Sorry Monsanto et al. You Can’t Play in My Sandbox

April 14, 2010 Comments Off on Sorry Monsanto et al. You Can’t Play in My Sandbox

I’ve been  stuck inside lately because pollen and I are having a rocky relationship, and I feel like crap. The only thing I can  muster garden wise are dreams of delicious summer vegetables like tomatoes an cucumbers.  The summer didn’t creep up on me like spring did, and summer vegetables will tolerate the roof a little bit better,  so I have time to let my conscience dictate my summer plantings down to the seed. How could I be having a moral dilemma over a seed? Well seeds are the beginning of life and the power of our food systems. Seeds are from simple but they are the linchpin of our industrial food system, as seeds and thus plants have been genetically designed by humans, often in the form of hybrids. Now on the surface these genetically modified foods seem pretty great, because they make plants resistant to all kinds of things and  can grow in areas that  it might not do well in normally. The end product is generally bigger food and more of it, meaning more to feed all the people that are eating the food from pretty much everywhere. People can really go back and forth about organic farming vs regular industrial farming and the role of genetically modified foo just read the comments of this Boston Globe Article and you will get my point. Anyway like all things local food you have to draw your line, and what I really care about is that genetically modified seeds  reduce biodiversity and put  everyone at risk. For example if 98% of our corn in the same and corn is in so much of the food eaten by Americans, and corn gets a disease we will be up a serious creek  with a fractured paddle. It also doesn’t allow  evolution to do its thing by weeding out the weak and creating naturally resistant plants, and that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Just like it doesn’t make any sense that farmer can’t save their seeds , because often genetically modified seeds are owned  by the company that makes them and even if the farmer wanted to save seeds many  hybrids won’t have the same yield the second year anyway, because like a mule they are workhorses that can’t reproduce.

SO in my own little act of defiance(waves flag) I am getting my plan on for summer and  unlike spring I am  going  to start my summer vegetables from seed. Because I have a worrisome personality that  is delightfully paired with a guilty conscience so I am making sure that my seeds are open pollinated and have no genetic engineering  juju going on . It’s important to me that I  plant diverse species to support the biosphere.I am getting mine from a company called Southern Exposure Seed  Exchange and they even encourage seed saving! I am fortunate to have them only 40 minutes away from I live, and a vendor at the market sells them on Saturday. However  they sell their products online and have a super awesome catalog (also available online) that has great stories and descriptions of the seeds. There are also tons of resources online for finding places that sell  heirloom/heritage and non GMO seeds and techniques of savings seeds. Even if you don’t won’t go out of your way,  local food is becoming the hot new thing and many large retailers carry heirloom varieties, just be sure not to be confused  by organic seeds in that they may or may not be genetically modified,the guarantee of organic means that they were grown in an organic way.

Buying heirlooms for me  is my own little way of telling Monsanto and other giant seed companies (are there any others?) to F*** off, even if  do still  wear cotton, which apparently Monsanto owns all the seeds to as well, who knew?

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