Nature is not just beauty and pristineness, but also the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. It is what keeps us alive. But we humans are prone to constructing shortcuts to achieve things that may consume some time if allowed to proceed naturally.

One of the most common examples is the fruits and vegetables we eat and believe to be very healthy. But are we eating what nature has blessed us with in abundance, or have we become targets of these artificially designed tactics to speed up processes?

What is non-organic or GM food?

Conventional foods make use of synthetic fertilizers, irradiation, pesticides, bioengineering, or sewage.
Bioengineered food is produced from organisms whose DNA has been modified, allowing the introduction of new traits into the subject.

What is the need for modification?

Non-organic food is cost-effective as compared to healthier organic food. As per studies, it is stated that organic food is approximately 47% more expensive than conventional food. Also, you don’t have to wait for the peak season to fulfill your cravings as non-organic food can be made available all year round.On the other hand, GM fruits and vegetables have numerous pros; looking appetizing and enhancement of flavor are the major ones. Bioengineering leads to delayed rotting and increased supply at a low cost. It is the best solution to meet the needs of the overgrowing population in the coming years, especially in such unpredictable environmental conditions.

How do these products affect their consumers?

Eating conventional food means that you are consuming pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics, and that too, in large quantities. This is a growing cause of certain diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and several heart diseases.
GM is known to develop several allergic reactions and antibiotic resistance due to alterations in DNA. Toxicity can also be observed as per some research that has effects on the liver, pancreas, or reproductive system.

What are the effects of GM on hormones?

Estrogen and testosterone both play a major role in fertility. Estrogen levels were found to be increased due to the intake of GM in rats. Estrogen dominance leads to a variety of infertility issues such as PCOs, ovulation complications, low sperm count, uterine fibroids, etc. Raised estrogen may bring about a change in sperm health and count in males.
Hormonal imbalance also causes poor liver health.

How do you identify conventional or GM foods?

It is quite easy to identify the product of your own choice through the signs placed in the grocery stores. Many items have tags that have ‘’organic’’ or ‘’100% organic ingredients’’ clearly mentioned. Even if the size of organic fruits and vegetables is larger than normal, though they will amaze you, do not think of adding these to your diet if you do not wish to consume adulterated products. There are several other factors that let you recognize the product, but the easiest way is to look at the PLU (price look-up code).
• If PLU is 4 digit, it is grown in pesticide
• a 5 digit PLU starting with 8 is an indication of GM.
• 5 digit code starting with 9 means it is organically grown.
Although there are various cons of adulterated products, scientists are not sure if they outweigh the pros or not. This is due to a lack of enough research at this stage, especially regarding potential long-term effects, so it leaves the decision to us to go with what we think is best for our health and the environment as well.