Thursday, February 19, 2015

Genetically modified Apples(FrankenApple) approved by the USDA

It is stories like this that drive home the point it has never been more important to grow a garden or to know your neighbor or farmer who grows your apples.  These apples that have been approved affect the Granny apples and Golden Delicious apples.   It will take a few years for these trees to start to produce and show up in your stores.  But how will you know?  The ONLY SAVING grace here is that produce does have labels.  Those little sticky things they put on produce with a number.  Now for the most part most of us don't know anything about the number codes or what they mean.  But they do in fact have meaning.

FrankenApple Approved

Here are the basics of what you should know:
  1. If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.
  2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
  3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9″, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

Now I need to point out that the Apple is one of the dirties fruits on the market place.  The chemicals used on Apples today grown conventionally are not safe to eat if you value your health.  Stick to organic apples only.

The approval of the GMO apple is very dangerous to the market place since most people don't know where their food comes from or what is in it.  The ASSUME that it must be safe or they wouldn't be allowed to sell it... Only thing it really means is that you typically won't drop dead while your eating it the first time... That is about all it means.

So unless we force this FrankenApple off of the market it is time to avoid the Granny and Golden Delicious varieties.   I expect the next trick will be to remove the sticker labels from the produce so they don't "scare" the consumer as they figure out anything with an 8 on it should NOT be ATE!

For a quick guide to the cleanest or dirtiest foods on the shelves use the Environmental Working Group's lists.  They have a phone app you can download and reference any time your shopping so that you know if you should buy that item or find an organic variety or just do without.  That is usually what I do.  The cost of organics can be quite high so pick and choose wisely.

Environmental Working Group - Lists of cleanest and dirtiest foods

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