Written by Joan Ruskamp @ Common Ground Nebraska
Summer is here for many of us! A great recipe our family enjoys is summer salsa that I like to make with sweet corn and tomatoes. Both of these vegetables are fresh in our stores today because of food biotechnology – or GMOs.
What are the benefits of food biotechnology to agriculture?
Growing food with GMOs can result in better-tasting fruits and vegetables that stay fresh longer and are naturally resistant to insects. Plant breeding also results in crops better able to withstand the environmental challenges of drought, disease and insect infestations.
By developing special traits in plants, food biotechnology allows for more food to be grown in more places using fewer chemicals and fewer natural resources. This increased availability of crops provides significant economic gains to farmers in developing countries.
It helps your food budget as well.
An Iowa State University study shows that without food biotechnology, global prices would be nearly 10 percent higher for soybeans and 6 percent higher for corn.
Biotechnology also benefits the environment.
A Council for Agricultural Science and Technology report says biotech soy, corn and cotton have decreased soil erosion by 90 percent, preserving 37 million tons of topsoil. Food Biotechnology crops also provide a 70 percent reduction in herbicide runoff and an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
USDA also says research on potatoes, squash, tomatoes and other crops continues in a similar manner to provide resistance to diseases that otherwise are very difficult to control.
No need to fear your food!
2 ears cooked sweet corn (2 cups)
3 med tomatoes chopped (3 cups)
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves (or chop fresh if avail.)
1 tablespoon lime juice
Mix all ingredients well. Let sit at least an hour. You can adjust the amounts according to your own preferences. This salsa is great when you have fresh corn and tomatoes from the garden (later in the summer for those of us in Nebraska!) but thanks to food biotechnology, we can enjoy these vegetables year-round!