1

votes

Why Do Veggies (Broccoli, Zucchini, Green Beans) Sold in Discount Stores Look Suspiciously GMO or Manufactured?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 09, 2011 at 3:55 AM

I shop for my vegetables at BJ's and Sam's, two discount stores that have outlets on the East Coast. I've noticed that some of the veggies look suspiciously GMO or manufactured: they look exactly alike, as GMO corn on the cob would look -- that is, perfect teeth with no trace of crookedness or dark pigment (i.e., no brown corn kernels):

  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Yams
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Green Beans (and Cut Green Beans)

Am I missing something: why would every zucchini be the same size and diameter? Why would every frozen broccoli floret look exactly alike as if they came out on a conveyor belt (the frozen brand I often buy is the generic "Wellsley Farms").

Should I be worried about the appearance and shop at a local organic farmer's market? Or should the farmers supplying veggies to these outlets be praised for producing such "perfect" wares?

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 07:12 PM

thanks namby and vrimj for making me do my homework. i <3 PH.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 09, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I always am kind of drawn to the ugly ones. LOL.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:43 PM

ah, here. this is clear, and somewhat comforting. EU info. http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/fruit_vegetables/

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:26 PM

Last year I bought a huge bag of apples from a local organic farmer. They were shaped differently, had scabs and were tiny compared to the store versions. Much like clothing and jewelry, it's all merchandising. Make 'em look pretty, shiny and pristine so people will buy them.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:08 PM

And here is a chart http://www.isb.vt.edu/release-summary-data.aspx sorry I got bitten by the look up bug. It has been a while since I have looked in to this.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Oh and here is the regulatory database for GMO stuff (including non-crops like research animals) from the department of agriculture http://www.isb.vt.edu/data.aspx

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:50 PM

The Flavr Saver tomato isn't sold anymore, it just wasn't lucrative.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:27 PM

it's unsettling how hard it is to find info on this! it doesn't seem like it should be merely a fringe issue.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:24 PM

the US started selling GMO tomatoes in the '90s. GM food isn't regulated differently than any other produce; it is not required to be tested for safety by the FDA. Even though there are other contributing factors, it's hard for me to believe that the change in the appearance of produce in the last decade is not related to the advances in GM technology. I'm wary.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:23 PM

the US started selling GMO tomatoes in the '90s. GM food isn't regulated differently than any other produce; it is not required to be tested for safety by the FDA. Even though there are other factors at work, it's hard for me to believe that the change in the appearance of produce in the last decade is not related to the advances in GM technology. I'm wary.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I guess it seems like not as big a deal to me because a lot of the people at the local farmers markets also sell to wholesalers for supermarket and other uses. I live where veggies come from. Well except for summer when it is too hot!

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Most of the new varieties since RR convey resistance to a specific pest virus, that is because many of these varieties have not been commercially successful. To sell GMO seeds you also have to have bio surveillance and be willing to sue seed savers. I find suing seed savers repugnant and that is why I avoid GMO crops when I can.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:30 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food -- there's a chart of FDA approved foods from 2002, i reckon that now, a decade later, there are many more. i'm not trying to be alarmist -- i guess i should have said it's safER to assume they are gmo. shrug. Vegetables from a discount store just aren't going to be the the best option any way you slice it. (pun?)

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:13 PM

As far as I know the only GMO products used widely in the US are the "Roundup Ready" lines owned by Monsanto. According to their webpage the only field vegetables they offer seeds for are sugar beets.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:06 PM

Are you sure about that? Why are people only warning about corn? GMO vegetables have fully penetrated discount stores and shop marts?

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on June 09, 2011
at 06:38 AM

Isn't it sad that our (food) culture needs everything to look "perfect"?

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7 Answers

4
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:28 PM

I think what you are seeing is the effect of hybridization, the old school type of genetic modification. Most modern field veggie varieties are bred for consistent appearance and cared for in a way that maximizes uniformity (such as identical nutrients and watering plans).

4
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:40 AM

Personally, I'm suspicious of any veggie that isn't specifically organic or locally grown. And I strongly advocate buying seasonally and locally, support your local farmers market.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:38 PM

I guess it seems like not as big a deal to me because a lot of the people at the local farmers markets also sell to wholesalers for supermarket and other uses. I live where veggies come from. Well except for summer when it is too hot!

3
25c670ecb65ed10bf0a11f79a3a06f2c

(30)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:41 AM

I agree entirely that vegetables shouldn't look like clones of each other. I always suggest to people that they try local farms/farmers markets for fresh produce. That way you're almost always guaranteed to get what is the most fresh and in season for your area.

2
183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

on June 09, 2011
at 05:20 AM

Remember that supermarkets always choose the consistently sized and attractive looking produce out of a bunch of veggies/fruit - the deformed ones or rejects are tossed. I once saw footage of the selection process, where produce is passed through conveyor belt-type devices that only let through certain sized items, hence the size consistency. There is huge pressure on suppliers who have a lot of their "ugly" produce rejected by large supermarket chains.

I have an asian supermarket nearby who gets all the rejects - ugly looking mutant veggies that taste just as great and do the same job as their photogenic counterparts, all at a fraction of the price.

2
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:37 AM

The farmers do other things with the irregulars. Corn, maybe not. In my hometown there is an organization I volunteered at where I was sorting ugly cucumbers that had been donated for poor elderly folks. People in the regular stores don't want to buy crooked, warty vegetables.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on June 09, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I always am kind of drawn to the ugly ones. LOL.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on June 09, 2011
at 06:38 AM

Isn't it sad that our (food) culture needs everything to look "perfect"?

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:46 PM

I know EXACTLY what you mean! BJs 5 lb bag of ORGANIC carrots are all completely uniform in shape and size. I have grown carrots and have never been able to duplicate this. Of course, I do not grow my veggies in Monsantos laboratories, either.

1
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:54 AM

i'd say it's safe to assume they are gmo.

nobody should be praised. but perhaps we could give the nice companies a nod for their handiwork BY LABELING IT PROPERLY. :(

try to buy local/organic. i can't always do it either, but i try.

EDIT so, while I still advocate local/organic for lots of reasons, i feel a little better regarding the prevalence of GM produce, because I found this site (it's weirdly difficult to find any copacetic lists/info): http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/fruit_vegetables/ Not too prevalent after all!

phew. :)

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:13 PM

As far as I know the only GMO products used widely in the US are the "Roundup Ready" lines owned by Monsanto. According to their webpage the only field vegetables they offer seeds for are sugar beets.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:50 PM

The Flavr Saver tomato isn't sold anymore, it just wasn't lucrative.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:24 PM

the US started selling GMO tomatoes in the '90s. GM food isn't regulated differently than any other produce; it is not required to be tested for safety by the FDA. Even though there are other contributing factors, it's hard for me to believe that the change in the appearance of produce in the last decade is not related to the advances in GM technology. I'm wary.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:08 PM

And here is a chart http://www.isb.vt.edu/release-summary-data.aspx sorry I got bitten by the look up bug. It has been a while since I have looked in to this.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:03 PM

Oh and here is the regulatory database for GMO stuff (including non-crops like research animals) from the department of agriculture http://www.isb.vt.edu/data.aspx

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:23 PM

the US started selling GMO tomatoes in the '90s. GM food isn't regulated differently than any other produce; it is not required to be tested for safety by the FDA. Even though there are other factors at work, it's hard for me to believe that the change in the appearance of produce in the last decade is not related to the advances in GM technology. I'm wary.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 07:12 PM

thanks namby and vrimj for making me do my homework. i <3 PH.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:30 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food -- there's a chart of FDA approved foods from 2002, i reckon that now, a decade later, there are many more. i'm not trying to be alarmist -- i guess i should have said it's safER to assume they are gmo. shrug. Vegetables from a discount store just aren't going to be the the best option any way you slice it. (pun?)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 03:27 PM

it's unsettling how hard it is to find info on this! it doesn't seem like it should be merely a fringe issue.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:06 PM

Are you sure about that? Why are people only warning about corn? GMO vegetables have fully penetrated discount stores and shop marts?

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 09, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Most of the new varieties since RR convey resistance to a specific pest virus, that is because many of these varieties have not been commercially successful. To sell GMO seeds you also have to have bio surveillance and be willing to sue seed savers. I find suing seed savers repugnant and that is why I avoid GMO crops when I can.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 09, 2011
at 04:43 PM

ah, here. this is clear, and somewhat comforting. EU info. http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/fruit_vegetables/

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