Apples and potatoes naturally bruise and turn brown – but the new strains of apples and potatoes recently approved by the Food And Drug Administration (the FDA) won’t have that problem, according to researchers.
While the FDA says that these new breeds of food are safe and nutritious, many people prefer to keep their homes and diets free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
The new breed of apples and potatoes have been introduced for a few reasons – for starters, they won’t oxidize as quickly as non-GMO apples and potatoes.
Oxidization, while harmless, is unsightly, and can cause financial losses for the industries producing the foods. Secondly, the GMO fruit won’t show “slicing damage” – damage caused from cutting the food – which results in shrinkage.
Growers expect these added benefits to increase sales, but given the recent backlash to GMO foods, it may have the opposite effect.
Genetically modified foods currently aren’t consistently labelled in grocery stores, so it can be hard to tell if the food you’re getting is truly organic or not.
So How Can You Tell The Difference?
Fortunately, there are some tricks you can use to make sure your food is GMO-free. While companies have been resistant to labelling GMO foods for fear of losing sales, the new apples may carry a label reading “Arctic”.
In countries like the US and Canada, genetically modified foods are not allowed to carry the 100% organic label. In theory, this is a reliable and consistent way to avoid buying the new genetically modified apples and potatoes – simply look for the “100% organic” label on your fruits and vegetables and you’ll be fine.
But there are other ways to tell as well, especially if you, like many consumers, shop in health food stores that are likely to label their products with “Non-GM” and “GMO-Free” seals of approval. While conventional supermarkets tend not to have these labels, many health food stores have opted for them, due to the increasing number of shoppers wanting to avoid GMO products.
Finally, if all else fails, look for the numbered labels on your food. Conventional fruit labels contain four-digit number codes, beginning with the number four, while organic fruit labels contain five-digit codes that begin with the number nine.
Every consumer has the right to choose whether or not they want to consume genetically modified foods, so be sure to educate yourself before your shopping trips.