For running a blog committed to following in Primal man’s footsteps, we Bees were initially all abuzz at the news that the FDA would be reviewing the prospect of introducing genetically engineered animals into the US system. We’re all about kickin’ it old school, as it were, so we weren’t too sure if eating super steaks was going to be in line with our philosophy. But it seems our trepidations might be a bit premature. While genetically engineered meat sounds bad to a Primal eater, there’s a possibility the stuff might actually be healthy, let alone dangerous.
A few months back, we took a look at genetically modified fruits and vegetables. Back then, we didn’t make any concrete conclusions about the ultimate safety of eating this food, but we did raise some concerns that remain salient to this discussion. Namely, that excessive modification could lead to stagnant and recessive genetic lines, and a general lack of diversity (which could leave fruits, vegetables, and now animals, open to illness or parasites) might result. Or that vegetation and livestock modified to be resistant to bugs and parasites might inure pests to the defense and create a wave of resistant super bugs. And of course, the general mystery factor is a powerful deterrent for a group (humans) generally mistrustful of change.
There are possible benefits, too. The ability to modify fruits and vegetables to grow faster and with less nourishment means more (and cheaper, hopefully) world food supplies, and the same could theoretically go for meat. In fact, scientists say it’s entirely possible to develop a breed of salmon that grows twice as quickly (“It tastes just like any farm-raised salmon,” says its creator – Yuck!) or a strain of pigs that produce significantly less waste than normal (how about pet dogs, too?). Other scientists in favor of modifying livestock liken it to accelerated forms of traditional breeding. Whereas before, developing a new breed of pig would take generations, genetic engineering could speed the process up while maintaining the same level of safety.
“This is like tuning up your car,” one researcher says: a simple operation that will improve performance by leaps and bounds. But we don’t eat cars, and, although scientists guarantee extensive testing has confirmed the safety of genetically engineered meat, a social stigma will be tough to shake for a society that balks at eating cloned animals. So, assuming the FDA eventually approves the sale of genetically modified meat in the country, expect some hesitation from the consumers before they dig in.
Though the modified meat will probably get most of the public’s attention, the real potential for genetically engineered animals lies in medicine. Research is underway that could reveal a host of new drugs, vaccines, replacement organs and tissues, all derived from genetically modified animals. A liver transplant from a pig? It could happen, scientists say.
But as far as food goes, the jury’s still out on this one. Like we’ve said before, our allegiance to Primal, natural ways stems from the unparalleled health and fitness benefits we gain from following them. Our decision to eat whole foods and exercise like Grok did is made simply because it works. If genetically modified meat proves to be beneficial, safe, and wholly identical to that of grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic animals, it would be hard to turn it down. Hell, from the sound of the study, there might even be added benefits to modified meat – we just have to wait and see.
Though, we are holding our breath for a poopless dog.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Hit us up with a comment!