Splicing Genes into Your Apple

NY Times Apple A New York Times article on Thursday shared news about a small company that is trying to introduce a genetically modified apple that does not turn brown when cut or bruised. This is causing consternation with many in the apple growers’ industry because they are concerned that it will tarnish the apple’s image as a wholesome, natural fruit. 

Genetic modification is one of those topics I look at with great fascination. The wonders that science can create are truly amazing but at the same time I wonder if some of these advances perhaps go a bit too far. A quote from the article:

A whole apple is “for many people too big a commitment,” [the founder of Okanagan Specialty Fruits] said. “If you had a bowl of apples at a meeting, people wouldn’t take an apple out of the bowl. But if you had a plate of apple slices, everyone would take a slice.”

Really? A whole apple is too big a commitment? Most of the apples sold here in Thailand are smaller varieties, not the ones bred to be as large as grapefruit. Maybe the solution is to just grow smaller apples.

What are your thoughts on this?


0 thoughts on “Splicing Genes into Your Apple

  1. I read that article a few days ago. I’d rather have an old fashioned apple designed by Mother Nature than some genetically modified apple. I also saw this article on some why tomatoes lack flavour http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304830704577494804105404584.html. I know a lot of this research helps farms & the food supply chain become more efficient. Reading this makes me long for the tomatoes and the vegetables she grew in the backyard. On an unrelated note, I had a strange dream last night. I was in Bangkok and about to meet up with you. It was a last minute, spur of the moment decision to meet up. As I was getting ready, I looked frantically in my hotel room for my laptop. I realized I left it back home. So I decided to return home to get it so I could blog about our meeting. But I didn’t fly home. I went through some sort of portal. When I got home I either got distracted or never found the portal to get back to Bangkok. So I never did meet up with you. I guess I’ll continue to remain anonymous.

  2. Maybe I sound old-fashioned but I like my food natural. No major modifications. If I find something in my vegetable/fruit that looks bad, I can cut it out. And yes, I also don’t like my apple to turn brown but then I just eat it fast.

  3. i don’t like to eat a whole apple no matter what the size because of the seeds and the core, where do you put it when you are at a meeting or in the car. i do however love to cut up apples and put them in baggies for snacks and in salads and etc.    apples are delicious in lots of dishes i have even added them to rice.

  4. On the one hand, man has been cultivating and manipulating apples since the garden of Eden. And man has modified some varieties to be nearly tasteless (can you say Red Delicious?). I like an apple whole and I never worry about them turning brown because I eat them befor that happens. I imagine the genetically modified apple would be a “good keeper” and lacking in all flavor and aroma. In conclusion, I’ll stick with my favorites Mutsu, Ginger Gold, McIntosh, Winesap, and Empire… I have no committment issues!

  5. @murisopsis – There’s a new variety I’m seeing here – Ambrosia – that seems to be very crisp and sweet. Kind of the way Fujis were before they bred them to be so large and flavorless.@rudyhou – Yes, it seems like most people can handle a whole one. And a splash of lemon juice is enough to keep them from turning brown.@I_love_Burma – We’re discovering here in Thailand that conventional fruits and veg can have a LOT of pesticides on them. Thank goodness organic is rapidly expanding.@grannykaren – Throw it out by the side of a road and then in a few years, there will be an apple tree there! =D@beowulf222 – The part about it not browning when cut sounds okay to me, but if it bruised and doesn’t discolor, how are you going to know about the damage?@ClimbUpTreesToLookForFish – Amen!@ElusiveWords – That is a very strange dream Matt, and one that I hope doesn’t come true.

  6. I would definitely prefer a less…. modified specimen, but I wonder if it’s really possible to even find such a thing these days. Or even how well my body could stomach it. I bet if I stopped eating the massive amount of chemicals and hormones that I’m accustomed to that I’d probably die from withdrawal.

  7. The GMO topic has put me over the edge, right into gardening in my own back yard. Imagine that. Big Fuji apples are my favorite. They never go to waste around here. Even my kids’ friends snatch them up. I guess their parents only ever fed them red delicious (uck).

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