Tag Archives: USDA


A Brief History of GMOs

GMO history

Most of you probably think genetic engineering is a byproduct of the modern era, as an attempt for mankind to conquer nature. On the contrary, they have been around for thousands of years. However, it is not until recently that GMOs have proliferated and became an integral part of modern agriculture. 

Recent History and Proliferation

corn fieldSince the discovery of the DNA, scientists have conducted extensive studies and attempts at genetic modifications of living organism. The first patent was issued to General Electric some 35 years ago in 1980 for a modified bacterium that transformed spill cleanup efforts by gobbling up crude oil. Pretty neat stuff right? A couple years later, Genentech successfully produced human insulin by inserting human genome into E.Coli. It was considered a monumental breakthrough at the time.

Tomatoes were the first crops to be tested commercially. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the first ever grown genetically modified crop to the market: Calgene’s Flavr Savr tomatoes. Designed to ripen slower and remain firm for longer periods than it’s competition, it became an overnight sensation. By 1995, a staggering 67% of cheese produced in the U.S. was being made from cows treated with some form of growth hormones.

Experts say that 60-70% of all produce in your local grocery store contains some form of genetic modification. “In 2014, GMO crops made up 94 percent of US soybean acreage, 93 percent of all corn planted, and 96 percent of all cotton.” The FDA stands firm on its decision allowing GMO products to remain unlabeled while the European Union imposed a complete ban for such products.

Now What?

vegetablesFor the average consumer, there are few resources that provide unbiased opinions on the subject matter. Long-term effects of GMOs are still unknown to the human body. With little to no regulation, it is nearly impossible for consumers to differentiate natural and modified products. For those who have space, a growing number of people opted to grow and harvest their own food as a method of monitoring exactly what goes into their body. Luckily, there is now a market for indoor gardens, like Droponic, that allows anyone to grow their own indoor garden and be confident about what they’re consuming.

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What is a healthy meal?

In 2011 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated the food pyramid and introduced what is dubbed MyPlate. MyPlate is a plate-like food circle that divides the different food groups by the amount of each that is recommended to be on your plate for each meal. This is an intuitive stepping stone from the food pyramid diagram introduced in 1992 since it visually illustrates the amount of each food that should occupy a plate during each meal.


MyPlate is the most current nutrition guide from the USDA and divides the plate into four sections of approximately 30% grains, 40% vegetables, 10% fruits, and 20% protein. These approximations are accompanied by additional recommendations when thinking about holistic, well-crafted, and healthy meals. These recommendations aim to provide a broader understanding of health and nutrition and include statements such as “switch to 1% or skim milk” and “vary your protein food choices”. When MyPlate was unveiled in 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama remarked:

“Parents don’t have the time to measure out exactly three ounces of chicken or to look up how much rice or broccoli is in a serving. … But we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates. … And as long as they’re eating proper portions, as long as half of their meal is fruits and vegetables alongside their lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy, then we’re good. It’s as simple as that.”

Be sure to consult MyPlate to eat healthy meals today and everyday! Everyone can find more information about MyPlate on the USDA website

Learn how to fill your plate with greens grown from Droponic today.

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