Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are readily available in almost all markets and food retailers at this point in time. Some studies show that about 70% of the processed foods on our shelves contain at least one ingredient that is genetically modified. There has been a recent influx of discussion regarding the benefits vs. detriments of consuming genetically engineered crops. This is an ongoing debate and a complicated issued. Biologically altered crops allow for the growth of food products in areas of shortage, extreme weather, and crop-destructive insects. But, there is also the argument that the genetic engineering of food can have extremely detrimental effects on human health. No matter what side of the argument you fall on, it’s important to know which crops are genetically modified. These are the crops that currently have the most acreage of genetically modified crops planted within the United States.
Almost 90% of the corn grown in the United States is genetically modified. A small portion of that corn is sold as just plain corn to the general public, most of it is used for other food-products. Corn is one of the crops that is used most often in the production of processed foods, and is also used in abundance as food for livestock.
Soybeans are the second largest crop within the United States and is unsurprisingly also one of the most genetically modified crops available. Genetically modified soy is most often used in the form of oil, which means it plays a huge part in the 70% of processed foods being touched by GMO crops.
While most cotton crops are used for material goods, there is a significant portion of the crop that is used to make cottonseed oil, which is in turn used in vegetable oil and added to most processed foods. Some genetic engineers have made a breakthrough with the engineering of cotton seeds, which made the previously inedible cotton seeds edible. However, there are still regulations and logistics to be taken care of before this particular strain of cotton becomes available to the public.