Why GMOs Are (Not) Feeding the World

Posted on Jun 22 2011 - 2:31am by Mike Lieberman

The main reason that so many people get behind chemical gardening and agriculture is the belief that it’s the only way to feed the world. This load of crap has been force fed to us by the same companies that are producing the food. What else do you expect them to say?

They have all of us believing that with the rising population and our limited resources that organic methods of growing food couldn’t possibly feed the world. I have news for you – GMOs aren’t doing such a great job of it either. Here is why:

Top GMOd crops

Three of the top GMOd crops are corn, soy and wheat. Combined something like 80-90% of all of those crops planted are of the genetically modified variety. Even if it’s on the lower end it’s still somewhere around 70%. Source: USDA

This sounds great. We can grow these crop because they are resistant to pests, drought and everything else. So what’s wrong with that?

They don’t get fed to humans

Instead these crops wind up being unnaturally fed to livestock to help fatten them up quicker. Close to 50% of the soy and 60% of the corn grown goes to feeding livestock. Source: Sustainable Table

All right! This is even better because My Plate says that we need protein. Protein comes from meat, and we are getting meat that’s fattening up quick for us to eat.

Not so much. Since these animals are being fed an unnatural diet and being kept in factory farms, this is what contributes to outbreaks such as e.coli and other food scares.

I don’t know the percentage, but whatever doesn’t get fed to livestock is made into food like products using high fructose corn syrup and all those other mystery ingredients.

In actuality, it’s not even being given directly to people to consume.

Wheat is the new corn

The price of wheat has dropped below that of corn. Now livestock is being fed wheat because it’s cheaper. Source: Bloomberg

This is being done for price reasons, not for health.

Ethanol for cars

Behind the scenes, Monsanto, who is one of the main suppliers of GMO corn, has been pushing hard for using ethanol to power cars. This would result in the corn being grown to be used for a gas alternative instead of food.


Those are just a few of the reasons why GMOs are not feeding the world. The crops aren’t even being given to humans to consume. Let’s not even get started on the potential health and environmental impacts of them.

This is another reason to start growing your own food, at least some of it. You can supply yourself and stop supporting this hamster wheel that we are on of continually giving the same companies our money over and over again. Start putting that money towards your farmers markets, CSA or local co-ops. We have the power to shift and change the power. Let’s utilize that.

What are your thoughts on GMOs feeding the world?