Picture Wednesday: Non-GM food| Day 179

When I investigated the vast and incestuous family of kale, I touched upon cultivation. I’ve also written about GM foods when I was explaining why you should not be afraid of a new potato variety.

Recently the Genetic Literacy Project website posted an image on their blog showing what your food would look like if it hadn’t been genetically modified over millennia.

I liked the idea, so I decided to gather a few photos myself.

This is what wild carrots look like. The species is called Daucus carota. What is the orange vegetable that we eat? Daucus carota sativus.

wild carrot root
Wild carrot | By Jan Macario – CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

Here’s a wild-type banana for you. Without human selection, it carries large seeds throughout. While there are lots of banana varieties out there, the ones we eat all go back to two ancestral species, Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata.

wild banana
Wild banana | Wikimedia Commons

Remember eggplants or aubergines? The dark purple fruit from the nightshade family, perhaps one of the most delicious vegetables humans have ever developed? Its Latin name is Solanum melongena, domesticated from Solanum incanum, which looks like this.

solanum incanum wild eggplant
Wikimedia Commons

There are many examples like this, of course. Genetic modification has been in our agriculture for eons – we’ve just learned to do it faster now. Which also makes an appeal to nature somewhat more difficult to maintain.

2 thoughts on “Picture Wednesday: Non-GM food| Day 179”

  1. Would be interesting if you could investigate how GM is actually applied and who does it. I’ve heard that GM is often used to boost plant resistance to pesticides and herbicides. I wonder if it’s true.

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