What is in this article?:
- Biotech coming to sweet corn
- Taste the difference
- Sweet corn in grocery stores and at roadside stands is less than 1 percent of the overall corn market but uses 40 percent of all insecticides used in corn production.
- GM sweet corn helps reduce insecticide use because it has some of the traits found in the field corn I grow that becomes animal feed, corn sugar, and biofuel.
Taste the difference
Long before biting into GM corn on the cob, I could see a difference. As soon as the plants started to sprout in the field, it was obvious: The stalks were strong and the kernels clean. There were no weeds in the rows, robbing moisture. I didn’t even have to worry about insect pests like rootworm or the corn borer. The plants resist them naturally, thanks to biotechnology.
When I’ve grown sweet corn in the past, I’ve struggled with both weeds and pests. The only way to begin to control them was through chemical sprays. Non-GM sweet corn usually requires two or three applications of herbicide and one or two of pesticide. My GM sweet corn, however, needed just one pass of herbicide–and the result was far better.
It’s an example of less equaling more–the very definition of sustainable agriculture. What a tremendous benefit for everyone.
Best of all was the taste. Corn farmers say that healthy plants produce healthy ears and healthy ears produce healthy kernels. GM sweet corn is a healthy product down to its roots–and the final proof rests in the fact that it’s so delicious.
The enemies of biotechnology oppose every innovation in agriculture, and now they are of course turning their attention to the advent of the next GM sweet corn product. People who want to keep GM food out of their diets, however, have a simple solution: They can choose to buy organic. Any food that is labeled organic by definition is not a biotech product. These people have a choice in the products they choose to purchase. Why can’t I?
My experience growing GM sweet corn was a good one. It’s an outstanding food. I loved it and so did the folks at my church. I am confident you will too. We can thank biotechnology for making it possible and Wal-Mart for making it available.
Tim Burrack raises corn, soybeans and pork on a NE Iowa family farm. He volunteers as a Board Member of Truth About Trade and Technology.