Many people question the benefits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Today we are looking at one important factor in GMOs, the cost. With the decrease in farmland we have to look at ways for us to increase our yield without increasing the cost of food. We do this by using more efficient technology for planting and harvesting, better pesticides, and enhanced labor of the land. This is where GMOs can really help, due to their increased resistance to pests, drought, and disease, GM crops can produce higher yields, keeping the prices of those crops lower.
In a post released by the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) ten facts about GMOs were released. Number eight on this list discusses the impact of GMOs on the price of food. In it they say that if the United States were to ban genetically modified organisms we would see a much larger decrease in crops. Visit this website to see more on GMOs and how they can affect the cost of food.
While we may not be able to completely control the reduction of crop prices through the use of genetically modified crops we can definitely use them to help. I think that we can all agree that lower costs at the grocery store are beneficial.
Assistant Professor Kelsey Hall talked to the intro to agricultural communications class on the use of vermicomposting, or the use of red wiggler worms to create rich compost for soil and gardens. Hall went on to discuss the benefits of using vermicomposting which included a descale on our environmental footprint and the ability to save money. When a ten-pound bag of pre-made compost costs $50 the do it yourself version only costs $7 for 200 worms and then the cost of the container to keep them in, which is rather affordable. You simple get a rubber container, buckets, or barrels (just do not use wood). The setup of your containers is rather easy and maintenance is easy. To fill their home and start building up your compost Hall suggested filling the container of your choice with shredded paper as your base. You can then add food scraps such as egg shells, fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds and other materials to the bin for the worms to begin digesting. Hall also emphasized that meat scraps, dairy products, actual eggs, oily products, banana pills (which are toxic to the worms), and spicy foods should not be added to the bin because it can cause problems for the worms and they will not be able to digest them like other materials. Once you have started to feed your worms you’ll want to give them a few months and there will be enough tea (liquid fertilizer) for you to start fertilizing your garden. For more information visit USU Extension Sustainability.