Monsanto – GMO – GM – Heirloom – Hybrid – Organic – Get It Right

For the gazillion time, I am not a fan of Monsanto, GM or GMO plants or seed. However almost every Monsanto rant I read the writer has only about 1/2 half or less of their information right. Often quoting third hand hear say, or unproven unreliable research report(s).

A blog I read stated as a fact that GM cotton requires more water. Get your head back into the real world. Sure GM cotton may require more water, but it is also producing twice as many pounds of cotton per acre. I and you should as well, expect that crop to require more water.
No thinking person should expect a single bowl of ‘GM'(developed by Monsanto) golden rice to provide ‘ALL’ of your vitamin A (or any other vitamin) daily needs.

Just for a point of reference In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s I heard the very same fear tactics, when hybrid grain maize, soybean, corn and vegetable seeds first entered our food chain.

USDA and FDA said Natural and Organic Foods PDF
* It is important to keep in mind that the term “organic” does not necessarily mean “healthier.” The USDA makes no claim that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food. Consumers will still need to read nutrition labels and make wise selections to maintain an overall healthy diet. Keep in mind that the words “natural” and “organic” are not interchangeable. Only food labeled “organic” designate that the product meets the new USDA organic standards.
Organic Nutrition Labels

USDA certified Organic Organic / Organic Grown is ‘most’ likely not what you think it is and has little or nothing to do with the plants or the seed they come. The term Organic has much more to do with the growing conditions and methods used in growing that crop. Use of man made fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides.
If a product does not carry the USDA certified Organic Label, the term natural or organic has no real meaning.

Organic farming, agriculture conducted according to certain standards, especially the use of stated methods of fertilization and pest control.
Organic certification, accreditation process for producers of organic products.
Organic horticulture, the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants by following the essential principles of organic agriculture.
Organic food, food produced from organic farming methods and often certified organic according to organic farming standards.

Heirloom seed / varieties much like Organic has no ‘real’ provable definition, but is subject to the opinion of the seller or grower.
The definition and use of the word heirloom to describe plants is fiercely debated.

One school of thought places an age or date point on the cultivars. For instance, one school says the cultivar must be over 100 years old, others 50 years, and others prefer the date of 1945 which marks the end of World War II and roughly the beginning of widespread hybrid use by growers and seed companies.
Additionally, there is another category of cultivars that could be classified as “commercial heirlooms”, cultivars that were introduced many generations ago and were of such merit that they have been saved, maintained and handed down even if the seed company has gone out of business or otherwise dropped the line. Additionally, many old commercial releases have actually been family heirlooms that a seed company obtained and introduced.

Most authorities agree that heirlooms, by definition, must be open-pollinated. They may also be open pollinated varieties that were bred and stabilized using classic breeding practices. Generally speaking heirlooms have adapted over time to whatever climate and soil they have grown in. Due to their genetics, they are often resistant to local pests, diseases, and extremes of weather.

Hybrid seed is seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in agriculture and home gardening. It is one of the main contributors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output at the end of WWI and again after WWII ended.
The alternatives to hybridization are open pollination and clonal propagation.

Controlled hybrids provide very uniform characteristics because they are produced by crossing two inbred strains. Elite inbred strains are used that express well documented and consistent phenotypes (such as high yield) that are relatively good for inbred plants.

An important factor is the heterosis or combining ability of the parent plants. Crossing any particular pair of inbred strains may or may not result in superior offspring. The parent strains used are therefore carefully chosen so as to achieve the uniformity that comes from the uniformity of the parents, and their superior performance.
In the US, the commercial hybrid market was launched in the 1920s, with the first hybrid maize.

Monsanto Goes Organic A must read for Monsanto haters and those ‘like me’ that are not fans of GM / GMO products.

NEW For 2014 – It’s A Free Forum Service New – Seed Savers / Seed Traders Forum This will not work without your want to trade or give away seed posting or without your want to have seed posting(s).
Thanks Pobept

First Saturday in May is National Nude Gardening Day It’s good for your health and just a Fun thing to do.

Display your American Flag on May 5, 2014 National Freedom Day

Not from the USA Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be Shy. Leave me your Comment(s)

Advertisements

17 responses to “Monsanto – GMO – GM – Heirloom – Hybrid – Organic – Get It Right

  1. I’ve seen organic Pot-Tarts and Orio-style cookies. Nothing nutrious there. As long as we allow corporations to cook for us, we are killing ourselves over our lifetimes because we do not control what goes into our food. A snack or meal out now-and-then is moderation. Prepared foods every day is slow suicide (why do newly designed hospitals have larger rooms & bariatric beds to hold patients up to 600#?).

    If we reduced our use for Round-Up Ready, et al. seeds and got folks out in the fields doing some weeding, they all be healthier from the benefit of physical activity. I will never get elected to office or the board of some corporation with that attitude!
    Oscar

    Like

    • Re hermitsdoor – Thanks for your comment(s)
      Post WWII few people were Fat! You did not get fat walking 10 or 12 hours a day behind a 1 row plow looking at the south end of a north bound mule!
      A cafe burger contained 2 to 2 1/2 ounces of beef, and came with a small serving of chips. Just as a reference a 1/4 pound burger, the most common small burger contains 4 ounces of meat. Fries were smaller than today’s small order of fries as well. A Coke (soda) was 6 ounces not 32 or more ounces.

      Good luck on getting these lazy, fat kids and adults to walk a field removing weeds with a hand held, operated hoe.

      Happy gardening

      Like

  2. “First Saturday in May is National Nude Gardening Day It’s good for your health and just a Fun thing to do.”

    Not in Ontario!! (But that’s only because of the weather…. Nothing delicate, once exposed, can be guaranteed to not shrivel up and fall off before May 24….

    Hope I made you smile.

    Like

    • 🙂 hehehe, I have heard that May 24th is the magical day Canada starts your official gardening season….

      Maybe we can start a Special, Canadian Nude gardening day…. maybe it could be the last Saturday in May every year.
      happy gardening, Here’s hoping nothing ‘important’ shrivels and falls off

      Like

  3. Has anyone else read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan? There is more going on with GMO’s and “Organic” and “heirloom” than a few simple paragraphs can try to equate. Our whole system of growing is for lack of a better word, “fucked.” People need to wake up and realize what’s going on… The real message here is that people should educate themselves, know where your food comes from and what the impacts of your purchasing choices have on the environment, “farmers” (there aren’t many of those left), and corporate interests. The fact that there are so many different views on GMO’s goes straight to the point of “why are we doing something that we don’t yet fully understand,” with potentially devastating effects. The fact that every Country outside the U.S. has banned them should make you raise your eyebrows… Don’t blame people for being miss-informed; praise them for at least trying to give a shit! How about starting a dialogue and engaging in conversation that can better educate? Maybe using twice the amount of water for a GMO cotton crop wasn’t the best talking point… but at the least… it got you talking… and that should be the REAL issue!

    Like

  4. I feel your pain! I am very, very against GM crops, and I despise Monsanto for that and numerous other reasons (patented seeds, buying up all the non-GM soybeans so no one can grow them, trying to control our freedom to grow our own food, silencing good science on the risks of GMO’s… I could write pages), but when well-intentioned folks write poorly about it, it hurts the cause, ya know? I would add that, at least currently, certified USDA Organic means non-GM crops, so if a consumer wants to avoid that then the USDA organic label will help in stores… until that gets gutted! And if that bothers people, for goodness sake call your congresspeople and make sure they know you want to keep GMO’s out of organic certification! Of course the better and best solutions are to know your farmer, buy local, and grow your own! 🙂 happy growing season to ya!

    Like

    • Re Julia Swancy – Than for taking time to visit my humble little blog and for your comment(s).
      Well said.

      Money talks, if growers refuse to buy, plant and harvest GM/GMO seed, those products will soon go away!
      Happy productive summer gardening

      Like

    • “Know your farmer, buy local, and grow your own!” Those are the words that should resonate from the hilltops. This is the message we should be breaking down doors to spread! ❤

      Like

  5. I was also thinking the difference between and heirloom and hybrid seed is the heirloom you can grow the fruit/vegetable and harvest the seed and replant. I always remember my Pappaw saving every seed he planted from the crop before. With the hybrid seed you can do the same and more often than not you get a seed that doesn’t produce. Is this correct? Not sure where I heard, read or maybe just dreamed it up. 😉

    Like

    • Re ohineedwax – Planting fruit / nut trees from seed is not recommended. Trees from seed will most likely not produce fruit or nuts anything like the fruit or nut seed that you saved. Almost all quality trees come from rooting a cutting or grafting a cutting onto a hardy root stock.

      Saving and planting hybrid vegetable seed is not always a bad thing. Generally speaking, with few exceptions, hybrid seed will germinate,grow and produce fruit.
      However planted hybrid seed tends to revert and be more like one of it’s parents than the plant that you saved seed from. You may or may not like this ‘new’ plant.

      Accidental cross pollination of heirloom plants is a common event. Wind blown pollen or pollen carried by insects (mostly bees) from near by gardens can, will and does cross pollinate heirloom plants. Making it’s seed (child seed) a hybrid seed.
      There is no way you can know by looking at this years fruit that it was or was not cross pollinated while in bloom.

      I hope I have answered your question.
      Happy fruitful summer gardening.

      Like

      • Yeah I read about fruit/nut trees before. Way easier to buy them. 20 years for a tree to put off fruit is too long for me to wait. lol When I said fruit I was actually talking tomatoes. Pappaw always kept his tomato seeds in the cabinet over the refrigerator when he was germinating them. I do see what you are saying about the cross pollination with the heirloom.I guess with the hybrid getting the parent of that plant may be the reason that the seed does not produce like it did the previous year. I guess I will stick to buying my seeds from Standard Feed company and they usually have a choice of hybrid or heirloom seed. I like their seeds because when I plant 10 seeds 9 out of 10 times I get 10 plants. Thanks for teaching me the difference of the seeds. I wish I would have been more into it when my Pappaw was alive and asked questions. Keep on planting 🙂

        Like

    • No matter what you are planting… as long as you are planting… is a step in the right direction. I tend to plant more heirloom varieties because it makes me feel like I’m perpetuating the “old life.” To each his own, right? Pobept, no offense, but if you are not speaking in the first person and on your own accord, please site your sources. “Planting fruit / nut trees from seed is not recommended.” By whom? Are you just google searching your answers? I hope not!

      Like

      • Please visit PennState department of agricultural science and NDSU Extension Horticulturist for detailed fact sheet(s)
        http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/UJ255.pdf
        page 3

        NDSU – Todd Weinmann – Extension Horticulturist & Master Gardener Coordinator
        http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/hort/info/fruit/graft.htm
        Page 1 paragraph 2

        Grapes and other fruit and nuts are rooted from cuttings or graft cuttings to a hardy root stock for the same reason(s)

        I try very hard not to just pull unproven information out of my butt and publish it as a known fact. If it is my ‘opinion’ I will state this is my opinion.
        By the way I have been involved in the agricultural industry for more than 50 years.

        Productive gardening

        Like

      • I try to plant heirloom also just to make myself feel better. I don’t like any person messing with my food. Bees and wind are the only ones that should be changing food. When he said planting fruit/nut trees are not recommended he meant from seed. It is better to get ones that are already started unless you want them for your great grands kids. They take to long to produce fruit from seed. I believe as long as you are planting something you are making a difference and it should be preached…..grow your own or buy local. And always remember just because you visit a farmers market that does not mean it is local. Always ask where they got their product. Happy Planting and remember to teach a child 🙂

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s