Posted: 19 Feb 2009 03:44 PM PST
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.
(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!
The mass public has never been as open to the idea of “going green” as it is in 2009. However, this may not have happened were it not for the passionate activism of some key public figures! These “green celebrities” have made it their business to spread the word about helping the environment.
It would be an injustice for anyone but this man to top a list of celebrity environmentalists. The former vice-president’s seminal film “An Inconvenient Truth” opened the floodgates of public awareness on environmental issues, paving the way for Gore to spearhead a number of ambitious ecological projects. Perhaps his most promising such project is “Repower America”, which aims to have America running on 100% clean power within 10 years.
(Image via The Green Miles)
Baby-faced Leonardo DiCaprio has been an outspoken advocate for green policies in the last few years. In addition to flying mostly commercially and driving himself around in a Toyota Prius, DiCaprio lent his celebrity status to producing and narrating the eye-opening green documentary “The 11th Hour.
(Image via Canada.com)
Some celebrities are content to merely spout some green buzzwords, pressure people to buying hybrids and bask in the self-serving glow of being perceived as a celebrity who cares. Then there’s Robert Redford, who has personally campaigned to protect Utah wilderness, spent 30 years on the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and pushed several US mayors to make climate change a priority in their towns and cities. While others “talk the talk”, Redford has been earnestly “walking the walk” since long before it was popular to do so.
(Image via CarGurus.com)
George Clooney’s primary contribution to green celebrity lore was founding OilChange, a campaign aimed at ending America’s dependence on foreign oil. Clooney also owns and operates an electric hybrid car called the Tango (pictured above.)
(Image via Wired)
Grunge heavyweights Pearl Jam are quite possibly the first major touring act to assess its actions in terms of impact on the planet. As guitarist Stone Gossard (pictured above, center) explains in a 2006 interview (2:24 into the video), “we’re looking at our supply chains, where our CDs are manufactured, what kind of chemicals go into those, how far they have to fly…doing everything to counteract as much of the bad stuff we do as opposed to the good stuff.” Pearl Jam has also partnered with numerous organizations to help offset the carbon emissions of the estimated 1 million fans driving to and from the band’s concerts.
Ed Begley, Jr.
(Image via Green Patriot)
The host of his own green-themed reality TV show “Living With Ed”, Ed Begley, Jr. is another green celebrity who practices what he preaches. In addition to advocating for green policies on a wide scale, Begley composts his garbage and relies exclusively on thermal and solar energy to power his house. Talk is cheap, but a celebrity who so radically lives what he advocates deserves our sincerest praise!
(Image via Daily Green)
Best known for his hard-hitting on-screen persona in hit films like “American History X”, Ed Norton is spending a lot of his spare time fighting for solar energy. But instead of merely talking about the benefits of solar, Norton has set up a program called BP Solar Neighbors. The idea is to get other celebrities involved, as each time a celeb buys a solar panel for his or her home, BP donates one to a family in need.
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