About 30 years ago, the late great George Carlin asked the famous question; “Where’s the blue food?” In this routine he’s quick to point out that many foods with “blue” in the name aren’t really blue. Blueberries are so dark they barely register as blue. Blue cheese is just white cheese with blue mold in it. And if anyone on the internet refers you to a “blue waffle” please forget you read it and move on with your life.
This culinary curiosity appears to have everyone mystified as proved by the recent landslide of attention that has befallen a website called strawberryblu.com. A cute little article attempting to answer the question “Do blue strawberries exist?” which was written about a year ago has just recently been a magnet of attention in the middle of a fierce debate over genetically modified food.
It all started in August of 2011. Strawberry Blu writer Cynthia Bu Jawdeh tried to answer a question raised by their name about the possible existence of blue colored strawberries. The article points out that there has been research conducted on ways to engineer strawberries that stay fresh under freezing temperatures. To do this they use DNA from a type of arctic fish that produces a chemical like antifreeze to keep it alive.
As a way to visually determine the gene manipulation was successful, they also altered the color gene from red to blue. Therefore blue strawberries have been created but simply as a marker of successful gene splicing in another area of research. Blue strawberries are not being sold and in all likelihood they don’t look as pretty as the photoshopped pictures you might find on the internet.
This seems like and open-and-shut case but for some reason the sleeping giant that is suspicious and opinionated internet users have descended on this tidbit of trivia with their views on altering the genetic code of foodstuffs.
Combined with an equal number of requests for how to buy them, there has been so much traffic that as of this writing the website was crashed due to exceeding bandwidth.
To reiterate, there are no blue strawberries planned to be released for sale. They only existed for use in the testing of genetically modified freezer strawberries. As for the reason there isn’t much blue food, our brains are set up through evolution to find the color blue unappetizing. If you are trying to lose weight, using a blue plate or blue light in the dining room are some recommended strategies to cut back on eating.