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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) Explained

January 11, 2013 | AUTHOR: | Categories : Berry Tips, Organic berries, Plant Breeding, strawberries
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) Explained


 

We have received several responses from our consumers and fans asking:

Do you grow genetically modified strawberries or have any product containing GMO’s?

And the answer is absolutely not.

@wishfarms #strawberry #plant

Wish Farms Organic Strawberry Plant

According to Dr. Vance Whitaker, Assistant Professor of Strawberry Breeding and Genetics at the University of Florida, “There are no genetically modified strawberries on the market – not just in the U.S., but in the world.”

When something is deemed genetically modified it usually means that foreign genetic material was inserted into an organism, not through traditional breeding.  This material can come from multiple sources, including another plant or animal species or a synthetic gene created in a lab.  Most of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S are genetically modified.

“All strawberry varieties grown commercially in the U.S. were bred through traditional hybridization and selection,” says Dr. Whitaker.

This is done by taking pollen from the flower of one variety and transferring it into the flower of another.  The seedlings from these crosses are then evaluated for the characteristics that breeders are looking for including: flavor, firmness, size, earliness of harvest, yield potential, disease resistance, ability to pollinate, resistance to natural events (i.e. rain) and several more.  A breeder evaluates many thousands of hybrid seedlings before finding one that contains enough positive characteristics to make it into the marketplace.

 

The opposite of organic is NOT genetically modified.

 

Just because something is labeled “organic” doesn’t mean that its conventional counterpart is genetically modified.  At Wish Farms, we grow both organic and conventional strawberries and both items are completely safe to eat and feed to your family – it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

With all of the mis-information available to us on the internet it’s easy to get alarmed, but I can assure you:

 

Wish Farms products do not contain Genetically Modified Organisms!

 

@wishfarms #strawberries with #americanflag

Wish Farms strawberries

 

Blog by Wish Farms

Comment

  • Debra

    January 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I am glad you explained this so well. I get asked all the time what the difference is between GMO’s and hybrids. People need to get educated about their foods. Thanks!

    • Wish Farms

      January 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Debra, glad you came across our post on this topic. We really have been getting so many questions from consumers this season. We appreciate having our blog and social media to address the questions directly and help set the record straight!

  • Valentine Dyall

    January 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

    You wrote: “All strawberry varieties grown commercially in the U.S. were bred through traditional hybridization and selection”. Have these procedures been PROVEN to be safe for people and the environment?

    • Wish Farms

      January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Valentine Dyall, the response to your question was provided by Vance M. Whitaker the Assistant Professor of Strawberry Breeding and Genetics at the University of Florida Horticultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
      “Yes, the process is proven to be safe. The process of
      traditional hybridization has been used for millennia to improve crops and has
      been used to improve the vast majority of crops that are consumed today.
      It simply takes advantage of the reproductive processes that are naturally
      present in the plant, its just that the breeder chooses which parents to cross
      rather than letting the process happen at random.”

  • Jan

    February 22, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    While FL strawberries are not genetically modified – how safe are the pesticides sprayed on Florida strawberries?

  • Ft Lauderdale EATS

    March 1, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Thanks for posting! Enjoyed some Wish Farms strawberries tonight with ricotta. I’m going to share this on my blog to help spread the word!

  • Nate Ocken

    March 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    i love strawberries

  • Nate Chocolate

    March 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    how are strawberroes genetically engineered? what are the benefits of strawberries being genetically engineered? What are the drawbacks of strawberries being genetically engineered?

  • Emily

    April 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Do your farmers use pesticides on the strawberries? From Jan’s post it looks as if you guys use “safe pesticides.” Can you identify what these “safe pesticides” are?

    • amber

      May 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Hi Emily, Wish Farms does grow conventional strawberries where some pesticides and fertilizers are used on the plants. We do however grow 90% of the organic strawberry supply during the winter months on our company-owned Central Florida farm. If you purchase organic berries anytime from November through April more than likely they will be Wish Farms. Strawberries are difficult to grow organically given how perishable they are. Being success organic strawberry farmers has made us better conventional farmers by improving our farming best practices, i.e. using less fertilizers and applying less often. We would encourage you to take a look at our Food Safety webpage http://www.wishfarms.com/how-we-grow/food-safety/. We hope this helped answer your question. Thank you for reaching out to us directly.

  • Jennie PA

    May 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Jan,
    You will probably have to contact the farm where your strawberries come from and ask them what pesticides are used and then do the research yourself to determine the toxicity, etc. A lot of work goes into eating these days…ugh!

  • doug sears

    May 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Thank you, this information was interesting., however i want to know why strawberies that i buy now have such a long shelf life compared to the strawbetties i grow at home.

    • amber

      May 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Doug, this could have to do with a couple of reasons. Berry life has a lot to do with the plant itself as well as the soil where it is grown. Another factor could be the variety of the strawberry. Wish Farms grows 7 different strawberry varieties. If you hold the varieties up side-by-side you would see a noticeable difference in the physical characteristics. Varieties are grown based on the season, time of year (some are early varieties, some grow later in the season), flavor, shipping quality etc. We hope this answer address your question. Good luck in your growing and thank you for supporting our Wish Farms brand!

  • Linda Jackson

    June 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I read your info about gmo strawberries nd believed it. Then I went to another site where it says ALL STRAWBERRIES are gmo nd have been for years. They have been gmo-ed to produce fish protien so they don’t freeze. Makes sense nd explaines why commerial strawberries are hard white in center nd home grown are real red all the way thru nd sweet too. Please explain?

    • amber

      July 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks for your comment on our post. Everything in this blog is factual. There are so many sources available today on the internet that are not reliable, so it is important to know where you are getting your information from. Here is a link to a USDA listing of GMO crops, both approved and pending:

      http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml

  • Joei

    August 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Are your August Canadian Blueberries planted using GMO seeds?

  • juan valdez

    October 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Don’t believe those other sources of information, what with their University studies and such. This site is correct in that eating strawberries from any source is as safe as eating the slugs, fish, insects, mold and bacteria that provided the genetic code that is literally in EVERY variety of strawberry today.

  • Peggy Groves

    February 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I live in Mississippi and was in Brooksville, FL a couple of weeks ago. I went to the Publix in Speing Hill. I pick up a pack of your strawberries. OMG, they were the absolute best strawberries we had tasted. They were so clean and shiny! Wish we could get them over here on the MS Gulf Coast.

    • amber

      February 21, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Wonderful so happy to hear you enjoyed our strawberries this season! Thanks for stopping by our site :)

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