by Alex Hutchins
Genetically modified foods, also known as genetically engineered foods, are the latest contribution of genetic engineering technology. These foods are made by inserting genes of other species into their DNA. Though this kind of genetic modification is used both in plants and animals, it is found more commonly in the former than in the later. There are a variety of reasons for developing such foods. For instance, some foods are genetically modified to prevent the occurrence of allergies after consumption, while some are developed to improve their shelf life. It is also been said that experts are working on developing foods that have the ability to cure certain diseases.
- One of the major advantage is that they help in controlling the occurrence of certain diseases.
- It is also said that these foods grow faster than the foods that are grown in the traditional manner.
- At times, genetically engineered food crops can be grown at places with unfavorable climatic conditions too. A normal crop can grow only in specific season or under some favorable climatic conditions.
- Though the seeds for such foods are quite expensive, their cost of production is said to be lesser than that of the traditional crops.
- Genetically engineered foods are said to be high in nutrients, and contain more minerals and vitamins than those found in traditionally grown foods.
- The biggest threat caused by this food is that they can have harmful effects on the human body.
- In many countries, manufacturers do not mention on the label that foods are genetically manufactured because they think that this would affect their business.
- Many religious and cultural communities are against such foods because they see it as an unnatural way of producing foods.
- Experts are of the opinion that with the increase of such foods, developing countries would start depending more on industrial countries because it is likely that the food production would be controlled by them in the time to come.
A renowned cardiologist, Dr. William Davis explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse myriad health problems. Every day, over 200 million Americans consume food products made of wheat.
- Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products. Approximately three-quarters of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour.
- More food is made with wheat than any other cereal grain.
- U.S. Farmers grow nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land.
- About half the wheat grown in the United States is used domestically.
As Dr. Davis tells it, the hybridization of wheat came about in an effort to improve yield, which is now about tenfold greater per acre than it was a century ago. Older strains of wheat were taller and more prone to damage from wind and rain. Dr. Davis writes that modern wheat is approximately 70 percent carbohydrate by weight. The carbohydrate is in the form of a starch called amylopectin A. Far worse, according is Dr. Davis, is the new protean enzyme that this genetically altered wheat created called, Gliadin. Gliadin, Dr. Davis says, is an opiate that actually causes us to eat more.
Gliadin is a protein found within wheat gluten. It is, from a cold scientific viewpoint, a fascinating issue, a protean protein capable of incredibly varied biologic effects in humans.
Among the things we know about gliadin:
- Gliadin is the most abundant protein in wheat, contained within gluten polymers.
- Gliadin of 2012 is different from the gliadin of, say, 1960, by several amino acids, part of the genetic transformation of wheat introduced to increase yield-per-acre.
- Gliadin is degraded to a collection of polypeptides called exorphins in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Exorphins cross the blood-brain barrier and bind to opiate-receptors to induce appetite, as well as behavioral changes, such as behavioral outbursts and inattention in children with ADHD and autism, hearing voices and social detachment in schizophrenics, and the mania of bipolar illness.