A new genetically modified apple that won't brown when cut open or bruised has been cleared to be grown in the U.S.

If you could choose between a typical apple and an apple that doesn't brown when it is exposed to the air, which one would you choose?  If you find browned apple slices too unappealing to eat, then the Okanagan Arctic Apple could be the solution for you. 

The Canadian Okanagan Specialty Fruit’s Arctic Apple could be coming to fast food chains like McDonalds' and the all-you-can-eat salad buffets in the near future.  Currently, these companies utilize citric acid to delay the apple's browning process; when the Arctic Apple becomes available, every apple would appear freshly cut. 

Politico reports that Okanagan says "its browning-free variety [of apples] will mean less food waste, more uses for cut apples and the preservation of nutrients."

This new GMO fruit stands apart from all GMO crops that came before it (corn, soybeans, cotton, etc.) because the apples are meant to appeal to consumers, not farmers, as Arctic Apples do not contain any pest-repellants.

Some questions remain: Is the Arctic Apple safe?  Is a non-browning apple necessary?  Is there really a consumer-driven demand for such a fruit?  And of all the fruit that could benefit from not turning brown, wouldn't bananas be first on the list? 

According to Politico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided - after a three-year wait - that the Okanagan Arctic Apple "doesn’t pose any harm to other plants or pests," and can be grown in the U.S.; however, before you go looking for their Golden and Granny Smith apples in a grocery store near you, the FDA is still conducting "a voluntary review" of the product.

So what do you think?  Will you be one of the first to take a bite of the Arctic Apple? 

- Jen H. The Off The Grid Team

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