The American food industry is shaped by our views about what is or is not food. Unlike other cultures, we view chemically enhanced products as being edible, and generate a demand for these foods to be supplied to the public. There is an increasing need for genetically modified foods as people have come to see these products as an essential part of the American diet.
Take meat as an example– some people argue that the consumption of GMOs is promoting animal cruelty in a select few animal species such as cows or pigs. However, American culture has created a high demand for particular meat cuts that can only be fulfilled through the use of genetic modification.
Americans do not typically crave the internal body parts of animals such as intestines or liver. We give muscle meat names like steak and pork chop, but do not assign special names to most other body parts. I would be happy if I was told I was about to eat a steak, yet repulsed if I was told I was about to eat a tongue. The meat we choose to consume and the names we assign to food have led us to associate consuming innards with being less human or cannibalistic (Delaney, 2011: 271). American cuisine thus consists largely of meat, but only meat from certain parts of a few animal species. In order to feed an ever-growing population, American industries need to invest in genetic modification, allowing for the production of popular sources of protein at a fast pace.
In this regard, genetic modification makes sense. We are culturally-wired to desire some foods more than others. Genetic modification has provided us with a simple, fast way to make more of the foods we like.
As described in the video below, Americans and people around the world associate commercialized food with American culture: