Millennials are lazy, absorbed in technology and cluelessly think eating non-GMO is trendy, right? Well, this may not be entirely true. Trust me, I’m a millennial.
Ok, I admit it, I spend a lot of time on my phone each day. From texting friends, to browsing Facebook to pinning on Pinterest, I might have a slight addiction to technology, but don’t hold that against me just yet.
When I’m not absorbed in technology, I am probably thinking about food. I may be petite, but don’t let that make you think I don’t like food. Growing up, mom and dad homecooked nearly every meal and the whole family sat around the table to enjoy. Meal time was special. As a hungry middle- or high-school student, I was often impatient and wanted dad to cook a little faster because I was “starving”, but looking back I appreciate the time we had to talk about our day and have family time.
The food we ate (almost) always tasted good, never made us sick and there was always enough for seconds. I never really thought about the fact that some people may have questions about the safety or quality of food that families, like mine, raise for others to consume. I have never been afraid of GMOs because to me, they have always been cutting edge technology that helps us reduce the use of chemicals. When it is necessary to control weeds or insects, GMOs provide the opportunity to use chemicals that are safer, for people and the planet, than what has been used in the past.
Since graduating from college, it has become very evident to me that people have questions about GMOs. Even some farmers don’t understand this technology. Many of us are not scientists, so we don’t understand the technical ways that GMOs work, how they were created or the testing process they go through. I have been fortunate enough to take college classes and attend science-based lectures to learn more about the process. Diving deeper into the details has made me even more confident in my decision to consume foods that contain genetically modified ingredients and has me excited for the positive impact this technology could have from preventing devastating disease and insect pressure, to increasing vitamin levels for malnourished people to reducing food production’s carbon footprint.
I may be a millennial, but I support GMOs because I care about the environment and sustainability of agriculture. I support GMOs because science is fact based, not emotions based. I support GMOs because I refuse to let food companies scare me into paying higher prices for foods that may not even have a GMO version available for purchase.
I challenge you to learn the science behind GMOs and don’t let food companies or TV/internet personalities take advantage of you.
Sarah Marketon serves as the Director of Communication for Wisconsin Farm Bureau. She is a Minnesota native and is passionate about answering consumers’ questions about how food is raised and encouraging farmers to engage in those conversations.