Food and Farming

Agriculture Science

Biology + Technology

Food biotechnology — the use of living organisms to develop foods — has been around for a long time. Traditional biotechnology includes plant and animal breeding, fermentation, and the use of enzymes and yeast to make foods such as cheese and bread.

Modern biotechnology is a new version of selective breeding. Scientists add, remove, or transfer genes between organisms in a process called ‘genetic engineering’.

Research scientists insert genetic material manually and cover the plant to prevent free pollination - 1956.
Images : Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Agriculture Canada Collection


Charles E. Saunders

Early Biotechnology

From 1903 to 1910, Saunders used selective breeding to develop Marquis wheat at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. His work helped develop cereal crops for Canadian growing conditions, while also producing good flour for the milling industry.

Because Marquis wheat resisted the cold and matured quickly, prairie farmers could cultivate it under existing climatic conditions.

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