Coming to a grocery store near you in the produce section could be potatoes that won’t bruise and apples that won’t turn brown. No, it’s not plastic fruit that looks forever fresh.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved two varieties of genetically engineered apples and six varieties of genetically engineered potatoes, concluding “that these foods are as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts.”
The Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc. apples “are genetically engineered to resist browning associated with cuts and bruises by reducing levels of enzymes that can cause browning,” the FDA says in a news release.
J.R. Simplot Company’s varieties of Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank and Atlantic potatoes “are genetically engineered to reduce the formation of black spot bruises by lowering the levels of certain enzymes in the potatoes.”
People who are into locally produced, organic and naturally grown fruits and vegetables will likely balk at picking up the genetically engineered variety. The world of food keeps changing.
For years we’ve eaten fruits and vegetables that have ripened in boxcars as they are shipped from growers in South America and Central America to U.S. grocery stores. Don’t forget the heavily processed, prepackaged foods making their way to our kitchen tables.
It’s a brave new world but not necessarily better.