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Essay on the Human Need for GMO

Updated August 7, 2022
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Essay on the Human Need for GMO essay

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In the distant past, farmers harvested grain crops such as wheat by hand with very basic tools. Hand reaping basically means cutting the grain stalks with a sickle or a scythe fitted with a “grain cradle”. After that, farmers also had to collecting spilt grain from the field with a rudimentary rake. Working by hand in a huge field with this type of harvesting not only required many workers but also consumed a lot of time and energy. Needless to say, it was very unproductive. “An increased harvest index means higher yields, but it also means that humans have to spend more time and other resources nurturing the crop, which can result in decreased (harvest out/ resources in) (David, 2013).” Therefore, the invention of the reaper-binder, which is a grain harvesting machine was a revolution for the farmers. The very first grain harvesting machines were developed and used in Great Britain around 1800. However, due to their cumbersome and dangerous designs they were a failure. Beginning in the 1830s, the reaper version developed by the Americans Obed Hussey and Cyrus McCormick became popular and were eventually used by 70% of farmers in the USA.

However, the mechanization of farming took time and the early machines were far from perfect because the sheaves needed to be bound by hand. But the concept was popular and by the 1860s, there are more than 100,000 reapers in use on Western US farms. The 1870’s saw more progress as Charles Baxter Withington accomplished the invention of the binder, which is a later version of the reaper. This modern machine was able to cut the small-grain crop with the support from binding the steams into bundles or sheaves. The mechanical reaper-binders are still used today with a lot of improving in speed and power. With the earlier version, it used to be a horse-dawn, and a “bull-wheel” is the part that uses power to cut, bundling and tying. Later on, it was modernized to be tractor-dawn and tractor-powered. Also, it was updated for a combine harvester with a reel and a sickle bar. This invention revolutionized farming by combining many steps involved in harvesting crops into one machine.

In the field of agriculture, such improvements had a major impact in the mass production of grain crops. Farmers became more efficient and due to these machines were able to work around the seasonal variances in weather. This was a huge step for the economy because the reaper could harvest about 10 acres of grain a day, comparing to a past farmer yield of only about 3 acres a day by hand. Over time the export of grains became worldwide thanks to these developments.

Needless to say, the reaper-binder plays an important role in society as a whole. It helps to produce a mass amount of food for us everyday in our lives. Nevertheless, it also created a negative impact in that manual labor in this field decreased and many people lost their jobs. As a result, many former farmers and their families went on to different careers and endeavors. “If our goal is to ensure that every human has enough food to eat, then the fact that sustainable food systems can involve many people doing many different jobs can be seen as a path to the future (Sarah, 2013).” As food is such a basic item for human survival, we have all benefited from the surpluses these machines have created however we must also be mindful that due to changing climate conditions these surpluses may not last forever.

At this point in time serious consideration should be given to focusing on how our resources can best be utilized to ensure future generations will maximize the use of the land. Following the advancement in harvesting grain crops with reaper-binders, farmers need to evaluating land resource and focus on using machines tailored to upcoming challenges. In the future “Weeds, diseases and insect pests benefit from warming, and weeds also benefit from a higher carbon dioxide concentration, increasing stress on crop plants and requiring more attention to pests and weed control” (Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States 2009 Report) It is vital that more modern equipment can serve as a steward to the soil rather than a hindrance.

The most significant energy-demanding organ that determines our food experience is our brains because the nerve cells or neurons in our brains are very responsive. Indeed, while we are eating, the ingredients from the food interacts with our brains through the bloodstream. Mostly, anything that we eat will become glucose. Consider as gasoline for a car, it is fuel for our body to maintain energy, helps our brains to stay awake and alert. Notably, some specific foods release glucose faster than the others. It has been proven in medical research that the way of releasing glucose to our blood and brains depends on our diet.

For example, with the same amount of 25 grams of glucose from a donut and a small bowl of oats does not work in the same way. In fact, the amount of glucose that get into our body after having a donut is about 20 minutes. But then, it will start to drop dramatically and make us feel hard to focus. However, the oats release the sugar slower, so it balances the glucose level and help us to stay focused. Therefore, it is very important that we take into consideration what we consume into our bodies because some foods will have a different effect than others.

Everyone has their own favorite foods. Taste buds are a large group of cells found mostly on the tongue that allow us to taste different flavors. When something gets inside your mouth, your brain will get the signal and let you know if the food is salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami (a meaty, savory taste). Then, when chewing, your brain gets another message from your nose to let you know how it smells. From that moment, you know what you are eating. Basically, our bodies have the ability to distinguish the taste and flavor. You will not be able to taste good when you lose sense of smell. The flavor is also including the texture, temperature and sense of pain from spice like chilly peppers. There are about 100,000 different flavors that we are able to recognize.

Since our brains can recall what food tastes like, it determines what food we want to eat and how much we want to eat. Sometimes, we crave for certain foods because our brains alert that we need to have it. When our bodies need glucose as the energy, we like the taste of sweet. When we want to have savory foods, our bodies need to fill up the protein. Our experiences with food can be affect because of moods, senses, texture of food, sound etc. For example, some people prefer the texture of crunchy peanut butter rather than creamy peanut butter. People can enjoy their food or eat more if they listen to music while eating. Also, one more fact that when you are feeling sad or stressed, you tend to eat more sweet and fatty food than normal. It reduces the sadness, less hunger when fatty solution releases into the stomach. “Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the nature world, and about expressing our identity (Michael, 2008)”. We feel happy when we eat and create a social connection with others from eating together; therefore, promoting in health and social benefits.

Daily eating significantly creates eating behavior. To maintain a healthy eating lifestyle, “you’re better off eating whole fresh foods rather than processed food products (Michael, 2008)”. Having too much sugar can lead to diabetes when the body has high blood glucose levels. This disease causes blood vessels damage in the brain and affect in memory, learning, discernment, etc. Besides, food can impact your behavior and mood. Our eating behaviors changes when we eat with other people. Many people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy have reaction immediately such as being irritable or aggressive. Therefore, knowing common food allergens such as dairy, nuts and eggs is very important in order to avoid health and behavior issues.

Animals play important roles in healthy farm ecosystems. There are two significant roles that come from bees and earthworms. Firstly, earthworms are good friends of plants because they help the soil to increase fertility. In fact, the plants stay healthy because their castings (which are called waste) have a rich amount of phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen and magnesium, all which improve soil structure. Also, their mucus gets into the soil and thus preventing the nutrients from being washed away with the first watering. Consequently, farmers need to increase the number of earthworms in agriculture because of these benefits. Secondly, bees are also important in the ecosystems. Bees play a vital role in the fertilization of vegetables, nuts and fruit. They transfer pollen from one flower to another, so they support the growth of many plants. While other insect pollinators (such as wasps) exist, none play a more central role in nature than bees.

As far as meat is concerned its quality “depends upon how animals are raised, and also upon how you integrate them into your diet (Sandor, 2006).” Raising animals in a factory-style means that they are injected with antibiotics and growth hormones. In other to make them grow up faster and also reach the expected weight, their food is often the by-products of chemical agriculture which contain high level of toxicity. These animals are frequently raising in unnatural conditions for human consumption. There is a large-scale of factory farms that contain a huge amount of wastes from the animals, “creating odors, contaminating drinking water sources, killing fish populations, encouraging antibiotic resistant bacteria” (Sandor, 2006), which will eventually damage human health. Animals should eat natural diet, as well live in natural conditions. Therefore, I think that we should consider how the animals live in order to make the right eating decisions.

In food ethics, many people have been questioning themselves if we should eat animal meat. The way that animals were killed in the factories is horrible and cruel. “It was porkmaking by machinery, porkmaking by applied mathematics (Sandor, 2006).” Their opinion of enjoying the taste of meat falls under moral unjustifiable category, and we do not have to eat meat to survive. Animals have feeling like human, they can be happy, sad or afraid. Indeed, meatless meals can be prepared from beans, vegetables and whole grains. Also, some other foods which are also from animals without harming them such as eggs, and dairy products are highly recommend for ethical vegetarians. These ingredients also have rich proteins, vitamins and other nutrients. Over consuming meat products increases health risks like heart disease, stroke or diabetes.

A vegetarian diet is healthier because it is “a varied diet of chemical-free-plain-source foods (Sandor, 2006).” Besides, as a meat-eater, I will avoid having meats from any factory farm that feed and raise animals in a bad condition to protect my health and support animal rights. For example, we should choose animal products that they were raised without harming the planet rather than raising on GM foods. If we cannot be a vegetarian, we can eat less meat or get meats from local farmer market since it will be fresher. To conclude, people in the world should connect together to save animals from reducing the massive food waste every year.

A GMO, which is stands for “Genetically Modified Organism”, is a combination of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding. GMO organisms are typically produced via the transfer of genetic material between two or more species that are not capable of reproducing in nature. This process is termed genetic engineering (GE) because it takes place only in the laboratory through the use of biotechnology. Historically, people have been trying to produce plants with better characteristics for centuries. These days a variety of plant breeding techniques are used including selective breeding, genetic engineering and mutagenesis. A number of cultivated plants have been selected to generate new varieties of crops. The concept is that biotechnology, specifically genetic engineering will aid plant breeders in increasing agricultural productivity and reducing the need for pesticides.

The justification for the creation of GMO is human need. Indeed, the population is growing everyday, so biotechnology is thought of as chance to produce enough food for humankind by increasing crop yields. It is presented as cheaper and cost saving for consumers. Everyone also cares about the taste of the food; therefore, the new genetically modified varieties of seeds are touted as a way to improve the flavor and texture of the end product, thus ensuring customer satisfaction. In addition, the theory is that the stronger crops from GMOs will require less pesticides in their growth cycle and alleviate the pollution and harm to the environment pesticides create. The supposition is also that by reducing the amount of pesticides sprayed in the environment global warming may also decrease.

Whatever the benefits of GMOs there is certainly a downside to human health, specifically increased risk of allergies and even toxic reactions to certain genetically modified products. The evidence of hazards in GM foods from Australia showed how a pea weevil threatens the pea industry because a common pea has the ability to kill the pea weevil from a gene. “When the gene was transferred to the pea, the new GM peas caused allergic lung damage in mice (Janisse, 2012).” Additionally, the theory that GM seeds would free farmers from the need to spend time and resources weeding has proved to almost completely false. Nature has a strange way of taking its own course and GM crops that are bred to be herbicide resistant are now being choked by weeds that have also developed a resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides. ““It’s natural selection” said Freese (Bill Freese of the Center for Food Safety) of how weeds can evolve to become resistant to the chemicals designed to kill them (Sarah, 2013).”

In general, people should not only be concerned about the health danger issues from eating genetically modified crops, but also about the threats in the environment. Everyone should be educated to know about the risks and precautions of GMOs in order to have the right decision in buying food. In my opinion, we can buy organic foods or non-GMO labels to avoid the risks from GM. Also, we should try to reduce to have some kinds of certain food that are the most GMO ingredients such as soy, corn, canola, especially sweetener which is a GMO derivative mostly found from gum, candy and soft drinks. Because GMOs are keep increasing, farmers will have no other option to buy seeds since several new genes are added to the variety of seeds and the others are also herbicide-resistant. Therefore, it is very important to know about the impacts on agriculture and the environment from genetically modified foods.

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