Seeds, cells and proteins
There is no doubt that we are at a turning point in the history of mankind. Due to specific challenges, it has become necessary for us to rethink many issues that we used to take for granted. One of them, without a doubt, is our diet. We spent decades abusing the consumption of sugar, fats, processed foods, etc., which led to a significant increase in cases of diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, among many others. This made each of us pay more attention to what we were eating and look for more natural alternatives.
This is perhaps one of the keywords in this matter: “natural.” As time goes by, it is increasingly difficult to define this concept. Since man’s intervention or even the evolution of nature itself is blurring the line between natural and modified. Amid this controversy, it is inevitable not to think about genetically modified foods. The mere mention of them automatically generates a series of negative emotions. Their research began more than three decades ago by the Monsanto company, currently owned by Bayer (BATS EU: BAYN). Thinking about genetically modified food can cause astonishment, especially considering that the pioneer in such research, Monsanto, was involved in numerous complaints and legal battles.
The truth is that from a logical point of view, genetically modified foods have very functional applications. Let us think for a moment of an edible plant species that can be planted in aggressive environments, with extreme temperatures, water shortages, and with the ability to repel all kinds of pests. From that point of view, this is an exceptional technology that could even contribute to ending world hunger. But when it comes to food, not everything is logical; after all, we are talking about our fuel, which has physical, emotional, and even spiritual repercussions. We are involved in socio-cultural, ecological, ideological, and even religious issues that directly influence the decision to eat this or that food.
While numerous investigations are being carried out to define whether genetically modified foods are dangerous to health in the medium and long term, some equally striking alternatives have emerged, such as laboratory-grown meat. The process, broadly speaking, is based on extracting animal cells and feeding them with nutrients so that after a long process, they become tissue, which will finally result in the longed-for meat. It is an interesting alternative, considering that animal mistreatment is reduced to a minimum. At the same time, the product contains the quality control of a laboratory.
Undoubtedly, a new awareness for environmental preservation added to our effort to eat better, and the growing influx of people who dabble in vegetarianism and veganism are changing eating habits. This prompts science to seek alternatives and even large food companies to make a 180-degree turn and rethink their menus. For example, McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) recently launched its new product: the “McPlant,” a hamburger made from vegetables that imitates animal meat in color, texture, and flavor.
There are still many questions to be studied infinite investigations to be carried out to certify pros and cons, benefits, and adversities. It is a subject as exciting as it is delicate. The road will undoubtedly be full of information/misinformation that will seek to convince the consumer of this or that thing. Let us not forget that behind this “fuel” that generates the energy necessary for our lives is one of the most multi-million dollar industries in the world.