Some people are quite excited for the advent of "frankenfoods."
The recent news that the FDA is close to approving salmon genetically engineered to grow faster might inspire concern -- or even anger -- about what we are doing to our food systems and environment. On the other hand, it might inspire awe at what science can achieve. Or it might inspire a little bit of both?
At Gut Check International Headquarters, however, it inspired a simple question: Why the hell can't scientists can't genetically engineer food to meet some practical demands of everyday people.
Thus, we present our list of five foods that should be genetically modified.
In Gabriel García Márquez's masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of the main characters is obsessed with the smell that asparagus gives his urine. I shouldn't even have to mention that this is a work not only of fiction, but of magic realism as well. Because no one in the real world wants to smell the foul stench that the otherwise delicious asparagus imparts on pee -- especially when it is the day after you ate some asparagus, and your pee still smells like a carton of already-rotten eggs left outside in the middle of a heat wave.
We don't mind husking corn. It brings us a strange sort of satisfaction. But getting all that damn silk out of the corn is another matter entirely. Surely not all the scientists in the world are in bed with the makers of dental floss, right?
This is a matter of simple math. A chicken has two wings. An order of Buffalo wings generally has a dozen wings. Never again will we suffer the inconvenience -- the indignity! -- of the Great Chicken Wing Shortage of 2010. Also, a chicken with twelve wings would look freaking awesome. Especially if, like, ten of them were on one side of its body.
Potatoes That Taste Like Ranch Dressing
Americans love potato chips. Americans love ranch dressing. Look: Scientists even captured video evidence in the file footage posted above! So let us cut out the middleman. Or, if the scientists crafting the dozen-winged chicken want to kill, um, two birds with one stone, they can develop celery that tastes like ranch dressing -- or blue cheese. Your choice.
Turnips, right? We know. Sure, there are turnip lovers out there, but there are plenty of haters, too. What's more, we're willing to bet that the vast majority of us feel just plain indifferent to them. But what if eating a turnip gave you a mild buzz, a nice little pick-me-up like the morning's first cup of coffee or drag of a cigarette? Hell, you could engineer the turnip to supply caffeine and nicotine. It would be a colossal hit, the Avatar of the vegetable world. Especially if it also tasted like ranch dressing.