How to Avoid GMOs

The best way to avoid genetically modified foods is to know which foods are genetically modified and which foods are not. It helps to understand the difference between heirlooms, hybrids, and GMOs. Continue reading

Infographic: Organic vs. Conventional Foods

Here is an excellent Inforgraphic showing the parallels in foods that are Organic and those that are either GM (Genetically Modified) or Conventional (use of pesticides and other harmful components of our food supply).  While the differences between organic foods and conventionally grown foods may not seem big, there can be some noticeable ecological and visual differences between the two. The biggest differences would be the use of pesticides and other types of chemicals Continue reading

Environmental Expert: GMO Farming Causes One Billion People to Go Hungry

The future of food is not one in which the global seed supply is owned and licensed out by an oligopoly of multinational biotechnology and industrial agriculture corporations, but rather one in which the peoples of the world are free to save, Continue reading

Gossypin

Did You Know…

…this plant extract can treat the deadliest kind of skin cancer?

Melanoma, the least common form of skin cancer, is also the most deadly.  That’s why it’s so exciting to know that a new study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics in April of 2013 Continue reading

Nanoscale Whiskers from Sea Creatures Could Grow Human Muscle Tissue

Minute whiskers of nanoscale dimensions taken from sea creatures could hold the key to creating working human muscle tissue, University of Manchester researchers have discovered.

Scientists have found that cellulose from tunicates, commonly known as sea squirts, can influence the behaviour of skeletal muscle cells in the laboratory.

These nanostructures are several thousand times smaller than muscle cells and are the smallest physical feature found to cause cell alignment.

Alignment is important since a lot of tissue in the body,  Continue reading

Cotton May Be Promising Source of Protein

WASHINGTONCotton is emerging as a promising source of protein for millions of the world’s malnourished, according to the latest research.

Researchers engineered the cotton to reduce the toxic gossypol to tolerable levels in the high-protein seed, without affecting higher levels in the rest of the plant, to ward off pests and disease.

“The results look very promising,” said Keerti Rathore, the Texas AgriLife Research plant bio-technologist in whose lab the cotton was developed.

Rathore said kernels from the safe seed could be ground into a flour-like powder and used as a protein additive in food preparations or perhaps roasted and seasoned as a nutritious snack.

Less than three years ago, Rathore had announced that cotton plants had been successfully altered in the lab to “silence” gossypol in the seed.

But this year, five generations of cotton plants produced in greenhouses and the small test plot in the field are showing similar findings, Rathore said, though the results have not yet been published in scholarly journals.

Gossypol has long been a block for cotton farmers trying to make cotton seed available for human or animal consumption.

Cotton fibers have been spun into fabric for more than 7,000 years, but generally only cattle have been able to eat the fuzzy seeds that are separated from the fiber.

Cattle can tolerate the gossypol because it is gradually digested through their unique four-part stomach.

“The levels of gossypol and related defense chemicals are similar to that of regular cotton plants in the buds, leaves and flowers. But the seed is still showing the ultra-low levels of gossypol.”

The “beauty of this project,” Rathore said, is that the high-protein seed could be a new food source – especially in developing countries.

Because the variety is “genetically modified,” the scientist and AgriLife Research will have to negotiate with others who hold patent rights to some of the basic technologies used to develop this “ultra-low seed-gossypol” cotton.

Rathore will also have to seek approval from the US Department of Agriculture, US Food and Drug Administration and perhaps other agencies to make it commercially available as seed to farmers.