Many of us invested in the success of sustainable agriculture have a knee-jerk response against genetically-modified foods, and for good reason — they often come with patent protection, pesticides, and other undesirable features. But a new development from the National Institute of Plant Genome Research in New Delhi suggests that GMO crops could have at least one positive use: dramatically increasing the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

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Researchers discovered that by suppressing two enzymes (A-Man, B-Hex) that accumulate during ripening, the shelf life of tomatoes could retain ripeness and a firm texture for over a month. That’s significantly longer than the standard shelf life of 15 days. The same technique could potentially be used in bananas, papayas, mangoes, and other fruit.

If used commercially, the technique could dramatically cut down on the number of fruits and vegetables thrown out in supermarkets — and homes — because of rottenness. It could also increase the efficiency of farms, which currently lose almost half of their tomato harvest each year due to excessive softening before it goes to market. What do you think — would you eat these GMO foods?

+ National Institute of Plant Genome Research

Via UK Daily Mail