Ahh summer! As a farm wife and mother of four spirited boys the summer months are filled with baseball, sunburns at the lake, 4-H projects, and everything outdoors! For me, it also means a chance to explore one of my favorite hobbies, gardening!
I’ve been raising a garden for many years and each year is a different adventure. I love creating new, healthy recipes for my family to enjoy in the heat of summer. I also enjoy freezing and canning so we can have farm-fresh foods throughout the winter.
However, as a farmer and mother, I understand I can’t raise everything my boys enjoy eating from the garden. When they want broccoli and cucumbers in the winter, we take our trips to the grocery store and buy the same foods you do. Whether from the freezer or the can, I know the foods that come from the store, were raised with the same care as the foods I harvest from my own garden.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization the current world population is expected to rise from 7.6 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050. This means as farmers, we’re going to have to keep producing more with less for both my family and yours. That’s where plant breeding and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) are crucial to the vitality and future of the world’s projected population.
What are GMOs
Farmers and gardeners have been creating plant hybrids for as long as we’ve been growing plants. GMOs are simply more technologically advanced hybrids.
The World Health Organization defines GMOs as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. To create these GMOs, scientists select individual genes and transfer them from one organism to another.
It’s important to remember when grocery shopping that there are only 10 GMO crops available in the U.S. They are: soybeans, corn, papaya, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, Artic apples, and Innate potatoes.
Benefits of GMOs
Plant breeding creates crops that are better able to withstand environmental challenges such as drought, disease, and insect infestations. This allows us as farmers to grow more food in more places in the U.S. while using less land and fewer chemicals.
With a large family and a hectic schedule of raising boys and growing a farm, I’m thankful to have a wide spectrum of healthy, safe, and delicious options to provide for the next generation of farmers and food growers.
I celebrate the safe choices I have when it comes to planting crops and planning meals for our families. I truly believe that is what being a mom is really about. We are creating a better world for the next generation, and that means putting food on everyone’s plates.
Do you ever wonder where your food comes from? Do you feel overwhelmed with the number of food choices you have to make for your family? The farmers of CommonGround are a resource to educate families about food and farming. Get to know some of the farmers who raise food in your state.