There is a danger of the world’s most precious resource coming to extinction as a result of industrialized agriculture and multinational corporations that control the majority of the seed supply. Currently, approximately 90 percent of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed 100 years ago no longer exist today and an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 plant species are threatened with extinction. (1,2)
Seeds are the foundation of life
The National Geographic has an excellent infographic that shows many fruit and vegetable seeds nearing extinction. Among those are the most popular foods that Americans eat today: beet, cabbage, sweet corn, lettuce, muskmelon, pea, radish, squash, tomato, and cucumber. (3)
Without seeds, we have no food; seeds provide fruits and vegetables, grain and livestock feed. It is absolutely vital that communities band together to save and share this valuable heritage grain. In the documentary, “Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds,” M. Sean Kaminsky aims to inspire people about the urgency and importance of saving seeds. (1)
Here are some important reasons why we need to start saving seeds: (4)
- Seed Security & Money Saving. By saving seeds you are actually controlling your food supply, which means you will depend on stores or catalogs a lot less. Additionally, in the long run you will be saving more money by continuously saving seeds from your plants.
- Regional Adaptation. When you save seeds from your plants, you are in control of your overall ecosystem with your own soil, climate, and growing conditions that are free from any synthetic fertilizers.
- Consistent Quality. Large seed suppliers rarely “rogue” the fields to pull out inferior or off-type plants, so the open pollinated (OP) seeds from these bulk suppliers result in subpar quality seeds. You can control your own gene pool for optimal quality.
- Preserve Heritage & Biodiversity. Learn more about gardening and exploring different heirloom varieties on a personal level, botany, and the plant kingdom.
Join the movement for seed freedom
Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) foods are a serious threat to our own health and environment. Despite FDA’s claims that they are safe, there is absolute no evidence to prove that. This past January 2015, a statement was released in a peer-reviewed journal signed by 300 scientists that there is no scientific evidence about the safety of GMOs and GE foods. (5)
What can we do as consumers to preserve the earth’s most precious resources? We can stop buying non-organic processed foods, and build our diet around whole plant-based foods. The bulk of our foods could be purchased at farmer’s markets and organic farms to support our local farmers.
Next, we can further enhance our own personal experience by planting a garden and start saving those seeds! Having a variety of high quality seeds is very cost-effective for you and your family. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has an excellent resource that tells you when the seeds are ripe, dry, and what to discard. (6)
You can also join the global movement for seed freedom to preserve seeds, support farmers and gardeners, become practitioners of ecological agriculture, and a participant in fair trade. (7)
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