feed the current generation.

The increased use of pesticides by farmers has created strains of pests that are resistant to the pesticides. This aspect is affecting the level of production by the farmers across the world. In addition, some pest causes some crop diseases which affect the productivity of the crops. Nevertheless, genetically modified crops have the ability to resist the pests, an aspect that plays a significant role in increasing the yields.

Genetically modified foods have high nutrient contents. Currently, the world is struggling with the increasing number of people suffering from heart diseases, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases that are associated with obesity. This results from consuming foods with unbalanced nutrients value (Chen & Li 2007). Genetically modified foods close this gap by ensuring that the foods have the correct nutrient content. As a result, they increase the health and wellbeing of the population.

With continuous farming, large portions of land are no longer arable. The nutrient levels have reduced immensely, an aspect that has lowered the yields immensely. This has increased the level of poverty, unemployment, and hunger across the world (Qaim & Zilberman 2003). Nevertheless, genetically engineered crops have been manipulated in order to survive in soils with less nutrient content. This is very crucial in ensuring that farmers benefit from high yields.

The demand for some staple foods with a specific flavour has increased the prices of these foods. This has led to shifting of the consumers’ attention to fast foods which have a major health impact on the bodies of the human beings. However, genetic engineering has made it possible to produce foods with better texture and flavour. Some crops have been less consumed because of their texture. Nevertheless, scientists have intervened to produce crops with the most demanded flavour (Huffman, Rousu, Shogren, & Tegene 2007). This has reduced pressure on some of the scarce crops that have been highly demanded. For instance, the manipulation of lemons to have orange flavour has reduced the demand of oranges in the world. This aspect would reduced the poverty levels in the world.

The weather conditions in the world have changed tremendously. This has resulted to unpredictability of the seasons. The farmers have been inconvenienced because they cannot be able to know the right time to plant or even harvest (Hossain & Onyango 2004). This aspect has made it hard for the government and other institutions to feed the population. Nevertheless, genetic engineering has made it possible to produce crops that have a long shelf life. This is through reducing the perishability of the crops (Chen & Li 2007). This has made it possible to have adequate food throughout the seasons.

In an attempt to increase the level of productivity, the farmers have intensified the level of cultivation. Heavy machineries are currently being used to move the soil. This aspect has led to high loss of moisture content. Other poor farming techniques have also led to evaporation of soil moisture during tillage. This aspect has contributed immensely in reducing the production levels in the world, an aspect that has increased the level of food (Chen & Li 2007). Through genetic engineering, scientists have been able to come up with crops that are able to perform very well in soils with less moisture content.

Currently, the world is struggling with increased levels of soil salinity. This facet is affecting the agricultural production in the world. The problem is rampant in swampy areas. This is making it impossible for the crops to grow. Genetic engineering has made it possible to produce crops that are tolerant to high salinity levels. These crops are also able to do well without large amounts of nutrients in the soil (Hails 2000). Therefore, the crops are crucial for sustaining the current population.

Research indicates that the number of crop diseases have increased tremendously. This has resulted from changes in temperatures which favours some diseases. These have affected crop production in various parts of the world. However, scientists are able to manipulate the genes of the crops to create strong plants that are able to overcome various diseases (Bredahl 2001). This will contribute immensely in increasing crop production levels in the world.

Various discussions have been staged concerning the negative aspects of consuming genetically modified crops. Many of those who oppose the use of the foods have no scientific backings. However, even if some scientists have warned of negative consequences after the use of the foods, the current surging population leaves the people with no other choice apart from starting the use of the foods. In addition, some of the negative elements associated with the use of the foods can be eliminated through intensive research (Chen & Li 2007). Therefore, with the world trying to cope with increasing critics on the use of genetically modified crops, the people should consider the use of the foods as an alternative to reduce the increasing deaths emanating from increased starvation.

In conclusion, the current negative environmental factors affecting food production cannot be stopped or reversed. As a result, it’s the high time that people starts reconsidering the use of genetically modified foods. The effects of global warming are likely to become worse as the developed countries are yet to take stern measures to prevent further pollution of the environment. As a result, scientific knowledge should be incorporated in order to come up with more effective means of adapting to already aggravating conditions.

References

Bredahl, L. (2001). Determinants of Consumer Attitudes and Purchase Intentions With Regard to Genetically Modified Food – Results of a Cross-National Survey. Journal of Consumer Policy, 24(1), 23-61.

Chen, M., & Li, H. (2007). The consumer’s attitude toward genetically modified foods in Taiwan. Food Quality and Preference, 18(4), 662-674.

Hails, R. S. (2000). Genetically modified plants – the debate continues. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 15(1), 14-18.

Hossain, F., & Onyango, B. (2004). Product attributes and consumer acceptance of nutritionally enhanced genetically modified foods. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 28(3), 255-267.

Huffman, W. E., Rousu, M., Shogren, J. F., & Tegene, A. (2007). The effects of prior beliefs and learning on consumers’ acceptance of genetically modified foods. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 63(1), 193-206.

Magnusson, M. K., & Hursti, U. K. (2002). Consumer attitudes towards genetically modified foods. Appetite, 31(1), 9-24.

Qaim, M., & Zilberman, D. (2003). Yield Effects of Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries. Science, 299(5608), 900-902.

Wolfenbarger, L. L., & Phifer, P. R. (2000). The Ecological Risks and Benefits of Genetically Engineered Plants. Science, 290(5499), 2088-2093.