Global Food Trade and Genetic Engineering
Published 15 Aug 2016
The United States of America has a growing population whose demand for food is also growing making global food trade indispensable. The trade comes about when one region has to bring in what they cannot produce and sell what they produce in excess. The fifty states of America import and export fruits and vegetables based on what they can produce. Generally, the U.S imports more than half of all its vegetables and melons from Mexico. Another reason for the imports is because of the seasonal production that is usually done in the United States. Importing makes fruits and vegetables available all year round.
Most of the imports come from Northern Hemisphere countries in the like Colombia, Guatemala, and Ecuador. These mostly supply bananas to the United States. Tropical fruits such as pineapples, guavas and pawpaw and mangoes are mostly imported from Mexico. Equatorial states are a major exporter of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. Deciduous fruits such as apples and peaches are supplied to the U.S by New Zealand, Argentina and Chile. Imports of these fruits are not on the large scale as it is only done to maintain steady availability because these fruits are usually produced locally. Sometimes the weather may not be very conducive to the deciduous fruits making their produce low. It is in such circumstances that these kinds of fruits are imported so that there is the steady supply of the same.
America cannot do without global trade because it would deprive consumers, its citizens, of varieties that they cannot produce locally. Adverse weather patterns sometimes set in reducing the production of the locally produced vegetables and fruits, warranting the imports of the same so as to supplement what is present.( Hebert, M., & Matheke G). In Alaska, a variety of fruits namely, strawberries, turnips, tomatoes, apples, lingo berries, blueberries, and raspberries are grown. Cabbages, onions, turnips, cucumbers, broccoli and beans are some examples of the vegetables grown here. These are normally seasonal with most of them growing between the months of July and October. Due to the seasonal nature of production in Alaska, there is usually a need for some more supply from outside the state to maintain a number of fruits and vegetables consumed.
Trade among states is very important as a source of income and also as a means of ensuring a steady supply of food. Some states cannot produce certain types of foodstuff and trade ensures that they get what they cannot produce and sell the excess of what they can produce best. Global trade is also important because it facilitates the availability of food to the growing population especially in third world countries. (Wakabayashi, Keiko (1997) It assists in the distribution of all types of fruits and vegetables and makes them available worldwide.
Genetically modified foods have their pros and cons. Genetic engineering produces crops that are resistant to pests or that can withstand harsh conditions making their yield very high and also making them reliable. They are bigger in size and produce abundantly. This is advantageous because in a world whose population is rapidly increasing, the resources are also getting scarce and this seems to be the solution to this problem. The cons are that in the process of growth the genetically grown crops may cross breed with other weeds and as a result, weeds that are very hard of control may come into existence. Another disadvantage is that this engineering involves unnatural crossbreeding between organisms which poses have to do with the According to Heaf, there is usually a risk of transfer of gene characteristics from organism to organism unlike the vertical manner of transmission where animals or organisms transmit their genes from generation to generation. There is the risk of human beings getting undesirable traits from other organisms which in the end also affects the ecosystem negatively.