In anthropology lab, we discussed the concept of a “grapple” or an apple genetically modified to taste like a grape. As a class, we were challenged to determine if a grapple would be considered food to most Americans. Surprisingly, I was one of few students who believed a grapple is in fact, an American food.
I was hoping I could taste a grapple to see for myself if grapples taste like “food” but was disappointed to find that grapples are not sold in local grocery stores. For my own entertainment, I researched further into different types of new and interesting genetically modified food products and tried to determine how they make sense.
The Grapple: A cross between an apple and a grape.
Why it makes sense: The grapple was designed to provide a higher vitamin-C dose per fruit for third world aid. Most of the funding for the fruit came from UNICEF.
The Rubber Cork Tree: a cross between a rubber tree and a cork tree.
Why it makes sense: Wine industries love rubber cork trees. Bark taken from this tree looks like real cork but has the permanence and flavorlessness of rubber.
The Paper Tree: A tree that is genetically modified to have leaves with a similar texture and look as paper.
Why it makes sense: The tree grows square leaves that, when dried, can be used as writing paper. This is an environmentally friendly way of producing sheets of paper.
Though wacky, some of these new genetically modified organisms are proving beneficial to society. Paper trees, for instance, allow for fewer trees to be cut down and transformed into paper. The grapple is not only unique tasting, but also more nutritional than the typical apple. Science is finding crazy, new ways to use genetic modification for societal good.
Frater, Jamie. 2008 Top 10 Bizarre Genetically Modified Organisms. http://listverse.com/2008/04/01/top-10-bizarre-genetically-modified-organisms/, accessed November 22, 2013