The Biofortified Blog

Chasing a Ghost Squash


Back in one of my early plant breeding classes, Professor Jim Nienhuis entertained the class with a story about a white butternut squash that he found in his field one day. But the squash, like a ghost, disappeared. Jim and I talked about how he went looking for his elusive, ghostly white squash, applying what he knew about population genetics. You might be scared – unless you understand Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium!

Happy Halloween!

And Happy 6th Birthday for our blog! Don’t forget to enter our annual Frankenfood Carving and Costume Contest!

Posted in Talks & Interviews

Questions arise about upcoming “Factor GMO” study

The Factor GMO logo
The Factor GMO logo

The Factor GMO logo

Last week, Henry Rowlands at Sustainable Pulse announced the upcoming launch of a study on genetically engineered crops, which was later picked up by GM Watch. At a staggering $25 million budget, it promises to be “the largest and most comprehensive long-term experiment ever conducted on a GM food and its associated pesticide.” The press release (PDF) also claimed that the scientists involved in the study would come from a “neutral” background and not be from the biotech industry or the anti-GMO movement either. This would be a promising development, however, the announcement was short on important details, specifically, the sponsors, funding sources, and scientific expertise. “Factor GMO” didn’t even show up in search engines. However, they did say that the announcement of some of these details would occur on November 11 at The Farmers Club in London, England. So I contacted the venue to see if I could find out more information – and that’s where it got interesting. Read more ›

Posted in News Tagged with: , ,

2014 Frankenfood Carving and Costume Contest


Hello everyone! Frank N. Foode™ here to make an important announcement. October 31st – celebrated both as Halloween and the birthdate of this fine blog (what a coincidence?) is just around the corner. You know what that means? Oh yes, it is time for our annual Frankenfood Carving and Costume Contest!

In previous years, you’ve all stepped up and carved yourselves some gnarly pumpkins, assorted squash, and hacked up many other bounties from the harvest. You’ve also donned scary plant-based costumes. Well it’s time to grab the knives and sewing needles for another great contest with some awesome prizes!

Here are the rules:

  • This contest is open to everyone – you need not have ever commented on the blog before the day you enter in the contest.
  • You’ve seen the scary pictures. Needles in tomatoes, and corn with sharp jaws to bite off your fingers. This is what some people imagine GMOs are like. You and I know better, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun! Take a pumpkin, squash, corn, celery, you-name-it, and carve it up into the scariest, most OMG-worthy GMO you can think of. Stitch different plants together, make a real Frankenfood!
  • OR – make yourself a costume worthy of being seen in one of those GMO protests – or a counter-protest – dressed as a plant or something related to it! It’s your choice – and either one gets you into the contest.
  • Upload a photo of your mad creation to the forum. Or upload it to our Facebook Page.
  • To give you time to upload a picture from Halloween, the contest is open until November 2nd, at midnight Pacific time in the US.
  • The Biofortified Blog’s Editors will decide on a winner and announce it within the next week.

Pick some news during the past year and make fun of it. The scarier, the funnier, the more clever – the better!


What is a contest without prizes? For our winners, you get your choice of a Frank N. Foode™ or Lanakila Papaya™ plushie sent to you, and our first place winners will get their choice of one of the books on our prize page as well. Now if we get a lot of entries, we’re going to throw in some more prizes just to make it interesting!

So go! Run out to the field and find a worthy cucurbit, grab your surgical tools (be safe!), and make us some monsters! Can you top last year’s winner?



Posted in News Tagged with: , , ,

Review of “Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood”

The 2013 PLoS One article Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood is often used as evidence that genes from GMO can “transfer” into our bodies (such as in this article from Collective Evolution). In this post, I’d like to review the paper with you and discuss this nightmare-inducing scenario. Read more ›

Posted in Science Tagged with: , , , ,

Jimmy Kimmel gives GMOs the Gluten treatment


Jimmy Kimmel jumped into the discussion of the “Gluten-free” trend, showing that many people who avoided wheat gluten did not understand what it was or why they were avoiding it. Now, Jimmy Kimmel has done the same thing with GMOs. He sent a film crew to a farmer’s market to find out if people avoided GMOs, why, and what “GMO” stood for. This is the hilarious result.

Posted in News Tagged with: ,

Biology Fortified, Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to providing factual information and fostering discussion about issues in biology, with a particular emphasis on plant genetics and genetic engineering in agriculture. Find out more on our About page.

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