The Food We Eat How much do you really know about the food that you eat and how it is made? Would you ever eat something that was created in a laboratory rather than naturally harvested? Well, more than 75% of processed foods on the market are genetically modified, so you probably already have!
The Quest What is genetically modified food and how does it affect our health and our environment?
The Mission:Using the tools provided in this webquest, you will….. • Explore the field of biotechnology and determine what genetically modified food is. • Read about genetically modified food from different perspectives (consumers, scientists, proponents, and environmentalists) and answer the questions provided along with each source. • Watch a clip from the documentary Food, Inc. and read a list of bioengineered foods that have been evaluated by the FDA. • In groups of four, formulate your own theories on the benefits and risks of genetically modified food. • Your group will present and support your theories to your classmates as well as turn in a written summary.
What is biotechnology? • Click hereto read about the field of biotechnology. • Answer the following questions: • When was biotechnology first introduced to agriculture and food? • What is the difference between cross-breeding crops and genetically engineered food? • Why would a farmer benefit from planting genetically modified crops or breeding genetically engineered animals? • In what way does the article suggest that consumers benefit from eating genetically modified foods? • According to the article, what risks are associated with growing and consuming genetically modified food?
Genetically Modified Foods • Click hereto read about genetically modified foods. • Answer the following questions: • What is the difference between the terms genetic modification and biotechnology? • What are the proposed benefits of genetically modified food to our environment and society? • What are the proposed risks of genetically modified food to our environment and society? • What does the future hold for genetically modified foods?
New Scientist • Click here to view a publication on NewScientist.com that discusses genetically modified foods from a scientific perspective • Are GM foods more common in Europe than in the U.S.? Why or why not? • What are the potential worldwide benefits of GM foods? • Why are some people scared of GM foods? • Does the field of biotechnology have any impact on other areas of science?
The New York Times and ABC News • Click hereto read an article published in the New York Times that discusses consumer reactions to GM foods. Click here for an article published on ABC News about the same topic. • According to the polls, what percentage of New York Times readers are bothered by the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in the food that they eat? What percentage of people polled in the ABC News article think that GM foods are unsafe? • Do you think that labeling and stricter regulations on their production would change consumers minds about GM foods?
Bio.org • Bio.org is a private corporation that advocates the production of GM foods. Click here to access an article on their site that addresses GM food safety issues. • What are the benefits of producing and consumer GM foods as presented by Bio.org? • What risks of consuming GM foods are discussed, if any? • Do you agree with the proponents of biotechnology that run this site and have written this article?
Organicconsumers.org • Click hereto visit Organic Consumers, a .org site run by an environmentalist group. Read a few articles that have been published on this site about GM foods. • What risks do the articles suggest are associated with consuming GM foods? • What benefits of GM food production are presented, if any? • Do you agree with the environmentalists that run this site?
Food, Inc Food, Inc is 2008 documentary on food production.
FDA Evaluations • Click hereto access a list of bioengineered foods that have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. • What seems to be the most common reason that foods are genetically engineered? • Knowing what you know about the risks and benefits of GM foods, do you think that GM foods should be banned or further regulated by the FDA?
Your Theory • In your group, discuss your findings from each source and compare your opinions about biotechnology and GM foods. • Do you all agree on whether or not GM foods are safe to consume and produce? It’s ok if the answer is no! • What do you think is the most beneficial about GM production? • What are the biggest risks that are associated with GM production? • Formulate a written theory that you can all contribute to and prepare a presentation to share with your classmates.
Presentations • Use glogster or google docs to create your presentations. • You can link to sources and upload images and videos along with your information. • Your written paper and presentation will be graded according to the following rubric