Imagine There is No Hunger

March 10, 2011
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The little boy sits in the one hundred degree desert weather anxiously waiting for his mother to come bring him food. It has been almost four weeks and still his mother arrives every night with the same thing.
As his stomach groans demanding food, the boy feels a sharp piercing through his abdomen as if someone has taken a machete and stabbed him. His head begins to throb as the pains slowly multiply and the groans louden bit by bit. He yearns to silence the monster inside but he cannot provide what it desperately hungers for. Burning sensations fill his stomach as if it is a fire pit from hell. Day by day he turns feeble, drained and fragile. He begins to feel his face, his arms, and his legs to make sure he is still alive. All that is left to stroke are the brittle bones that make up his skeleton and a thin layer of delicate skin.
Suddenly the rotting wood, shutting him in the privacy of his tiny room, creeks open. As he sees his mother’s slender foot lead the rest of her body through the doorway a slight hope fills his mind. Maybe today will be his lucky day. Even just a small bite of bread will suffice to calm his famine for a bit longer. But as his mother bears her hands the little boy is left with the same answer.
Everyday there are many people who long for just one speck of food to soothe their enormous pains and strengthen them to live a long healthy life just as the little boy does. And many more of those lives die of starvation in third world countries. Many people in American society are able to see these horrid effects in those countries through pictures however one must live it in order to truly feel the way the famine takes hold of a person’s being. Thankfully many citizens of the United States are lucky enough to have food at their fingertips due to the great advances in technology and industry, however this causes appalling events in foreign nations, such as famine, to slip their minds often times.
What if someone came and said that there is a way to immediately take away the pain the boy and many others suffer through every day? Well, there is, and that is the product of genetically modified food. Through the many technological advances made throughout history, science allows first world countries, such as the United States, to genetically modify food which increases productivity in order to aid third world countries who experience scarcity of food and essential resources for living.
Genetically Modified organisms, such as plants and animals, are altered by adding foreign genes to enhance desirable traits such as resistance to pesticides, a higher nutritional value, and acceleration of growth or production. In the past, scientists have used traditional breeding methods by selecting the organisms with the most desired traits and making them reproduce. However in the modern world, scientists can utilize advanced genetic engineering techniques by extracting the specific genes of the attribute requested and transfer it to the organism it is needed for.
Genetic Engineering also offers faster results than the conventional breeding methods. For example, scientists who specialize in genetically modifying food can “isolate a gene responsible for drought tolerance and insert that gene into a different plant. The new genetically-modified plant will gain drought tolerance as well” (“Genetically”). Genetic engineers are in the process of developing a new type of hybrid fish called the Aqua Advantage Salmon that will have the same characteristics of a normal fish but will be able to grow faster. These rapid results, “[provide] a compelling economic benefit to farmers (reduced growing cycle) as well as [enhance] the economic viability of inland operations” (“AuquaAdvantage”).The genetically modified salmon is able to grow at a faster rate and reach the mature size earlier than that of the standard salmon however; the Aqua Advantage Salmon cannot grow larger. These accelerated methods allow industrialized countries to send crops and goods quickly to third world countries as well as in greater amounts.
Another benefit provided by the production of Genetically Modified foods is the ability to add nutritional content to simple foods. Third world countries are not as industrialized. Because of this they cannot depend on machines to manufacture goods. They must raise their own crops on their own soil and, since the climate varies vastly, only certain foods are capable of flourishing. For example, people rely solely on rice as their diet. While it is good that they have something to eat, rice does not have enough nutritional ingredients such as necessary vitamins (“Genetically”). Allowing the crops that can only be produced in certain areas of land to be genetically modified would alleviate deficiencies of nutrients. This is a common problem faced by the prodigious amounts of impoverished people around the world. Due to the lack of nutrients in staple products such as rice, “blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences have created a strain of ‘golden’ rice containing an unusually high content of beta-carotene (vitamin A)” (“Genetically”). This product will raise the stresses off of malnutrition as well as prevent further blindness of children and young adults.
Due to the many benefits, the production of Genetically Modified Foods in the future will allow first world, industrialized countries to send foods to third world countries as well as prevent malnutrition and various diseases. Genetically Modified Foods will make the dream of no hunger around the world into a reality as well as achievable. If this aspiration fails to flourish the many young lives will continue to undergo the pain of starvation and malnutrition, eventually forcing them to face their death.

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