There is a huge argument happening in which people who do not understand the basics of genetic modification, botany, biology, or any science for that matter, are claiming that there is a big difference between artificial plant cross-breeding, and genetic modification. There isn’t. Plain and simple.
Everything that we eat, from corn, to squash, to bananas, to strawberries, to watermelon have been genetically engineered over centuries to become more appealing, sweeter, larger, and tastier. This also includes meats, eggs, and dairy as well. Chickens have been selectively bred over decades to produce many times more eggs than they would in the wild. Wild hens, for example, only lay 10-15 eggs per year, but since we need a lot more than that as humans, chickens in farms are bred to produce upwards of 300 eggs in a single year. Other “Organic” “Natural” produce looked like this:
In terms of Paleo eating, where one is supposed to eat like their ancestors did in the Paleolithic era, it is impossible to eat this way. Because not only do foods that existed back then not exist now, but because Paleo peoples spanned many parts of the world, and ate drastically different diets. So Paleo is something that does not exist, no matter how much you think your ancestors ate like a 21st century elitist in the first world.
And that is OK. Because unlike what many people might believe, we in the first world have lower rates of disease, much higher lifespans, easier and more comfortable lives, etc. This is partly due to the genetic modifying of our food over the course of thousands of years, in order to feed an evergrowing population.
And to get to the nitty-gritty, in terms of by-products, plant-breeding and genetic modification though technological means are the same thing. The process might be slightly different, but the outcome is exactly the same: produce bred with a specific trait.
Many claim that genetic modification itself causes harm, but not only does no evidence of any harm exist through this method, but it is a complete myth. If one is to claim that genetic modification itself makes a thing toxic, than one must point to the specific toxin it produces, and it does not exist.
In the end, we should not fret over whether some papaya or corn are Genetically Modified, and focus more of our efforts into getting people to eat more fruits and vegetables at all. We have an abundance of fruits and vegetables, and a wide choice of each, but they are not eaten in high enough quantities. So whether it is organic, or conventional, or GMO, eat more produce, it’s good for you! But you can’t eat like a caveman anymore, and no produce on the market is in its “natural” state.