WHAT IS A GMO SEED?
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. These are the crops that have been genetically engineered by corporations, often inserting genes from entirely different species. These modifications often facilitate the propagation of large monocultures by streamlining the application of herbicides or conferring resistance to pests. Round-up ready corn, for example, is modified to survive heavy sprays of the popular herbicide Round-Up.
What about hybrid varieties? are they gmo?
Farmers and hobby gardeners are still mixing the best of their plants together to create better pest resistance and hardiness. Hybrid varieties, unlike genetically modified organisms, are not produced by inserting transgenes through biotechnological approaches. They are merely the offspring of two intentionally cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid varieties typically display robust growth, often referred to as hybrid vigor, and in some cases can feature desirable traits from both parent plants. Saving seeds, however, is not an option with hybrids as the genes will begin to segregate in the subsequent generations.
Genetic diversity for the future
Here at Kunahmul Organics, we believe in growing for flavour. We choose to grow seeds that are non-GMO because we think of our farm as a small nodule in a larger ecosystem. If everyone stopped growing the original guys, how would they stay alive? In 80 years, we've lost 93% of our food seed varieties. That's not just history lost (how will we know what our people once ate here?), it's also flavour lost. GMO seeds are created for yield and for shelf-life. Because GMO corn and soybeans are often used as feed for animals, or converted into the Maltodextrins and High Fructose Corn Syrups we often see slipped into ingredients lists, flavour doesn't matter. The corn itself isn't the commodity- its processed counterpart is.