FTT Prompt Due September 14 by 11:59 pm

In the chapter on Salmon in Four Fish, Greenberg introduces us to AquaAdvantage salmon. In your own words, describe what AquaAdvantage salmon, produced by AquaBounty, are and respond to the following: do you believe that genetically modified organisms are part of the solution to feeding 7+ billion people on Earth, or part of the problem. Why?

Share your thoughts in at least 250 words in a comment to this post by 11:59 pm on Tuesday night. By 11:59 pm on Wednesday night, respond to at least two posts.

55 thoughts on “FTT Prompt Due September 14 by 11:59 pm”

  1. Yes, I do believe that genetically modified organisms are the solution to feeding the world, and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t paid attention to their market. Cows, chickens and pigs are all selectively bred and genetically modified to feed the growing population. Plants are very genetically modified. A great example is that kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi are all genetically modified versions of the same plant! This plant is wild mustard, B. oleracea. you can also look to the hundreds of varieties of apples!
    The recent non-GMO fad is rooted in misinformation, and the majority of food available on the market is all genetically modified in some way, shape, or form.
    This genetic modification started all the way at the very beginning of agriculture, where farmers picked the best crops to feed the most people. This meant that more people could do other jobs while still having access to food without having to forage and hunt all day. Without GMO’s, we would have to hunt and forage for our food for so many hours, we would never get anything else done!

    1. Great thinking Kathryn, it is true today if we didn’t have Gmos we would spend hours and hours hunting or gathering for our food, which people don’t usually want to spend their time on anymore.

    2. I thought you made a very good point bringing up that we had been genetically modifying organisms since the beginning of agriculture. I wonder why it can be so hard to accept new technology that can be very benefical to human kind? As much as I love hunting, I am thankful that when I don’t get anything I can go to the store rather than starve. Thanks for the great post!

      1. I believe I’m our society that is mixed with old generations and new generations won’t see eye to eye about the GMO’s that it vital to the population we grow and with that we need to find solutions that are efficient and helpful to the future of the growing human race.

    3. i agree with you. much of the food produced today is in some way genetically modified. I think that with out this technology we would be in a much worse place in regard to world hunger.

  2. Yes in some way I do believe that genetically modified organisms are the future way to feeding the billions of people around the world today. For example we already seen this with genetically modified plants and veggies. Some wild stock such as cows, pigs, goats, and chicken are selected to be reproduced and fed off to selected stores with meat supplies and eggs to be put in there for humans.
    So the aqua advantage salmon produced by Aquabounty are just salmon reproduced and the salmon eats a certain grain instead of the little fish or food sources. They are gentically modified salmon. We as people have seen most animals already selected to do certain jobs for human(which we ususally call them farmers). So some people are already adding salmon to the mix.

    1. I agree. The only reason there seems to be an outcry against it is because with how readily accessible news it, people are seeing domestication happen in real time. Also, a lot of people do not realize that a lot of the food in supermarkets is domesticated as well! There’s a bit of a disconnect there for the average consumer.

  3. AquaAdvantage Salmon, as I came to understand it, is basically a genetically-modified version of salmon which would be “perfect” for human consumption; eats less and grows bigger and faster than regular, or even selectively-bred salmon.
    I believe that whether or not genetic-engineering is the future of feeding a growing population of 8 billion people is kind of a tricky question. We already consume genetically and selectively bred animals and plants every day. Human population has increased so much that “organic” farming is simply not viable. Even on agriculture, it takes too long, and the products are way too small for the demand.
    The thing that usually worries people is the effects of these modified food on the human body. What I personally believe is that, if there’s an actual danger to consuming these products, switching back to organic food is not an option, but rather, we should find a way to control these undesired effects and still have the same efficiency of production. Sometimes there’s too much focus on having more food in less time, and not so much in whether or not it’s fit for consumption.
    I strongly believe, however, that this is not just a science issue, but a political one, and I want to apologize in advance if this deviates from what the original topic is meant to be. In today’s world, we throw away thousands upon thousands of tons of food every year due to gross business practices of just selling “fresh” stuff and then throwing away the rest before giving it away to those who need it. In a way, we are already producing far more food than we can chew, and it’s just the status quo refusing to feed those who are hungry. You can see restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, all sort of stores, all throwing away perfectly fine food, and then criminalize those who can’t afford it “properly” and have to dig in the trash. Even if we achieve the perfect, most sustainable salmon that grows in a single day and feed on half a pellet a year, we’d still end up throwing away all the “excess” food that nobody bought.
    Feeding an ever-increasing population is indeed of the biggest ecological and scientific challenges, but we often forget that it is political and economical circumstances what mostly impede a world free of hunger, pollution, homelessness, and what primarily fuels climate change.

    1. Thats a good way of thinking, we do today waste so much perfectly fine food and we judge people in a way of saying it that “too bad they can’t afford the food” when we can give the food to them with no problem. Its just finding the way to give it to them.

    2. I think your point was very on topic! You brought up a good point, there are other things we can be doing to help stave off hunger other than worrying about growing more food. I still think it is important to be thinking about how to grow enough food, but we also have to tackle the task of making sure everyone gets the food grown. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    3. I agree entirely. The benefits of the resource and the positive impacts of the product support more focus on fixing what is making this a harmful process. The pros seem to out weigh the cons on many levels. Great article.

    4. One of my first thoughts after reading the question was about the amount of food wasted too. I think if things were really ironed out and managed well, the world wouldn’t have nearly as many hungry people.

    5. Hi Cesar,
      You made a lot of really good points here. You’re absolutely right that the solution to world hunger actually has very little to do with the quantity of food being produced, and more to do with the status quo and socio-political climate that controls people’s access to food. It is not off-topic at all, and in fact, I think it is very important to insert it into the conversation because so often people try to treat this issue as one-dimensional when in fact it is a very multi-faceted issue.
      I also liked what you said that the focus of food production tends to be the speed at which it can be produced and sold rather than how fit it is for human consumption. I completely agree. Great post this week, thank you for sharing!

  4. The AquaAdvantage Salmon is generically modified Atlantic Salmon. It is meant to grow faster, use less feed, grow larger than the average Atlantic Salmon. I believe that modified organism are the solution and the problem to the approaching food crises. This crisis is the product of man and man seeks to tweak his environment the most horrendous ways to fix it. Framed Salmon let alone Modified Salmon are the main reason why the wild salmon aren’t fished to oblivion right now. How do you feed 7 billion plus people? There hasn’t been any large famines or world reducing population event that would leave ever lasting trauma to the human collective conscience in a long time, but we are seeing the effects of such events in the genetic modified foods. The guys who came up with these sciences knew starvation, they watched themselves and other people starve to death and they said “never again.”
    The Modified should be utilized when we need it and only in places where if it escapes, it’ll cause the least amount of environmental damage. Places like Chile or areas in the Atlantic where the natural salmon stocks are long since gone. Modified and farmed salmon should not be raised in the Northwest Pacific or in areas with natural salmon runs in the Atlantic. There are always expectations to the rule, but the short gist of it is that we should protect what’s left of the salmon stocks in the world and encourage them to come back and utilize framed salmon to feed the masses. I don’t want to see however any people starve to death! especially my own.

    1. It’s hard to tell how much of an impact salmon escapees would have on an environment, even if the wild salmon stocks are gone. Though fish farming is a new phenomenon that is less than a century old. Mean while, we’ve been farming terrestrially for thousands of years! I do very strongly believe that as time goes on, we will improve more and more on fish farming, and escapees will be less of an issue.

      1. Yes we have been farming organisms it’s a short cut the human race a easy opportunity, although if we continue would we have any organically resource since it’s just convenient to modify , it will improves but what would be the effect in the future when it’s processing.

    2. I really like what you said about being very careful about where we choose to raise genetically modified salmon! I think that was a really good point, we don’t have to farm off everycoast in order for it to be productive.

    3. I agree. The positive impacts of the resource are undeniable. We should focus on ways to make this less harmful to existing ecosystems while capitalizing on it taking some of the strain off of our naturally breed over fished species.

    4. I agree that using modified foods we could really start helping replenish animal populations & start helping people, too. I totally agree that we should find ways to replenish fish/animal stocks, it’ll help our earth.

    5. Keet, I appreciated reading your perspective. I totally agree with what you said about the food crisis being a product of man. I honestly don’t think we are blamed enough for our own demise, and we shouldn’t be able to snap our fingers and fix it or we will continue to wear down the earth’s resources.

    6. I like what you had to say about using the genetically modified organisms only when needed. I think that if genetically modified escaped per say into a wild thriving habitat i could have a huge impact on biodiversity of the species, and i think that something that need to be taken into account when producing these modified organisms.

    7. Keet,

      You told me that you thought the salmon chapter left on a good note and I completely agree. The fact that salmon are returning to rivers and lakes where they were fished to extinction is hopeful. But to maintain that hope we need to keep policing and monitoring wild-caught salmon.

  5. According to Paul Greenberg in his book Four Fish, AquaAdvantage’s salmon are genetically modified salmon. They are tailor made to grow as fast and efficiently as possible. Also, to make them safer all the salmon are made female to prevent escaped salmon from spreading their genes to the wild population.
    I do believe that genetically modified organisms may be crucial in feeding the growing world population of 7+ billion people. My natural inclination is to want to keep everything natural, but at this point my sentiment for keeping things natural may not be realistic when there are starving people all over the world. It is easy for me to have this sentiment when I am not concerned about where my next meal will come from. Also, in a lot of ways we are already past the point of natural. I was blown away last semester when I learned that due to industrialized agriculture, we fix almost double the amount of nitrogen that the earth does naturally. Therefore, one can make the argument that we are past the point of all our food being grown naturally. Without industrialized agriculture we would not have the population we do today. What is crucial is that we consider carefully how we farm whether it’s on land or in the ocean. We need to find practices that will ensure that our food source is sustainable for future generations and does not permanently destroy the environment. The polyculture method that Greenberg discusses seems to be a very viable option for safely farming genetically modified salmon. I am sure there are still drawbacks, for example possible spreading of genes to wild salmon populations. Even though all the salmon are said to be female, I can not help but think of Jurassic Park. In my mind the argument really boils down to how far one believes we should go to feed humankind. I would like to find a balance that includes protecting our natural resources, and that may mean farming genetically modified organisms as responsibly as possible to prevent us from using up natural stocks.

    1. I totally agree with wanting to keep everything natural, it’s just a healthier way of living. It’s sad to have to face reality and see that in order to protect our human & animal populations we have to start modifying things.

    2. Hi!
      I totally agree that it is important to strike a balance between our needs as a growing population and the natural resources. It’s not just about satisfying a growing demand, but making sure we are doing it in a sustainable way so that it can still be enough for everyone on the long run.

  6. The introduction to aqua advantage salmon is a look at Mr. Greenbergs introduction to industrial minded production of an originally wild species. By using the knowledge we have gained towards certain gene resiliencies and the mass production survaval rates of farmed fish, we naturally used it to provide the difference in shear bio mass demand. The human consumption rate was too high for wild caught salmon fisheries to support the amount of draw. With 1% of wild fry making it too adult hood and then over fishing of the breeding adults, the idea of farming was very appealing. We later see the disadvantages of the projects as well though. One example Mr. Greenberg points out is the chemical run off into existing salmon streams. Fortunately the inter breeding is kept in check by only growing to maturity the one sex of a sterile species of fish. Perhaps with time we can come up with a healthier, less negatively impactful aqua farm method because it has helped so many poor or otherwise hungry people.

  7. In Four Fish, Greenberg introduces readers to an invention called AquaAdvantage salmon. AquaAdvantage salmon are salmon that are genetically modified to grow faster than regular fish. All the salmon are females and sterilized so they cannot reproduce, they are raised in escape proof tanks so there is no chance of them ever going to the wild. This is so they do not get into natural systems, like rivers and disrupt the cycle of wild salmon. These genetically modified fish eat less and grow bigger and faster than normal so they can be consumed faster while also being replenished at a quicker pace.
    I think genetically modified organisms are a solution to keeping Earth sustainable. Although it is very unnatural it could help save many species and prevent any from going extinct. By using genetically modified beings they could help keep wild, natural animal populations rising and balanced. Since humans tend to eat a lot of fish or shellfish that come from the oceans, those populations tend to decrease rapidly. There isn’t a legit way to count how many fish are in the ocean but by helping decrease fishing it could help the whole world. I don’t think genetically modifying organisms can be the only way to feed 7 billion people but it could be a solution. However, genetically modified organisms can be a great idea there is the problem of what those modifications can do to the human body.

    1. I would argue against the idea that any tanks or cages are inescapable, especially when there are so many in one space that are constantly in use. Ideally none of these salmon ever see the wild, but that unfortunately isn’t the case. I do agree with pretty much everything else though.

  8. The AquaAdvantage Salmon are salmon that are genetically modified to grow faster and give more meat than the average salmon. They are made specifically for human consumption, and to give in to the greediness that humans have for consumption of earth’s precious resources. Although I know my opinion will more than likely be the unpopular one, I don’t think that genetically modified salmon–or any animal–is something that humans should be so eager to foster. Although genetically modified organisms could technically be a solution, I disagree 100% on allowing them to be part of it. It creates a bigger problem that says that we are allowed to ruin the earth and her resources, and always have an escape route or the ability to create.

    More than anything else I despise the idea of engineering animals of any kind just to continue to waste food. Human food waste is atrocious and the consumption has gotten to the point of intense greed. We need to stop consuming what we don’t have. Yes, we need to find a food solution. No, it should not in any way have to do with engineering animals for our liking. Everything is about money, greed, consumption, and by eagerly allowing genetically modified organisms into our lives and diets, we are fueling that greed, that wants for more. I can see very few situations where we should modify organisms. It’s not our earth to manufacture.

    Genetic modification of animals, to me, seems unethical. I feel as if it could promote loss of biodiversity, and it might not always be safe for consumption. Albeit I am definitely in the minority with my opinion, I have always stuck strong with it.

    1. I agree heavily on the fact that food waste is far too great in this day and age, but I don’t think that it should disincentivize modifying animals in and of itself. I also disagree on the line that it isn’t our earth to manufacture. This planet does belong to us, just as much as it belongs to the Spotted Hyena or the Mosquito or the Mako Shark or any other living thing on this planet. However, humans are unique in their capacity for creation, so why shouldn’t we use that ability? We certainly need to use it carefully and sustainably, but it isn’t wrong in itself. We have found a potential solution to a significant problem, and so long as we use this solution carefully, I think we should. I respect the dissenting opinion though, it’s always more enjoyable to respond to a different opinion than a similar one.

    2. Hi, Maya!
      I really respect your opinion, and I totally agree with you, in a way. It also seems morally ambiguous to me to create and engineer life only for us to consume it. I really wish there could be a way to just make it all viable with only fruits and vegetables. I think the whole concept of having to kill other living beings to sustain ourselves is a weird aspect of existence.
      And I also agree completely that most of it goes to feed greed! People really have the idea that we are capable of solving anything, of coming up with alternatives to everything. That’s why a lot of people aren’t really worried about climate change or the impending extinction of dozens of species all across the world –They think we’ll “figure something out” with our invincible science, but it doesn’t work that way. We aren’t capable of solving everything, and I also despise the idea of this industry just being more fuel to human greed. If we have this idea that we can change the earth with impunity, I believe it should at least be in beneficial ways, not by destroying every ecosystem in search of new ways to make profit, and occasionally to “solve” the crises this relentless greed creates in the way.
      As I said in my own opinion, I think that we could already make do with our current food industry. Having genetically-engineered salmon won’t stop all the other thousand of tons of food being wasted to stop being wasted. It will just add to that pile, once all the excess food is not being bought.

    3. Hi Maya,

      I definitely agree with your position that “it is not our Earth to manufacture” – I couldn’t have said it better myself. The idea of genetically modifying food products was born from the desire to increase profitability and shape/control what foods will dominate the food industry and to create demand for them. If it were up to me, I would only eat naturally grown food from local sources, though I understand for most this is simply not an option. Although I don’t agree with the greed that fuels genetic modification in food, I also understand that it is very unlikely that it is ever going to stop. When given the option to continue a profitable endevor or stop for the sake of the environment, humans will almost always choose profit at the expense of the thing being profited off of. However, in the specific case of salmon I have to wonder, if people are going to demand and find a way to eat salmon one way or another, is it not better for them to eat these genetically modified fish in order to spare the rapidly depleting wild salmon? Not only to prevent the total collapse oft he wild salmon fishery but also to save what little of them that remain for the Native communities that rely on them?

    4. I agree with your stance Maya, we (human being) are voracious beings that consume all. I assume that’s what you partially mean by being greedy. Modifying everything to benefit us in food and agriculture is distasteful, but it doesn’t mean its not going to happen.
      I think we are all spoiled because we have never knew the starvation our forbearers knew. Please bare in mind that being hungry and starvation are completely different subjects. We rage against new ways people think of feeding themselves because it may damage the already damaged natural ecosystem that if it collapse form our inefficient harvesting systems. We will all starve; “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This saying could go either way, we need to tread lightly in the coming years.

    5. Hi, Maya,
      I whole-heartedly agree with you. I believe that genetically modified livestock crops up more trouble than it’s worth, with issues of health, evironmental safety, and ethics/morality. Capital greed for a supply to demand of ‘fresh meat’ has so heavily tainted the market of produce and caused so much food waste it’s astonishing. I’m glad to see you feel the same, I just wish there was a viable alternative to resorting to this method of mass-produce farming.

  9. The AquaAdvantage salmon produced by AquaBounty are all female genetically modified salmon. I think that genetically modified organisms in general and the science around them is important when looking in on things like “solving” world hunger. We already have GMO plants and animals like corn, soybeans, chickens, and fish. I think though that we should be careful of how far we go with genetically modifying, because like everything else it does have its flaws. While it will be a great help to world hunger, we also need to look at what it can do to the environment. We are modding these animals and crops, and essentially treating them like any other product, but if they ( the genetically modified organisms) escape per say and repopulate into a wild population that could have a drastic effect on the biodiversity of the species.

  10. As I grew up my mother would always get the wild-caught salmon rather than the farmed. When I asked her why she would always say that the farmed fish are dirty and sitting in their own filth their entire lives. As we would continue to shop for our protein I would point out that the cows, chickens, and pigs that we were buying were also sitting in their own filth for their entire lives. My mother would look at me with disdain like I was trying to undermine her authority on the subject instead of pointing out the obvious. So for me, farmed seafood was never really a choice and I grew up thinking that ocean-caught was the way to go. But after reading the salmon chapter my feelings have changed. Farmed and genetically modified fish are, in my opinion, better for the ocean. I think making farms more sustainable by using Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) would be very beneficial not only to the farmed fish but to the wild fish as well. If we could stabilize and expand the sustainability of the farms the demand for wild fish would go down thus giving them the freedom to recover. If we make it a global practice we would remove our influence from the “ice age” that we are creating in the genetics of wild salmon.

    1. I do agree that some of the benefits of the farming is good but I do not believe it is the only solution. I feel that fresh fish does taste better, but farmed fish does taste good.

    2. Hey Linnaea, I agree that consuming farmed raised fish is better for the environment in the sense of not depleted the natural populations of fish. However they do pose the risk of if they were to escape how would they impact the natural populations and ecosystems. Also these farms can cause heavy pollution in water ways due to excess nutrients. I still believe though overall, farmed raised fish may be a better option for sustainability in the wild to preserve these populations.

  11. AquaAdvantage Salmon are salmon bred to grow as large as possible in the least amount of time while consuming the lowest amount of food possible. They are vastly different from any wild salmon and ideally never encounter any wild habitat. I, along with most other comments, think that this can and should be part of the solution. Very few people in the world as it is, relatively speaking, don’t eat organisms that are not genetically modified. It’s a simple fact of life in the modern world. Totally “natural” organisms cannot sustain the ever-growing human population. I do think that there are still problems that need to be addressed, such as excessive food waste, but GMO’s are, in my opinion, here to stay. The biggest potential issue in my mind is an ethical one: is it morally right for us to modify animals to our liking? Where do we draw the line? What about genetically modifying humans? This is more of a philosophical question, but I do think it’s important. Everybody is going to draw the line in a different place, so if GMO’s continue to grow in scale (which I think they will), these questions will need to be addressed.

  12. Greenberg states that the aqua advantages salmon are genetically modified they grow fast and efficient and more bigger they are all females this is for the main reason so they don’t populate themselves in the wild when they are released and live in the wild seeing how they grow and how they adapt as they are not wild salmon but man made (genetically speaking) In my opinion genetically made fish benefits the people since it gives the fishing experience they want while also feeding people and on the other side of the spectrum it gives the natural fish time to repopulate grow and rise in the fish stocks. And example on how it would benefit would be the substitute of honey and man-made honey,The substitute of honey was genetically made so the bees can have more time to produce grow and thrive in the bee farms and natural hives, we had we had a decreasing in population of bees so that’s when men said we need to make a genetically made honey so now we eat both genetically and natural honey. I believe that it’s going to be the same primal action with the genetically modified fish/ organisms. I know it’s a very controversial topic back in forth of should we genetically modify what we have but I believe it’s just the demand for the supplies but we have in our wildlife is increasing and I do believe that maybe modification doesn’t seem so unethical although you can argue that the biodiversity of the fishes will change because of the genetically modified ones going into a mixing in and just creating a different species it’s not necessarily bad but could be somewhat problematic but again it’s just adjusting more of a nudge to help and feed the world population. The New Age is all about efficiency and progression for the years in modification and genetics of organisms it’s just going to be a part of our future.

    1. I agree that the new age is about efficiency and progression but don’t you think if we work together we can find a solution to how to fix what we have broken instead of just taking the easy route?

  13. AquaAdvantage Salmon are salmon that were genetically modified to be a perfect farm salmon for human consumption. They grow bigger and faster than Atlantic salmon all while being able to eat less food while on a cheaper diet of grains. I do believe the genetically modified organisms are a part of the solution for feeding a 7+ billion world population as the demand would be far too high if genetically modified organisms were not a thing. Genetically modified organisms are nearly everywhere and make up a major part of the diet of Americans. A lot of meat products are genetically modified such as cows and chickens so that they are able to produce the most meat possible with as little funding as possible. It is not only animals that are genetically modified for the benefit of harvesting but many plants are also genetically modified. Fruits and vegetables such as corn, watermelons, strawberries, and bananas are all common produce items that have been genetically modified over the years. Certain traits that make them more prime as well as enjoyable for consumption, such as being seedless, have been selected to be passed down to future crops. Although the product is not “natural” and has a big difference compared to the original substance that was harvested, they are still healthy foods to eat. Being genetically modified does not mean it is a bad thing as they can still be healthy products to consume as long as the right traits are selected and repercussions are limited. Selecting some traits that make an organism better for consumption may lead to potential risk for the health of the organism such as mental illness, weak skeletal structures, or even shortened life expectancy. However with more research I believe that these negative traits could be limited and a healthy and prime product will be the result.

    1. I like how you point out how simple genetic modification can be, like seedless grapes or something. I know my mind always jumps to the worst of worst, like chemicals or weird experiments.

  14. I do agree that genetically modified fish could help feed humans, but I do not believe it is the solution we need. Genetically modified foods are not healthy for the human body, yes it provides more food to keep us fed so yes there are some benefits. But just because we can make something does not always mean we need to. We need to find ways to make it so nature can go back to the cycle of life, were it produces its own foods for us not for humans to make the food for ourselves, that is mainly why we are in the situation in the first place. I mean why not come up with safer ways to fish for the environment and not put the marine life at risk so we can eat. How about people put their heads together to help nature and not just think of ourselves. Most ecosystems rely on every organism in its eco system to thrive and we are taking part of that eco system out of the ocean causing major chaos.

    1. I strongly agree with your sentiment that we should be looking into food solutions that not only benefit humans but also the ecosystem in question. I think the integrated multitrophic aquacultures (IMTA) concepts that Greenberg discusses on page 69 is something that directly ties into this idea.

    2. Hi, Alyssa,
      I full heartedly agree. I think you summarized this issue perfectly with “just because we can make something does not always mean we need to”. I believe that it’s important to be wary of plans like genetic modified livestock that act as quick, “band-aid” solutions.

    3. Hey Alyssa, I know that many scientist have said that it is okay to eat genetically modified foods and they can be just as healthy for the body. However, I am sure there are some out there that propose a risk but simply using genotypes to get a desired trait is probably better than injecting an organism with a hormone to stimulate growth as this would have more of an effect on whoever eats it. They are still normal organisms to consume, just with select desired traits from varies organisms but his does not make them dangerous to eat. I feel more of the threat would be the harm they could cause to an ecosystem if a mistake were to occur.

  15. Personally, I believe that genetically modified specimens are both a solution and detriment to the cause of keeping our world’s population fed. It is true that in the modern day, most commercial meats sold in grocery stores and consumed by the masses are, in 99% cases, genetically engineered to a fault. There are mass-producing beef, pork, poultry farms that selectively breed their animals for the most bountiful outcome, similar to the AquaAdvantage Salmon as discussed in this chapter. While these heavily modified and conditioned livestock do technically serve the purpose of providing a viable, plentiful source of meat for world wide consumption, equally so, they pose sizable concerns in terms of sustainability, morality, and general health; on account of both the animals being butchered and those consuming them. With heavily tampering with an animals genetics using the means that most mass-produced farms do, comes health issues in the livestock and risk of humans who’ve consumed the product as well. Ethics tend to be tossed out the window in these circumstances, as the farms typically use any means possible to fulfill the constant consumer demand of ‘fresh meat’. Our environment faces the consequences of this practice as well, with methane, fossil fuel usage, waste, etc. Genetically engineered food is, technically, a solution to this problem, and I, honestly, don’t see any other viable options we, as a whole, can rely on instead. I wish I could pitch a proposition to initiating an alternative that doesn’t rely on the industry of consumer farms, however, I recognize that in the current climate, that just isn’t possible.

    1. I think you’re totally right on the topic of genetically modified resources having a good/bad side that are both equally valid. Concerns over ethics and health are very difficult subjects to get around when discussing if these enhanced resources truly are for the betterment of humanity. Then again the logistics of trying to keep the ever-growing population of humans on Earth fed is almost nightmarish without considering the benefits science-based food has.

  16. AquaAdvantage salmon are Atlantic salmon raised to grow a lot faster, consume way less feed, and grow much larger than the average wild salmon.
    In a perfect world, I would say that the food around the world wouldn’t need any modifications. Sadly, it’s not a perfect world and no one has figured out how to organize a way to feed the entire world without excess production of food, organic or not. The market values “fresh” food, which leads to much waste and perfectly good food being tossed away. One thing I’ve been learning about this year that I find really interesting is the practice of fermenting foods and drinks (I’ve only messed with water kefir so far). My mom had an excess of cabbage in her garden this year and made tons of sauerkraut. It wouldn’t last long in the fridge or hold well in the freezer, but fermenting it will keep it good to eat all winter long. Along with fermenting, you can dry, can, and pickle so many different kinds of food. I actually made a great pickled abalone recipe last year while I was still on the coast. It may be off topic, but I do think if food management was actually done well, we wouldn’t need to rely on genetically modified foods and animals to feed everyone. Maybe routine trades could be made between countries that grow or farm different things, like I know my family would trade shrimp for moose before we moved up here.

  17. AquaAdvantage salmon are farmed salmon which are genetically modified to be more efficient – to grow twice as fast as selectively bred salmon with only a fraction of the feed required. Although I don’t particularly agree with the shift to genetically modified food, I am also aware that its presence is one that now that it has entered the world food scene it is most likely here to stay. Gene modification is present in so much of the food that can be found in the grocery store today, and whether we like it or not, we have probably consumed it in one form or another.
    As for the question of whether it is part of the solution to feeding our steadily growing world population or part of the problem, I think that it is part of the problem and that the idea that it could be a “solution” has the wrong idea of what the problem actually is. In my eyes, the end-goal of the world food industry should be how to efficiently feed the world’s population in manageable and sustainable way. Although AquaAdvantage salmon are efficient in the way they require less food for more product and twice as fast, at the same time, the very process of producing them causes more problems to the natural environment, whether they are in a closed system or not. I believe that if the farming of salmon is going to continue, it should be done in polyculture system like those being implemented in Canada.
    So, when comparing wild salmon to AquaAdvantage salmon in regards to which is better to be consumed at large, the AquaAdvantage would be the better choice for the sake of the wild salmon. However, it should not be mistaken that the issue of world hunger has arisen from a lack of food. Supermarkets that toss out food past the sell-by date are responsible for 43 billion pounds of food waste annually. World and urban hunger doesn’t result from a lack of food, but from the various economic and political circumstances that propagate starvation.

    1. Felicia, I honestly changed my stance a little bit when I read your post. AquaAdvantage may be better for the survival of wild salmon, and that’s something that I had briefly thought about but not in-depth until I read your discussion. I 100% agree that world hunger isn’t a consequence of lack of food, which is why I am so hesitant about feeling okay morally about having GM fish. I feel like there’s more we can do before we turn to this as a solution.

    2. Felicia,

      You talk about a shift into genetically modified food but haven’t we already made that leap? All the food we eat, apples, tomatoes, onions, even beef has been altered. What makes fish different? Is it because you are seeing it happen?

  18. AquaAdvantage salmon produced by AquaBounty are a breed of genetically engineered salmon that have an increased tolerance to the cold allowing them to survive in sub-zero water temperatures, in addition to this they also have a growth-rate that is twice as fast as other selectively bred species. These genetically enhanced salmon are all sterile females, unable to produce any offspring, and are kept within a “closed-system” to prevent any genetic contamination. The goal of AquaAdvantage salmon is to provide not only more efficient means of salmon production but to also help expand the market of salmon so that more people can enjoy it. The idea of genetically altering or modifying organisms for the purposes of human consumption in almost any context could be viewed as concerning or not our place and can also raise questions about what kind of health concerns these lab derived creatures could possibly impose on consumers. However, humans have already been modifying and selectively breeding many organisms like corn and other crops to gain higher yields for quite some time now. Even the majority of food produced in America is laden with scientific enhancements to improve taste, nutrients, and shelf-life. While living organically is inherently healthier, it is hard to see if we are moving towards a future where naturally grown food is as prevalent, time will tell. I personally see genetic engineering as a continuation of these practices and think it makes sense when talking about keeping the more than seven billion people on Earth fed.

  19. The aqua advantage salmon are salmon that have been genetically modified to our standards to be consumed. I do believe this is better for the salmon fishery just due to some of the salmon fish species not doing so well. Now yes, if these generically modified fish were to get out into the wild, then it could possibly damage and or destroy other natural salmon species. Whether it be interbreeding or competition, the chance of these GMO salmon destroying these environments are very high. Now with the aqua advantage salmon, there are plenty of downfalls when it comes to Gentetically Modifying salmon. Most of the down fall is the unknown or not knowing how this will impact our world and the salmon fishery world. But with the downfall, there are uprisings with it as well. With this, we can lessin the stress of the natural salmon by easing up on the fishery and giving them time to reproduce properly. This also guarantees that we will have safe salmon to eat and the markets wont push for commercial fisherman as much. Overall I believe that yes it is a good thing , but too an extent.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.