From the GMO seed to fruits and veggies mass sprayed with pesticides, farmers and consumers alike have agreed that there are millions of reasons to avoid purchasing any Monsanto produced products. Around every turn, it seems like a new conjured “fruit” or “vegetable” has appeared. Now? It’s the cantaloupe. This particular cantaloupe, also called the “Sweet Spark,” is currently only carried by Walmart stores and is reported to be 40% sweeter than winter cantaloupe that “tastes like a piece of wood.” (1)
The Designer Melon
According to Walmart spokeswoman, Molly Blakeman, the superstore sells 10 times as many cantaloupes during the summer as opposed to winter. Walmart executives did the math and decided it was time to fix the problem. Enter the Sweet Spark, a Monsanto creation that was over two years in the making not by genetic engineering like many of their products, but by cross breeding. Cross breeding is a “more natural” technique used by farmers as well to grow their crop output. (1,2)
Sean Baldwin, the senior vice president of produce and global food sourcing at Walmart, said that he’s watched the numbers for cantaloupe sales plummet during the winter months. (3)
This Frankenstein melon is not the first, and likely won’t be the last modified product coming from the Monsanto factories. By its very nature, cantaloupe is a seasonal fruit – so of course will taste better during its natural season. Walmart and Monsanto executives have decided they just don’t care.
The Monster Monsanto
Since the early 1900’s, Monsanto has been developing new ways to expand and speed up the growth of crops, enhance cow’s milk production, and is one of the main distributors of artificial sweeteners. Perhaps they are most well known for their first genetically enhanced (GE) product, Posilac. Posilac is an injection that Monsanto sold to farmers to inject to cows so they would produce more milk. (1)
Despite warnings to the FDA about Prosilac having the potential to case mastitis or even lameness, production and distribution continued. A link was even found to developing cancer, but no one batted an eye until two reporters from Flordia blew up the story to make sure the American people knew the dangers of GE food distribution. Monsanto did it’s best to shut down the story and to continue as business as usual, but they never fully recovered and are now seen as the Big Business of food production surrounded by corruption, lies, and fake food. (3)
While the crossbreeding method used to develop Walmart’s designer melon is used by farmers across the country, and even internationally, it is certainly not an organic method. The Sweet Spark is grown in Guatemala and Costa Rica. Currently it’s sold in 200 Walmart’s in the US, but the superstore plans to expand distribution nationwide later this year. (2)
While the mass production certainly allows for constant and easy access to the “summertime” fruit, if you prefer to keep your produce natural and organic, stick to the local farmer’s markets or grocery stores that get fresh deliveries.