Shreveport, LA (KMSS) — Tuesdays and Saturdays, health conscious Shreveportians are heading to Festival Plaza to see what local foods are available at the Shreveport Farmers Market.
While people still buy ready made items,many more are looking for organic foods and ones with out genetically modified organisms, or GMO.
However, there are more who are still confused by GMO. That’s something Michelle Mahfoufi of Michelle’s Organics and Heirlooms sees on a regular basis."It's an education process. People who know, they are repeat customers and come back, but right now, it's just a question of people coming, and we explain the process "
So what is a GMO? In food terms it's a food that has had its DNA altered. In theory it's to benefit the food, making it more resistant to pests and drought, or have higher nutritional value.
But Evan McCommon of Mahaffey Farms points out some potential down falls of making food in a lab."There isn't any scientific evidence or studies being shown to know what the harmful effects could be it's the fact that we don't know if they're good or bad for you, and that you're basically altering creation, or altering nature."
That's why Mahfoufi refuses to use them, or anything that may have consumed them in her garden."We don't even use cow manure because of the pass through with antibiotics and whatever goes in the cow comes out.
There's also concern about pesticides. As companies develop pest resistant crops, the pests will adapt to the new environment. That could mean that stronger pesticides would be needed to fend off bugs, putting more chemicals on food.
However, for people worried about GMOs, McCommon has good news."I would guarantee, other than the processed foods at your farmer's market, like come of the corn meal perhaps, but everything here should be non-gmo."
When in doubt, it's best to ask the farmer how things are grown.