You know how you have a craving for a fresh, juicy apple? So you get an apple, take a couple of bites out of it, and then think to yourself, "I'll just save the rest of this apple for later?" Then when you go to finish your apple several hours later, it has turned slightly brown and you think, "Oh no! I can't eat this now! It's discolored and unattractive!" so you dispose of it? Me neither. But apparently a Canadian company, Okanangan Specialty Fruits (OSF), has decided that apple browning is an issue of tremendous importance to the human race and thus has created the first genetically modified non-browning apple.
The Arctic Apple, as the company's creation is called, is a big deal in the mad science world of Frankenfoods. While we consumers have been chowing down on genetically engineered foods since the 1990s, these have been mostly processed foods. The Arctic Apple is one of the first genetically modified foods that consumers will bite into directly. Yummmm, taste those deliciously altered DNA strands....soooo gooood.
Whatever your stand on genetically modified foods, one has to wonder how a company chooses the trait(s) to alter. For instance, perhaps they could engineer disease or pest resistance to reduce the use of chemicals on farms. Perhaps they could engineer for increased nutritional value. Perhaps they could engineer longer shelf life to reduce waste. Or maybe they could engineer an apple that doesn't brown so that it will look prettier even though dipping it in lemon juice does the same thing without monkeying with its genetic code. Just sayin'.
To be fair, though, here is OSF founder Neal Carter to explain why a non-browning apple is really necessary:
Mr. Carter also stated that a whole apple is “for many people too big a commitment...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." Well, if that doesn't justify creating a genetically modified fruit, then I don't know what does! Lord knows, we don't want people to have to commit to an entire apple!