Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend 5 (8 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   5 comments

General News

What's in a Seed?

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 9/13/12

Become a Fan
  (38 fans)

" A seed has the power of all its ancestors. The strength of the oak is also in the acorn.   A seed is greater than any country, stronger than any army, and has longevity far beyond any human society.

  We are the keepers of the seed, and thence destined to wield its power. And that power will only be lost to those that forget that it is here. "

G.W. Martin, editor of Sap Pail

Just as an egg is a potential person, a seed is a potential plant. We use the terms "seed" and "seminal" in an almost identical sense as when we say "He planted a seed in my mind regarding this idea" or "His ideas were seminal to my thinking." Seeds, semen and eggs are the initiating foundations of life. To mess with these foundations is incredibly arrogant and dangerous.

Mary Shelly knew this when she wrote Frankenstein. Those that are involved in sustainable farming practices knew Shelly's prophetic genius when they refer to Monsanto seeds "Frankenseeds" and the food produced from these seeds, "Frankenfood." Think of this anytime you open a can of DelMonte corn, or when you read the back of a label on processed food and find no indication of whether it contains genetically modified food. Chances are very high if you find it in the middle isles of the grocery store, and it contains corn, sugar beets, canola, or soy. That also includes packaged products containing corn or soy oil or corn and/or beet based sweeteners.

Seeds are sacred. Indeed, there are reports that the top 1% have saved seeds in a vault, perhaps in Scandanavia, so that they can survive while the rest of us are dying from their greed and arrogance that are destroying the planet.

We DO still have alternatives. FEDCO seeds, for instance, is an employee and customer owned and operated cooperative that does not knowingly sell genetically modified seeds. On the FEDCO website, http://www.fedcoseeds.com, CR Lawn states:

Seeds are the basis of agriculture. The selections we make determine more than flavor, nutritional value, appearance and other characteristics we are used to reading about in seed catalogs. The decisions we make about the seeds we plant on our farms and in our gardens will shape the future. Furthermore, the seeds we have access to are a product of our past; they represent the choices made by individual farmers and gardeners for thousands of years.

CR Lawn also suggests we all participate in the effort to save seeds and exchange them with others, like us, that prefer to depend on open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds.

1. To renew your age-old partnership with plants. Seeds are the life force. Plants, as living beings, desire to reproduce. By allowing them to go to seed and complete their growth cycle, you cooperate in a process essential to all life forms on Earth.

2. To retain control of your food supply. Some things are too important to allow other people to do for you. Food is a basic necessity and the cornerstone of our culture. Control of the seed is key to control of our food supply. By saving seeds you retain that lifeline. Over the past two generations, the seed industry has done almost no work to maintain, improve or develop open-pollinated varieties that will come true from seed. What little has been done has been accomplished by dedicated amateur seed savers and breeders. We need more such people. Instead, the industry has emphasized hybrid varieties whose breeding lines are trade secrets and whose seed will not come true to type. Lately, biotechnology research has almost completely replaced classical plant breeding at our universities and in the seed industry.

3. To preserve our heritage and our biodiversity. Farmers saved seeds and improved food crops for millennia. Seed companies have been on the scene for fewer than three centuries. Only in the last hundred years have farmers and gardeners become widely dependent on seed companies. Today the seed industry is so concentrated that just five large multinational corporations control 75% of the world's vegetable seed market. They add and drop varieties according to their own financial interests. Many of our present varieties have only one commercial source. If they are dropped, they will disappear and you won't be able to get them--unless you save seed.

4. To preserve the varietal characteristics you want. Most varieties being developed by the industry are for large-scale food processors and marketers. For the most part, they are bred for uniform ripening, long distance shippability, and perfect appearance at the expense of taste and staggered ripening. If you want the best-tasting varieties, save your own seed from the ones you like.

5. To develop and preserve strains adapted to your own growing conditions. The large corporations who control the seed trade bought out scores of small and regional seed companies and dropped many of the regional specialties. They are interested only in varieties with widespread adaptability. If you want varieties and strains most adaptable to your specific climate conditions, you can get them only by saving your own seed. Over several generations, seeds can develop very specific adaptabilities to the conditions at your site.

6. To help preserve our right to save seeds. The industry continues to place more and more restrictions on farmers' and gardeners' right to save seeds. Variety patenting, licensing agreements, and restricted lists such as that maintained by the European Union, are industry tools to wrest control of the seed from the commons and keep it for themselves. Terminator Technology, now in its developmental phase, would render seeds sterile, making it impossible for farmers to save seed and forcing users back to the seed companies for every new crop.

7. To increase our available options. Contrary to industry claims, patenting has not encouraged creative plant breeding. Instead it has reduced cooperation among plant breeders and restricted availability of germplasm and plant varieties. For example, Blizzard snow pea has been off the market for over a decade because the patent holder dropped it but will not grant permission to any other company to propagate it for sale. In essence, this comes down to OUR being responsible for helping to restore safe, non-GMO seeds by not supporting GMOs through our shopping habits while also buying seeds from those that we can trust are selling safe seeds to the best of their ability. 

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Burl is an avid writer and publishes to OpEd News. He is author of "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal Our Wounded Nature." As of this writing, Burl is planning to self-publish the book. Alongside his wife, Burl co-hosts an on line radio (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Physicist Tom Campbell's Big TOE or Theory of Everything

What's in a Seed?

Beyond Monsanto: Rekindling a Healthy Earth in the Face of Corporate Farming

Farmers File Suit Against Monsanto

Sex as Natural Process: A Primary Step to Healing Alienation?

The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

All of life is sacred.  This Earth is sacred ... by Burl Hall on Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 at 12:54:43 PM
The Devil's garden is immaculate. There are many '... by Ned Lud on Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 9:14:13 AM
No two things exist side-by-side in Infinity, Ned.... by Burl Hall on Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 11:50:55 AM
"to have the faith of a mustard seed." Powerful st... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 4:05:49 PM
You're right Dan, a lot of grey areas. Even in arr... by Burl Hall on Friday, Sep 14, 2012 at 8:02:46 PM