Imagine a plant that can glow in the dark, a chicken the size of a turkey, a pig as big as a Volkswagen beetle, and a corn with black and red grains. You can find these creepy organisms out there, and all of this is possible thanks to genetic engineering.
For years, we have been told that GMO (genetically modified organisms) are essentially bad for both human beings and “everything else.” But why? Is this really bad?
In the same way, pro-GMO scientists have sustained that the advantages of GMO; in a way, have led humanity to amazing discoveries in advanced medicine and treatments against lethal diseases such as cancer. However, there is a shocking relationship between Genetic Engineering applications and the propagation of rare diseases, mostly in the food industry. So, what is going on?
Let us take a closer look at what a GMO is about
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one or two species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because of this “transfer of genes,” GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.
Why are GMO so dangerous?
Long time ago, it was believed that the food (plants, fish, fruits, insects, etc.) consumed by humans and other animals was not able to transfer their own genetic information. This is because during food digestion, all macromolecules are thought to be degraded to elementary constituents such as amino acids and nucleotide (Nutrients) which are transported to the circulatory system and then released into specific cells around the body. All this process is done by a very complex mechanism whose properties have not been completely understood.
According to Sandor Spisak (Molecular Medicine Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America) and colleagues, small fragments of nucleic acids may pass to the bloodstream, and even get into various tissues. For example; foreign DNA fragments were detected in the digestive tract of rainbow trouts, goats, pigs, and mice, which were fed by genetically modified soybean.
The same results have revealed that foreign DNA from GMO plants can be transferred into human cells. For example, in China in early 2012, a study showed that ingested plant such as the genetically modified Bt corn, not only survive digestion, but also influenced human cell function.
This experiment proved that Bt Corn’s DNA was harmful, and also demonstrated that Bt corn was linked to more than ten years of human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
This is just one of the many reasons (backed by solid data and scientific results) why thousands of people and organizations around the world are against GMO for consumption. We still do not fully understand how our bodies process and assimilate nutrients at a genetic and molecular level. But, we know that there is a huge possibility that DNA information can be transferred to human cells through his digestive system, and also can be stored in different kind of cells which is a very serious situation.
Complete Hydroponics has a very strong commitment to produce nutrients that are FREE FROM GMO agents that are harmful to plants and animals. Our nutrients come from natural sources and are especially formulated to help your plants grow better, healthier and stronger.
USE NATURAL DERIVED NUTRIENTS AND ORGANIC PRODUCTS
See how easy genes can be introduced into a different specie
Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from different species, genetic engineers must force the DNA from one organism into another.
Their methods include:
Using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with the new DNA.
Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special gun into the cells.
Injecting the new DNA into fertilized eggs with a very fine needle.
Using electric shocks to create holes in the membrane covering sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm through these holes.
Is genetic engineering precise? The technology of genetic engineering is currently very crude. It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the transfer of new genes can disrupt the finely controlled network of DNA in an organism.
Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited,and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value.
But haven’t growers been grafting trees, breeding animals, and hybridizing seeds for years?
Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding and carries unique risks.
In traditional breeding, it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile; a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.
With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting.
These are the genetic combinations that have been tried so far
It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:
Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
Artic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.
Field trials have included:
Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.
Measures you should take when growing Hydroponics
When growing Hydroponics, plants have the tendency to absorb nutrients faster and more efficiently than soil. Some nutrients have the ability to dissolve barriers such as cellular membranes to facilitate the path of micro and macromolecules so your plant can use them for its own development.
This property is very important because when you have a nutrient made from GMO sources, dangerous elements can be transferred into your plant and become a part of its own system.
We all know that corporations like Monsanto, Miracle Grow, General Hydroponics and may others, are international iconic companies linked to dangerous GMO activities and developments of poisonous products such as pesticides like Round Up which is used in almost all agricultural business around the world.
For this reason, you should buy products like Complete Gardening, Complete Hydroponics, and some other of your preference to avoid serious side effects that can seriously affect your overall health in the long run. Choose:
NATURAL DERIVED NUTRIENTS AND ORGANIC PRODUCTS
We encourage growers around the world to do their own research about the way nutrients are produced and also, try different alternatives and track positive changes in your plants. Please, stick with natural derived and organic hydroponic nutrients to get the best out of your plants, which is the greatest and most value asset for hydroponic growers such as yourself.
Imagine that you could survive for months absorbing sunlight the same way plants do it. That would be really cool if you think about it, no more starvation.
For many years, this idea was considered impossible or even absurd due to the fact that plants and animals have a very different biological mechanism. However, scientists have discovered a creature that could borrow genes form algae and incorporate them into its cells to mimic some plants’ vital functions.
The most advanced form of survival would be eating plants and become photosynthetic. Let’s take a look at the animal that has this kind of super powers, the Elysia Chlorotica.
This animal is a lurid green sea slug, with a gelatinous leaf-shaped body that lives along the Atlantic seaboard of the US, but what sets it apart from most other sea slugs, is its ability to run on solar power.
Mary Rumpho of the University of Maine, is an expert on E. chlorotica and has now discovered how the sea slug gets the ability to photosynthezise just like a plant.
We have known for some time that an alga is a super food for both plants and animals. Its properties can easily be transferred to improve plant’s structural functions, health, growth, flowering, and much more.
How does the Slug do the trick?
Young E. Chlorotica fed with algae for two weeks and could survive for the rest of their year-long lives without eating. But, is this possible?
Chloroplasts only contain enough DNA to encode about 10% of the proteins needed to keep themselves running. The other necessary genes are found in the algae’s nuclear DNA. “So the question has always been, how do they continue to function in an animal cell missing all of these proteins,” says Rumpho.
The answer: They get the genes from the alga they feed from and incorporate them within its own cells along with the chloroplasts (Cells responsible for photosynthesis). That’s really awesome! The X-men of the animal kingdom.
In another surprising development, the researchers found the algal gene in E. chlorotica‘s sex cells, meaning the ability to maintain functional chloroplasts could be passed to the next generation.
The researchers believe many more photosynthesis genes are acquired from the alga, but still need to understand how the plant genes are activated inside sea-slug cells.
Now, What about a transfer from Alga to Plants or Alga to Humans?
Liverpool University, Professor Greg Hurst, says that DNA jumping from one specie to another is not rare. However, despite the fact that that species can transfer their own genes to a different one, the DNA does not appear to function in the new species. BUT, What if this is possible to a certain degree?
Alga to plants
Scientists have found that when plants are fed with algae derivatives, they tend to develop certain characteristics. For example, when an alga’s derivative is applied to the plant’s root system, the entire rhizosphere tends to grow in proportions that surpass any other plant grown under normal circumstances. It increases plant’s immune system; improves size, leaf formation, flowering stages, flavor, and aromas.
The benefits of Algae are beyond imagination for both humans and plants, and we still don’t know much about it. But what we do know is that it works, and you should be using it.
Alga to Humans
Other animals are able to harness sunlight after eating plants, says Mary Rumpho, but this is only because they acquire the entire plant cells, which is very different to transforming an animal cell into a solar-powered plant-animal hybrid.
It is unlikely that humans could become photosynthetic in this way because our digestive tract system just destroys all that stuff up including the chloroplasts and the DNA.
The sea-slug phenomenon might be a piece of evidence that demonstrate that gene transfer can occur to a certain degree between species.Some cases are perceptible and amusing, like the slug that can transform his own body into a solar panel for survival, and also can transfer its biological adaptation to the next generation. But, what about those changes that can occur, but are not perceptible to the naked eye? This is one of the reasons why GMO is so controversial.
Stay away from GMO
We are going to talk about this topic in our next article, but I am going to leave some insights about this phenomenon that lately, nobody seems to pay much attention.
A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one specie are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal.
This technique that uses genetic engineering is highly mutagenic. This can cause unpredictable changes in the DNA and the proteins produced by the GMO which lead to toxic or allergic reactions.
If plants and humans can absorb properties from the things that both species consume, stay away from GMO.
From where I come from, the elders used to say that “Wherever you go, pay close attention to the food because people are what they eat.” I apply the same principle on myself and also to my plants. I just feed them with the best stuff I can find and I make sure they have a healthy and powerful development.
Before we start talking about the best mineral supplement for plants, it is important to be aware of the issues that have pushed companies like Complete Hydroponics and Complete Gardening to develop nutrients that help growers to suceed in both Hydroponics and Conventional Gardening.
The first issue is called Mineral Depletion; this phenomenon is caused by a progressive loss of nutrients in the soil due to the continuous use of toxic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and many others of the same nature.
The second issue is called GMO induction. Companies like Monsatos, and other powerful corporations, as a solution, have introduced genetically modified organisms that can grow fast and without the presence of essential minerals that are usually obtained from the soil. For example: GMO plants can grow in very harsh environment which is a very good thing, but its produce has a very low nutritional value for humans, which is a bad thing.
In 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit celebrated in the United Nations, it was conclude that for the past 100 years, the mineral levels in agricultural soil has dropped on average by 72% in Europe, 76% in Asia, and 85% in North America.
Mineral depletion in the soil is so bad that in 1997, just in the United States, you had to eat 23 apples to get the same amount of iron compared to an apple eaten during the 1950s. This indicates that we have a serious problem with our way to do things in the agricultural business.
If minerals go down, the overall health is compromised
It is not strange that for the last 100 years, especially during the last 30 years, diseases have been increasing dramatically while soil is depleted from minerals due to our industrial activity. The lower the amount of mineral obtained from our food supply, the worst for our overall health.
The best Organic Mineral Supplement you could ever find
The best source of nutrients that can reverse mineral depletion in soils are Humic and Fulvic acids. These substances are so powerful and so beneficial that not only support the entire biological system of the soil, but also helps plants and any other living being that is in contact with them.
Humic Acid is a naturally occurring substance that’s obtained as the result of humification, a process that has taken place over millions of years.
Complete Gardening Humic Acid:
Humification requires certain unique geological conditions of pressure and temperature as well as the right combination of organic substances, which, over time, compresses this organic matter into a new and uniquely beneficial substance called Humic Acid
Why is this so important?
Humic Acid is an extremely powerful substance that has preserved organic minerals and trace elements from ancient living organic fruits and vegetables as well as ancient seaweed. It’s a unique substance that cannot be chemically reproduced, and it works rapidly in the body (Plants and Humans) to replenish nutrient levels.
Humic acids are able to improve the overall health in humans, plants, and any other living organism. Therefore, the benefit acquired by the implementation of this substance is limitless.
Fulvic Acid is another super complex that is extracted in special regions of the world which are rich in organic minerals at about 200-250 feet underground.
Like humic acid, fulvic acid is formed during the seaweed humification process that takes place over time. Fulvic Acid is the first set of molecules formed when the seaweed was entombed or buried as a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago covering the sea beds and ancient, mineral rich seaweed.
Complete Gardening Fulvic Acid:
As time goes on, the seaweed and other organic components come together with Fulvic acid to form Humic acid (with the right pressure and enough time). Fulvic acids are actually the precursors for making Humic acid. Fulvic acid is a much smaller molecule than Humic acid, and it works uniquely in the human body and plants.
Why it is this so important?
On a cellular level, Fulvic acid also does most of its work inside the cell, making the cell membranes more permeable and carrying nutrients into the cells.
One of the many benefits is that cells are getting a higher volume and a more usable form of nutrients. Fulvic acid binds together with water (depending on the Fulvic Acid’s purity and concentration) and helps support the body’s natural detoxification process.
The great value of Humic and Fulvic acids
The greatest value of humic and fulvic acids are their roles as chelators. Humic and Fulvic acids have functional groups that act as claws, holding mineral ions strongly enough to keep them from reacting with each other and becoming unavailable to the plant, but weakly enough so that they can be released to the plant cells on demand. Humic acid transports the minerals to the outside of the cell membranes, and releases the minerals for uptake by the plant. The fulvic acid fraction consists of small organic molecules that easily penetrate cell membranes. The more biologically active of the two fractions, fulvic acid transports minerals through the cell membranes and releases them directly to the plant cells.
THE COMBINATION OF HUMIC ACIDS AND SEAWEED EXTRACTS WORK 50% MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN EITHER PRODUCT USED ALONE.
Humic acids are even more effective when used in conjunction with seaweed extracts. Such interactions have a “synergistic effect”. According to a ten-year study on bio-stimulants conducted by Virginia Tech, humic acids and seaweed extracts, when used together in a 5:2 ratio, work 50% more effectively than either product used alone. The seaweed component, rich in plant growth hormones, signals the plant to grow. The humic acid component, with its chelating effect, amplifies the signal of the hormones.
Vertical gardening, also referred as “hydroponic tower,” “hydroponic grow system,” “Tower garden” or hydroponic “vertical garden” are hydroponic systems that allow horticulturists to grow all kind of plants in a well-organized vertical structure.
In vertical tower gardens, less space is used, faster growth is achieved, and soil-related problems are non-existent. In addition, less water and nutrient solution are wasted due to their recycling capabilities, and indoor growing allows for year-round crops.
In other words, vertical grow towers are hydroponic systems that utilize motorized pumps, water, and hydroponic nutrient solution to grow herbs, fruits and any other type of plant. Each system has numerous “residential units,” which are essentially the holes on the sides of the system which house each plant. The towers stand upright, are compact, portable, easy to use, and are extremely efficient. For their square footage, it is quite amazing how much produce each tower can yield.
Vertical garden are very popular in homes, offices, and business. However, hydroponic towers are increasingly being utilized outdoors as well; in traditional gardening plots, terraces, urban farms and other agricultural upstarts.
What to do before you begin your Tower Gardening System:
It is important to know that no matter what kind of growing system you might have, growing plants will always require light, water, and hydroponic nutrient solutions.
Let’s take a look!
Light – Plants need a lot of sunlight to thrive. We know that 10 to 12 hours of light can be enough for a plant to grow healthy on average. Of course you can have your tower close to a window, but it will be better off if you have a light source upon your system.
See some alternatives:
Temperature – Stable conditions in plants environment are required. The temperature recommended for this kind of hydroponic systems are 60-75 degree range depending of the plant. To keep track of the temperature, we suggest the following:
Nutrients – In Tower Gardening the use of nutrients are crucial. For this reason, nutrients such as Complete Hydroponics are required in every stage. The best option you can find is Agua A&B, CompleZym, and PK 13/14.
Take a look:
pH Adjusters – Adjuster are necessary to control levels of acidity in the solution. Plants use to have different pH tolerance this is why is so important to keep pH regulators with you at any time either to down or rise the pH levels.
pH Calibration Solution:
Growing Mediums – While the nutrient solution provides the nourishment in hydroponic grow towers, grow mediums act as a support for the plant and its root system, while also providing aeration and drainage. Some vertical grow system include grow mediums with purchase of the kit, while others do not.
See some recommendations:
Air flow – Vertical gardens systems requires airflow in both its surroundings and the roots. So, keep in mind that air circulation is very important.
This is the basic knowledge to keep a vertical tower system running. There are several types of Tower Systems; some of them are already made and easy to assemble and use and some others can be built by using PBC pipes and Bucket systems a classic (DIY).
For growers, the great number of fertilizers available and the different types of specialty additives can become overwhelming. However, there is one thing that is always constant for everyone no matter the experience, and that is that fertilizers come in two forms: Solid (Granular fertilizer) and Liquid fertilizer (Hydroponic nutrients). Although these two forms are quite different, the basic purpose of both is the same: to provide nutrition to a garden or particular crop.
Solid and liquid fertilizers each have their own advantages and disadvantages. A closer look at those advantages and disadvantages will help growers decide which to use and when.
Solid fertilizers, also known as granular fertilizers, are the ones that come in a dried form. The size and consistency of granular fertilizers vary depending on the brand and what the product is derived from. The physical consistency of these fertilizers varies from large grains like the size of an orange seed to a very fine, powdered form.
Solid fertilizers are generally designed to be amended into the soil and released to the plants over a certain period of time. This is done by mixing the soil with the fertilizer so plants can have access to it progressively.
Always be sure to check the manufacturer’s intended use and dosage instructions. There is a wide variety of dry fertilizers on the market, but we have the best you can find and we are proud of it.
Find granular fertilizer right here:
An individual ingredient solid fertilizer is an amendment that is derived from a single source such as, bat guano, worm castings, and seaweed. Individual ingredients are labeled just like any other fertilizer with the N-P-K percentages listed on the packaging. Some growers like to purchase individual ingredients in order to create their own custom blends.
Here are some of the best sellers:
Complete Hydroponics has also manufactured fertilizers for a specific purpose by creating blends of fertilizers. For instance, to grow flowers, a grower may want to use “Bloom Blasters” or a mix of different soil amendments such as fulvic acid, humic acid, or Yuccah extracts. Blends are comprised of a mix of individual ingredients which are combined for a specific purpose.
There are a variety of specialty blends on the market suited for many different applications.
Advantages of Granular Fertilizers
Time release is the biggest advantage of granular fertilizer; this is because it gives nutrition to plants over a period of time. Despite the fact that amending the soil with fertilizers could be a very tedious activity, time release fertilization can save a lot of time in the long run.
Another advantage of dry fertilizers is an extended shelf life. If kept out of moisture and intense light, most dry fertilizers will last close to forever.
Disadvantages of Dry Fertilizers
One of the principal disadvantages of solid fertilizers are precisely the lack of control by the grower . For example, if the plants are experiencing nutrient toxicity, it is impossible to remove nutrients after they have been mixed into the soil.
Another disadvantage of some granular fertilizers is the amount of time it takes for the nutrients to become available to the plants
Lastly, solid fertilizers can be dusty and messy. It is always a good idea to wear a dust mask when dealing with solid fertilizers.
Liquid fertilizers are fertilizers that come in a liquid form and they are very concentrated. In other words, the grower must dilute the liquid fertilizer in water before feeding it to the garden. Each fertilizer can have different concentrations so it is important to closely follow our suggestions.
“Liquid fertilizers can be classified as either base fertilizers or special purpose fertilizers.”
Liquid fertilizers that are designed to supply the basic nutritional needs to a crop are referred to as base fertilizers. Base fertilizers are usually categorized as either vegetative (grow) fertilizers or blooming (flower) fertilizers. The vegetative fertilizers are comprised of ingredients that are best suited for vegetative growth while the blooming fertilizers are comprised of ingredients that are best suited for flowering or blooming.
There are many liquid special purpose fertilizers or additives that can be used for specific puposes. These can be derived from a single source or multiple sources and they are not meant to supply the plants with their basic nutritional needs but instead provide some other benefit.
For example, an enzyme formula designed to enhance root growth could be considered a specialty purpose fertilizer.
Advantages of Liquid Fertilizers / Hydroponic Nutrients
Control is the biggest advantage. With a liquid fertilizer the gardener has control over dosage and how often the plants are being fed. Liquid fertilizers also give increased control when problems arise.
The dilution rates and ratios between multiple Hydroponic Nutrients can be quickly changed to reflect the growth of the garden. In other words, it is much easier to tailor a feeding program to the garden’s current stage of growth with a liquid fertilizer than with a solid fertilizer.
Another advantage of Hydroponic Fertilizers is the instant availability of some nutrients. Many liquid fertilizers supply nutrients in a form that plants can use inmediately. This is advantageous because it allows growers to give the plants what they need at the exact time they need it.
Disadvantages of Liquid Fertilizers / Hydroponic Nutrients
Some liquid fertilizers tend to coagulate after sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time. Liquid fertilizers are also generally more expensive than dry fertilizers due to the extra processing and packaging.
In conclusion, no matter what kind of fertilizer you chose, there are no rules to experimentation in this realm. It is completely fine to experiment with both dry and liquid fertilizers until you have found the best fit for your plants or crop. You may even find that a combination of both solid and liquid fertilizers is the best way to supply your garden with nutrition.
We know growers that have master the ability to use both fertilizers to achieve incredible results. When used correctly, granular fertilizers or liquid fertilizers (or a combination) can produce better and healthier plants. As with so many other aspects of the gardening hobby, the only way to know for sure which fertilization regiment is best for your garden is to experiment and try it out for yourself.