If you’ve ever kept a close eye on the labels that companies put on certain food items like bananas, you’ll probably notice that there are often differences. One thing that you’ll see is the abbreviation ‘GMO,’ and another is ‘Organic.’ You’ve probably heard of organic bananas before – but what about GMOs?
What is the difference between these two types of bananas, and which one is better for you? This is a common question and if you find yourself wondering about it then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to take you through definitions for these labels and what they really mean, and also give you some information so that you can learn more about which the right choice is for you!
All About Bananas
In order to properly understand the differences between GMO and Organic Bananas, let’s take a moment to understand how bananas are grown. They are one of the most popular fruits in the world and have been a staple for human beings for countless years. Modern farming techniques have made bananas readily available and in most parts of the world, you’ll be able to buy a lot of them for not much money.
The largest amount of Bananas come out of Ecuador, which is perfect for growing because of its tropical climate. Bananas need a tropical, humid climate in order to grow, and grow from a root. Modern farming techniques have also allowed bananas to be grown in colder parts of the world, but a lot of the bananas in Western countries are exported.
What Does GMO Mean?
So let’s get right into our definitions of the terms. The abbreviation ‘GMO’ stands for Genetically Modified Organism. Some modern farming practices genetically modify plants so that they can improve the crop they’re trying to grow.
Benefits of GMO
We’re going to start off with some of the obvious advantages of GMOs and explain why they have been used so much since their invention.
Nutrition: GMOs means that you can get the most nutrition out of a crop. This is one of the reasons why it has been seen as a wonder in modern society. More nutritious food means more health benefits for a wide variety of people for much less cost.
Coloring and Attractiveness: GMOs allow crops to grow without some of the defects that consumers associate with bad food. For example, they are able to create apples that are much less likely to turn brown or bruised. This means that less food is wasted.
Easier Growing: GMOs are able to resist insects, thrive in harsher climates or climates less likely to grow the crop in question, and also the ability to grow in salty soil – which is usually a nightmare for growing.
Possible Concerns Around GMO Food
The topic of GMOs has been very controversial since its conception. Opponents of GMOs believe that this practice can cause great health issues when humans consume the products. There are a few main concerns around GMO foods and we’re going to list them for you below:
Lack Of Research: Since GMO practices are a fairly new thing, there isn’t much long-term, scientific research that has been done to measure the effects on humans. Whilst there don’t appear to be any obvious short-term effects on humans consuming this food, we haven’t had enough time to see what will happen in the future. This sense of the unknown is a concern to some people.
Toxins: Plants altered with GMOs carry trace amounts of toxins that can be harmful. Some people worry that GMOs may cause increased risks of cancer and other effects. This is, however, at best up in the air as there isn’t much evidence to support the idea.
Damage to Natural Environment: There are also environmental concerns about GMOs, as human intervention into natural processes has caused issues in other areas relating to climate.
What Does Organic Mean?
Organic bananas are the polar opposite of GMO bananas – and are grown without the use of unnatural pesticides or fertilizers. Organic bananas are going to be high in their natural vitamins and nutrition – including vitamin B6 which helps the human body to form red blood cells.
Organic farming practices generally involve making sure that no GMOs are involved in the creation of the food. You can think of this as a more traditional way of farming. Organic farming is a system that attempts to create environmental sustainability without having to lean too much on human intervention.
This farming method relies on natural animal and plant fertilizer, hand working the fields, and crop rotation. These are all methods that you can link back to the dawn of human agriculture, and many believe that they are superior and more natural.
Because the idea of organic food has skyrocketed in popularity over the last thirty years or so, it’s easy to find organic food in any modern supermarket. Organic food is usually labeled with either a green leaf, a soil association sticker, or a Biodynamic Organic label. It’s worth noting that generally, organic food costs a little more than GMOs, but it’s not usually too much difference.
You can also buy organic food locally, in farmer’s markets, or from other local vendors. If you want to know if their food is organic then you can simply engage in a conversation with them to find out. However, you should watch out – if they’re not regulated by one of the associates we listed above, it can sometimes be hard to tell!
The final way you can make sure to eat organic is to grow your own food. Depending on where you live in the world – it can be difficult to grow bananas. But if you really care about the topic it’s a good alternative option!
So Are Organic Bananas Better Than GMO?
So then, let’s come to answer our initial question – which is the better banana to buy? GMO or Organic? This is a difficult question because there really isn’t all that much information about the long-term environmental and physical effects of using GMOs in farming. So far as we can tell. Providing it is well regulated and properly checked to make sure it meets health and safety standards, GMO bananas aren’t going to cause any immediate harm to you or the environment – but with that being said there are some concerns and we don’t properly understand the effects yet.
Meanwhile, organic bananas have been consumed since the dawn of human civilization and we know how good they are for your overall health. If you find yourself having concerns about GMO practices, then it might be best to go with organic. This is likely to cost you a little more, but that’s not to say it will break the bank. Similarly, if you’re just looking to get the cheapest option available, and don’t have any concerns about GMOs, then you should purchase regular, GMO bananas.
The debate around GMO food is a rising topic and it’s good to get the facts about what you’re putting into your body. There is a lot more you can read about the effects of GMO vs. Organic foods and the ultimate decision will have to be made by you! We hope that this article has given you some of the basics on this topic and that you now feel more confident about the whole thing.