Nature is not just beauty and pristineness, but also the food we eat, water, and the air we breathe. It is what keeps us alive. But we humans are prone to construct 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 are 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 use synthetic fertilizers, irradiation, pesticides, bioengineering, or sewage.

Bioengineered food is produced from the organisms whose DNA is modified, allowing the introduction of new traits in the subject.

What is the need for modification?

Non-organic food is cost-effective as compared to healthier organic food. As per studies, 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 enhancing flavour is major. Bioengineering leads to delayed rotting and increased supply at a low cost. It is the best solution to meet the requirement 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 consuming large quantities of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. This is a growing cause of certain diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and heart diseases.

GM is known to develop several allergic reactions and antibiotic resistance due to alterations in DNA. Toxicity can also be observed in research that affects the liver, pancreas, or reproduction system.

What are the effects of GM on hormones?

Estrogen and Testosterone both play a significant role in fertility. Estrogen levels were found to be increased due to the intake of GM in rats. Estrogen dominance leads to infertility issues such as PCOs, ovulation complications, low sperm count, uterine fibroids, etc. In males, raised estrogen may bring about a change in sperm health and count.

Hormonal imbalance also causes poor liver health.

How do you identify conventional or GM foods?

It is pretty easy to identify the product of your own choice through the sign placed in the grocery stores. Many items have tags that have ‘’organic’’ or ‘’100% organic ingredients’’ clearly mentioned. Also, if the size of organic fruits and vegetables is more significant than usual, though they will amaze you, do not think of adding these to your diet if you do not wish to consume adulterated products. Several other factors let you recognize the product, but the easiest way is to look at PLU (price look-up code).

• If PLU is four digits, it is grown in pesticide

• five digit PLU starting with 8 is an indication of GM.

• five digit code starting with 9 means it is organically grown.

Although there are various cons of contaminated 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 go with what we think is best for our health and environment.