Choice of food for Human Consumption

Choice of food for Human Consumption




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Choice of food for Human Consumption

What is the difference between a label that reads “Natural,” “Organic,” and “USDA Organic”?

Natural foods are those that have no or very minimal processing and they are assumed not to contain any antibiotics or any other artificial flavors but many food manufacturers can place this label on food even processed one because the FDA and USDA have no regulations for such foods. Organic foods are those that have not used any antibiotic, pesticides or chemicals for crops and growth hormones for animals but they have not received certification from the USDA while on the other hand, USDA organic is organic that has met all the stringent restrictions that are there and received certification as organic food.

It is important to look organic labels on certain foods more than others because there are some foods, for instance sea foods that are not covered under the current organic regulations.

Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are those who DNA has been manipulated or engineered by introduction of a specific gene to enhance a given desired trait and reproduced. Agricultural plants are some of the examples of genetically modified organisms and some of them include corn, maize, tobacco and soybeans. According to Takeda & Matsuoka (2008) some of the benefits of genetic modification of plants include reduced costs of food production, increased resistance to pests and crop diseases, development of faster maturing food species and enhanced nutrient composition of foods.

Some of the risks associated with GMO is that they may have a negative impact on the environment and human health. GM crops have foreign species and the foreign expression of such genes may change or harm the external environment that organisms exists in. There are also potential risks to human health due to consumption of GM foods for example by developing new allergies. Thus I think that it is important for all GM foods to be labelled as such so that people can decide if they want to go ahead and purchase them(Lemaux,2008).

I am a great consumer of organic foods so I don’t really have to think about which food to buy because my choice is pretty narrowed. Hence, when making purchases for food to use I rely on the USDA organic seal because although there are many organic labels out there is only one that is directly related to food.


Peggy G. Lemaux. 2008. Genetically Engineered Plants and Foods: A Scientist’s Analysis of the

issues (Part I). Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 59:771-812.

Takeda, S., & Matsuoka, M. Genetic approaches to crop improvement: Responding to

environmental and population changes. Nature Reviews Genetics 9, 444–457 (2008)


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