DNA-Free Dining Made Easy

Recent studies have confirmed that more than 80% of Americans support labeling of foods containing DNA.

And why not? DNA is genetic material. DNA is used for reproduction, so eating another animal’s DNA is uncomfortably close to bestiality.

Plant DNA isn’t much better. After all, who wants to risk having a corn stalk sprouting from your arm?

And if you want more proof of the dark dangers of genetic material then look no further than the Zika virus – this microcephalitic plague demon is almost 100% RNA which is DNA’s faithful messenger boy.

There are those who mock the entire idea of DNA-labeling, saying that DNA-free dining is impossible, but I will show you the tremendous variety of DNA-free foods that are easily available, along with a fun and delicious breakfast recipe.

Molecules know best

The naysayers who claim that everything we eat contains DNA are grossly mistaken. For starters, water and salt are simple molecules that are naturally DNA free.

Neither H2O nor NaCl have any calories but there are other simple molecules that we can use to supply the energy that we need to live. Sugar, perhaps in the form of sucrose (C12H22O11), is DNA free and available in better supermarkets everywhere.

If you want carbohydrates that aren’t so sweet then you can easily extract starch from potatoes by crushing them, thus destroying their cells, and then washing out and drying the starch. Even Mark Watney could easily maintain a DNA free diet on Mars.

Similarly, palm oil and olive oil are made by pressing and filtering. This process removes the cell nuclei and the deoxyribonucleic acid but leaves behind tasty triglycerides – high energy and tasty fats.

And, while butter is likely to be contaminated with cow genes you can safely use clarified butter (ghee) or margarine.

And, lest the doubters complain that the life of a nonnucleotidarian is too dull, don’t forget that the purest vodkas consist of nothing more than water and ethanol, or H2O and C2H5OH. So drink up, and Na Zdrovie!

Cells that are safe

But what about more substantial foods? Plant and animal foods tend to be little more than aggregations of cells, and every cell contains a nucleus which contains DNA – or do they? It turns out that mature mammalian blood cells discard their nuclei and are therefore safe even for those who shun GCOs (Gene Containing Organisms). And really, what could be easier than raiding the local red-cross refrigerator and making off with some fractionated blood donations?

But if the life of Dracula is not your ideal way to get protein you needn’t despair. Rich sources of DNA-free protein are readily available, found in the most unlikely of places.

Eggs are cells that exist wholly for the purposes of reproduction – their genetic material is their raison d’être – so they seem like an unlikely place to search for DNA-free food. But it turns out that eggs are some of the most massive cells, and therefore have the lowest DNA densities. If you are content with a low-DNA diet then caviar is a tasty and nutritious option. While a bite of chicken might contain millions of cells, each with a strand of DNA, a mouthful of salmon caviar contains only a dozen or so cells – and if they are unfertilized then those cells only have half as much DNA!

But we can do better. With chicken or ostrich eggs it is simplicity itself to remove the nucleus completely and we are then left with nature’s most perfect food – all of the essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fats, but none of the polynucleotide double helixes.

Breakfast time!

The obvious choice for our breakfast recipe is eggs – scrambled, fried, or whatever way you want them. Using olive oil or clarified butter and some salt you can stop them from sticking and season them to taste. Add a dash of mammalian blood cells for color and taste, then pour yourself a glass of vodka mixed with filtered juice of your choice.

Bon appétit!

Hacker news discussion is here.

About brucedawson

I'm a programmer, working for Google, focusing on optimization and reliability. Nothing's more fun than making code run 10x faster. Unless it's eliminating large numbers of bugs. I also unicycle. And play (ice) hockey. And juggle.
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14 Responses to DNA-Free Dining Made Easy

  1. Taara Pitka says:

    Thank you for a healthy dose of humour for the day! You were revealed by “Zika is ~100% DNA”, Zika consists 0% DNA, it’s mostly capside and some RNA😀

  2. A Computational Biologist says:

    Interesting article!

    Two slight corrections please.

    Technically if we look at only DNA then sure, taking only the Red blood cell fraction can get rid of most DNA. But to be pedantic, red blood cells and platelets still have functional RNA. So no blood cells are actually “gene free” just like how there are viruses that have RNA but no DNA.
    http://www.medsci.org/v06p0156.htm

    “if they are unfertilized then those cells only have half a strand of DNA each” Close, but not quite right. Animals tend to have multiple strands of DNA in each cell. Getting even more pedantic, the strands are the same in number and in length for the unfertilized vs fertilized, but they are single stranded instead of double stranded.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome#Human_chromosomes
    Here’s a more accurate, but just as simple version: “if they are unfertilized then those cells only have half the DNA of fertilized eggs each” (if we ignore the mitochondria, which is often the case as it’s often lazily discounted as round off error.)

  3. franciscop says:

    Makes fun of people who don’t know what DNA is. Confuses RNA with DNA.

  4. You know that DNA cannot be absorbed by the intestine. It has to be broken down to amino acids before entering.

  5. Gil rgr says:

    Bestiality ?

    • naesten says:

      Sexual reproduction is based on DNA. The rest of the dots (not that there are many) are left as an exercise for the reader.

  6. PhistucK says:

    The “remove the nucleus” pretty much goes nowhere. :O

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