Genetically modified food is one of great controversies of our time. Supporters point to wonderful possibilities of nutrient-packed food and solving world hunger, while critics fear unknown effects on human health. But whatever one’s opinion the matter, one thing is clear: some genetically modified fruits and vegetables are awfully intriguing! Here are 7 of the most interesting examples:
(Image via Elanso)
The graisin (or giant raisin) is a raisin which has been genetically re-programmed to grow far beyond its normal size. It was produced by Japan’s National Institute of Genetics, which is unsurprising given that nation’s love for large fruits of all kinds. And while they taste exactly the same as small raisins, graisins are sure to make dinner guests stare in awe!
(Image via Wikipedia)
Originally funded by UNICEF and created for Third World aid efforts, a grapple is simply a genetic cross between a grape and an apple. The fruit keeps the size and shape of the apple, the texture of the grape, and the flavor of both while providing a potent, high-strength dose of vitamin C. OK, so someone went a bit afield with their research here – turns out the Grapple is not a genetic cross but is instead created via “a totally safe process [done to] apples after picking, which imparts the grape flavor throughout the apple.” See: GrappleFruits for more information.
(Image via Palomar.edu)
Plums and apricots are delicious fruits in their own right, but combined, they form the genetically modified treat known as the pluot. Described by WiseGeek as “an intensely flavored fruit”, pluots are heavily fortified with vitamin C and have no sodium or cholesterol.
(Image via TeamSugar)
“Should I have a tangerine or a grapefruit?” No longer need this question be asked! Lovers of each fruit can now get the best of both worlds with this sweet hybrid, which boasts a ton of fiber, vitamin C, and a slightly tart taste!
(Image via MSNBC)
Could colorful, genetically-modified carrots like those pictured here be the secret to absorbing more calcium? Two Texas researchers say yes – and they’ve created a carrot they claim allows people to absorb 40% more calcium than normal carrots to back up their claims!
(Image via FloridaTrend)
Diabetes is one of the most frustrating and life-threatening illnesses out there. Living with it (at minimum) means daily, sometimes painful insulin injections – until now. University of Central Florida professor Henry Daniell has created a genetically modified strain of lettuce (pictured above) that carries the insulin gene. The lettuce cells protect the insulin on its journey through the digestive tract, and when the insulin reaches the intestines, the body’s natural insulin-producing response is triggered.
(Image via FreeWebs)
Okay, so a lemon and a tomato aren’t the most natural of pairs, but that didn’t stop Israeli researchers from bringing us the Lemato! Unlike other genetically altered fruits and veggies (which were created primarily for health reasons), it appears that the lemato was solely an experiment to determine if it was possible to make tomatos give off the scent of lemons. Mission accomplished!