SOC 2010, Cultural Geography
Unit VIII Scholarly Activity
Investigating Genetically Modified Organism Foods
For this assignment I was asked to conduct research into genetically modified organism (GMO) foods. I started by going through the weekly assigned reading, then I went online to get a better idea of what I should be looking for then I went to my local grocery store in search of GMO foods. From the reading I found that GMO is any organism that has had its DNA modified in a laboratory rather than through cross-pollination or other forms of evolution, (Knox & Marston, 2016). The local stores I went to were Winn Dixie and Walmart. Also, for this assignment I was asked several questions that I needed to answer for the investigation. The questions and answers are below.
1. What did I find?
Answer – After doing research about what exactly GMO foods are I found that most foods sold in grocery stores here some type of GMO additive in them.
2. How do I know, as a consumer, if I am eating engineered foods?
Answer – To be honest unless you know what to look for in the ingredients list you would never know.
3. Was it clearly marked?
Answer – I did not see any marking on any foods in the stores that I visited advertising them as GMO foods.
4. Does it matter?
Answer – To me this question might differ from person to person, personally I do think that companies should label foods that are genetically modified. We as consumers have a right to know what we are buying and putting into our bodies. Without the knowledge you aren’t even being given the choice.
5. Why is there a debate over these foods?
Answer – According to the text book the reason for debate is that engineered food is destined for consumption by poor people in the periphery, while “real” food, is produced by artisans and organic growers, will only be available to rich people in the core and little attention will be paid to the importance of reducing world hunger or access to a safe diet as a global human right, (Knox & Marston, 2016).
6. Should there be laws governing the production and labeling of GMOs?
Answer – Yes, I do believe there should be laws governing the production and labeling of GMOs. We have a right to know what we are putting in our bodies and the only way for us to know as consumers is for the manufactures to label these foods.
7. While you are at the local supermarket, choose three food items commonly consumed in the local area. Identify each food and where the items are produced – locally, regionally, or globally.
Answer – The three foods I chose were corn, yellow squash, and bell peppers. The corn was from South Carolina, the squash was from Mississippi, and the bell peppers were from Canada. So, two were produced regionally and one was produced globally.
8. How might this impact the local economy?
Answer – I think that the impact from importing food into the local community makes it cheaper for the consumer because grocery stores can get these foods at a wholesale price where as buying from a local farmer would be more expensive because they charge more because it can be labeled as organic, also importing foods makes most of these products available year-round at the same cost to the consumer where as farmers can only grow certain things seasonally. This can hurt the local farmers because most people will shop to save as much as possible rather than spend the extra few dollars on organic foods.