Why Isn’t a Strawberry Just a Strawberry

By Sam Koutnik

The Crown (Wilmette, Illinois)

The graphic design course at Regina Dominican, taught by Mrs. Murray, teaches students the basics of graphic design along with its applications. The students work with Apple computers everyday and learn how to use programs such as Photoshop to create and edit their own designs.

While applying the new skills they have learned, the students in the graphic design classes have been working hard on a social issue project. Each student chose a current social issue and created their own graphic display of the issue.

Caroline Winiarczyk ’16 designed her project to represent the social issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in today’s food supply. Caroline incorporates all the bad ingredients that people do not even know are found in a genetically modified strawberry.

GMOs are a huge controversy in society today. An example of genetic modification is the addition of DNA cells to foods that would normally not occur in nature. The addition of such DNA can allow a farmer to spray crops with pesticides to kill the weeds and bugs without killing the crop itself.

The addition of the DNA can also cause organisms to grow to larger sizes that would never naturally occur. Animals can be genetically modified causing an animal to be bred larger than its normal size so that it can produce more meat.

However, with the use of GMOs, cows produce additional methane, which adds to the greenhouse effect. According to Mother Nature Network, scientists are trying to find a way to genetically engineer cows so that they do not produce as much methane.

Today, approximately 90% of  all products in the store, according to Kids Right to Know, contain GMO ingredients. The largest genetically modified category is  agricultural items such as corn and soy. According to the Non-GMO Project, GMOs are banned in more than 60 countries worldwide. GMOs are becoming fairly common and a product does not have to state on the packaging if it has been genetically modified.

Many people want to make a change. People like Caroline would like companies to state if their products are genetically engineered on the packaging or the menus. There are several campaigns that are trying to make this change a law. People have the right to know what they are consuming.


Caroline is very interested in the idea of Genetically Modified Organisms. She answered some questions about the topic and how she incorporated the idea in het graphic design project.

Why is this topic important to you?

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (www.wantnewsforteens.com).

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