Fat has a bad reputation, both in food and on the body. It’s certainly true that the U.S. has a problem with body fat; according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight, and fully one-third of adults fall into the more serious “obese” category . Still, appropriate amounts of body fat serve valuable roles. These include helping to maintain the immune system and nervous system, protecting body organs and padding areas where the skeleton would otherwise put pressure directly on the skin (such as the soles of the feet).
So-called “Frankenfood” — genetically-modified organisms meant for human consumption or use as animal feed — has been making headlines again. This time, the buzz is over the FDA’s recent completion of their evaluation of the first genetically-engineered (GE) salmon meant for human consumption, the AquAdvantage salmon. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget is now reviewing the evaluation, which puts the AquAdvantage salmon one critical step closer to finding its way into farms and onto plates. While the GE salmon would be the first genetically-modified animal approved for human consumption, it’s not the first genetically-modified organism (GMO) used for food; data from 2009 indicate that 93% of soy and cotton, and 86% of corn grown in the U.S. are GMO . There are a number of other common GMO crops, and GMO rice will likely become available soon.