Why Should We Eat Genetically Modified Food?
Companies and even independent farmers who plant GMO crops have a tendency to plant them with a technique called “monocropping.” Monocropping refers to the practice of growing only one type of agricultural product in a large area of land, year after year” (“Industrial”). When farmers rotate their crops (for example, plant potatoes one season, corn the next, wheat after that, then potatoes again and so on), the different plants each use and replenish different nutrients in the soil, so the soil stays fertile and can continue to support crops for many years. When farmers monocrop plants for an extended period of time (such as planting corn twenty years in a row), though, the plants use the same nutrients from the soil again and again, without replacing them. The soil’s nutrients are sucked dry, and the plot of land that the farmer was using becomes unplantable for years, up to decades, until the soil can naturally replenish its nutrients through rain, insects, and sediment deposits. Even “duocrops” (as Washington Post author Tamar Haspel calls them), where farmers plant just two crops and rotate them back and forth, still don’t provide the soil with enough variety to stay healthy (Haspel). While farmers are often guilty of monocropping GMOs, they do it just as often with natural crops, and the results are just as destructive. The problem that needs to be taken into consideration to solve the soil problem is not whether or not GMOs should be banned, but attacking monocropping practices.
In addition, many people are concerned about the environmental impact that GMOs have in regard to being engineered as natural pesticides. After all, just like antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, “superweeds” that are resistant to pesticides are becoming more and more of a