We are constantly reading about how good papayas are and how we should add them to our anti-cancer diet. The majority of the American population tends to avoid papayas because they are considered as one of the most common GMO crops!
However, there are papayas that are non-GMO and are safe for consumption. There are various reasons why you should include papaya in your diet. We will reveal some tips on how to choose a papaya that is non-GMO. So, keep reading and find out more!
What is GMO?
GMO refers to “genetically modified organism”. Animals or crops are produced in a lab. The genes of same or similar species are extracted into the genes of an unrelated animal or plant. The organism extracted may be a virus or bacterium that can infect the animal or plant cells. In this way, a new organism is created that is unstable and unnatural.
Why Are Genetically Modified Crops Potentially Dangerous?
In order to create new plant varieties, traditional plant breeders work with a plant of the same or similar species. However, genetic engineers use viruses and bacteria to create something that can have negative consequences. Do not forget to mention that the process of inserting genes into the DNA of a food plant is random. This means that scientists do not know where the genes go. In other words, this can disrupt the function of other genes, thus creating unnatural proteins which will eventually create allergens and toxins in foods.
What are some genetically modified crops?
Corn, soybeans, sugar beets, cotton, canola, papaya, zucchini, and alfalfa are some of the crops that are currently approved for genetic modification in the US.
Are papayas genetically modified?
Even though most of the papayas in the US are genetically modified, you should not avoid them all. There are some tips on how to find non-GMO papayas. They have potent anti-cancer properties and are a great source of nutrients. 75% of the papayas produced in the US are GMO papayas from Hawaii. However, you can still find non-GMO papayas. Let’s find out how!
How to Choose a Non-GMO Papaya
- Buy Certified Organic Papayas
It may be difficult to find organic papayas, but if you manage to find any, don’t hesitate to grab them! Certified organic papayas are non-GMO and are definitely the perfect choice because they are no pesticide residues. Always make sure to check the labels!
- Check The Source Of The Papayas
We recommend you to avoid papayas that are from Hawaii because most of them are genetically modified. However, there are original, native papayas from Hawaii that are not genetically modified. So, you can choose the Kapoho variety with a yellowish flesh. The best papayas are grown in Mexico, Belize, Brazil, and Asia.
Look out for these papaya varieties
Back in 1900, Hawaii’s papaya industry was attacked by the PRSV (deadly papaya ringspot virus. To save the plantation of papaya, a breed was genetically engineered so it will be resistant to the virus.
Strawberry Papaya, also known as Sunrise papaya, is a papaya variety from Hawaii that is genetically engineered. It has a shape of pear-shaped and weighs about a pound, a bit smaller compared to the Mexican papayas. It is named “strawberry” because it is the most flavorful, juiciest, and sweetest among all papaya varieties.
SunUp and Rainbow varieties are other GMO papayas that you should avoid. As you can see in the image above, they are similar like the Strawberry Papaya.
Sunup = Sunset + gene PRSV virus
Rainbow = SunUp + Kapoho (the original native papaya)
Keep in mind that papaya varieties that are not from Hawaii are not genetically modified.
The Maradol Papaya forms 95% of the papaya production from Mexico. These papaya varieties are known as Caribbean Sunrise or Caribbean Red. This papaya variety is cylindrical and elongated and cylindrical. It weighs about 3 to 7 pounds. The Royal Star papaya variety is from Mexico. It is a smaller fruit that weights between 1 and 2.5 pounds.