I am not Catholic. I am pissed off. I am giving up Monsanto for Lent.
This is Day 8.
This year, I’m more excited than ever to see In the Night Farm’s extensive garden space freshly tilled and waiting for a few more weeks of warmth to replace our frosty, Idaho nights. Rhubarb and onions have already unfurled from the earth. My cold-weather annuals — kale and snow peas — can be planted this weekend. I might even risk half a packet of salad greens in the hope of an early harvest.
I’m just one of many gardeners and small-time farmers eager to replace supermarket vegetables with homegrown fare. Hours and sweat are a hefty, but worthy, price to pay for guaranteed organic, non-GMO, Monsanto-free produce.
But is it guaranteed? Not necessarily.
Here’s Monsanto’s list of seed brands. Unless you live in agricultural country, most of the names are likely unfamiliar. But look under “vegetable seed brands.” See Seminis? They provide seed to some very familiar vendors: Burpee, Park Seed, J.W. Jung Seed, Germania, and many others that are making their way from garden centers to neighborhoods as we speak.
Fortunately, the internet is full of lists like this one, and a brief search will put you in touch with scores of sources for organic, heirloom seed. My favorite is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, a company with a conscience, a massive selection, rapid shipping, reasonable prices, excellent customer service, and a free seed packet with every order.
Unfortunately, even buying from a reputable company may not be enough. Consider contamination. Can you be sure the heirloom seed you saved from last year wasn’t cross-pollinated by your neighbor’s Burpee bounty? It may not be GMO (yet), but it’s still Monsanto. You have to wonder.
As for GMO cross-contamination, there’s no question that mutant crops have infected the globe. Ask Percy Schmeiser.
Extra Credit: The Global Spread of GMO Crops by Peter Montague and Organic Seeds Increasingly in Danger of GMO Contamination from Nutrition Business Journal.
Read all posts in the Monsanto Project Series.