Could the Use Of GMOs Help Our Environment?

We are very fortunate to live close to our elementary school and I pick up my daughters after school every day. We walk in any kind of weather; rain, snow or shine. As we walk, we pass a long line of cars waiting for children to come out the doors when the bell rings and–this annoys me–their engines are running the entire time. All I can think about are those noxious fumes going into the air.

walking to school

Ever since my parents bought me my first copy of Ranger Rick, I’ve been interested in preserving our environment. So it was very interesting to me when I learned that organic farming, something we think is good for the environment, actually has a larger carbon footprint than farmers who use genetically modified crops. Why? The simple explanation is that organic farmers need to go over their fields more often to till up weeds.

Sometimes, even when we try to make the right choices, we don’t completely understand the environmental impact our choices have. Yes, organic farming is good for the environment because it uses more natural pesticides and herbicides, but it also uses more gas to run the tractors over the fields more often. Every time a farmer tills the ground, nutrients and water are released into the air. Tilling can also lead to water run-off and fertilizers may enter the water system. Even natural fertilizers can cause problems in our waterways. Nitrogen and phosphorus that help crops grow also cause algae to grow. The algal bloom in Lake Erie last summer affected the drinking water of thousands of people.

Many farmers are protecting our environment, the soil and the water by using the no-till method. Genetically modified crops enable farmers to use this method. As I research genetically modified crops, I have become more excited about the technology and science behind GMOs. It seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? How can I consider myself to be an environmentalist and also be excited about the possibilities GMOs offer?

Field Mom Corn Acre

On Saturday, I have the amazing opportunity to visit Monsanto, a company well-known (and vilified) for producing GMO products. One of the questions I will be asking is how GMOs affect the environment.

I’m glad we live in a place where we have a variety of farms and so many food choices. Do I buy organic food? Not usually. When I gave up my career to stay at home with my children, I also became very budget conscious. Organic foods usually don’t fit into that budget. Part of the luxury of working part time, however, is being able to buy less processed food and make more meals from scratch.

Do I support your choice to buy organic food? Absolutely! I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. It’s good to be skeptical and to search for answers. I believe that the key word here is to search, and not rely on just one source or one point of view. In the next few farming posts, I’ll tell you about my search process, including my trip to Monsanto.

Be honest with me. What do you think about GMOs? What questions do you have about GMOs?


Field Mom Ambassador



In our discussion about organic foods and GMOs, please be respectful. Any comment that is inappropriate or inflammatory may be removed.


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8 Replies to “Could the Use Of GMOs Help Our Environment?”

    1. I wasn’t sure how I felt, either, Ila! It does seem scary that we can alter the genes of plants! I’m not sure what kind of insulin you use for Rocky’s diabetes, but synthetic insulin for humans is created through the use of GMOs. This is so interesting to me, and something I want to learn more about!
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Could the Use Of GMOs Help Our Environment?My Profile

  1. All the food we eat has been genetically modified in some way I think. Perhaps unconsiously, but the ‘strongest’ food has been allowed to survive and thrive, while the ‘weaker’ food has been taken out. When you look at animals nowadays that are used in the food production, they are selected because of their high milk yield or their good meat. While in former days they were probably used for both!

    To say that all GMO food is bad is being a bit short through the corner (a nice Dutch saying here). I would prefer GMO to all that processed food there is nowadays. Although saying that: a nice pre-made pizza is good as well!
    Mara recently posted…18-45-3My Profile

    1. I’m very interesting to know your thoughts on this, Mara! Several countries in the EU have banned the planting of GMOs, and some of my friends are wondering why they aren’t banned here in the U.S. You are right about the animals used in food production. We learned the same thing about pigs and pork! Certain pigs are bred to be lean meat, and others are bred to be good mothers.

      You are also right about the pre-made pizza…some days I’m too tired to cook from scratch! 🙂
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Could the Use Of GMOs Help Our Environment?My Profile

  2. Drat, I’m here too late. I hope you’ll update about your visit to Monsanto!!
    Monsanto aside.. and.. I don’t think good things AT ALL.. it’s interesting to think of the good parts about GMO’s. Because I always have to believe that they were originally created to make our lives easier.. not to kill us all. The same way microwaves and cars were!!!
    Tamara recently posted…Who Was My First Crush?My Profile

    1. I remember when microwaves first came out, and many, many people were afraid that radiation would leak out and give them cancer. Now just about everyone has a microwave!

      I had a great day, and will write an update soon!
      Ginny Marie recently posted…Every Day Is Earth DayMy Profile

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