Monsanto has acquired the majority of the seed companies. You kind of have to wonder why the U.S. government allows this monopoly–allowing one company to have nearly all control over our food supply seems dumb to me–and then you see the FDA hiring former Monsanto employees, and you might figure something bad is going on in the background. I don’t want to support Monsanto, so I’ve been looking for where to buy non-GMO seeds and where to find seeds at companies NOT owned by Monsanto.
First, I tried Seed Savers in Iowa. Obama visited Seed Savers (non-GMO) (see Obama on video here) and then allowed Monsanto to raise genetically modified alfalfa. Oh, brother. Anyway, Seed Savers claims to save and share heirloom seeds. Based on what I’ve seen in the gardening community, Seed Savers is legitimate.
On Twitter, I stumbled across a California-based couple who make heirloom seed varieties available. They sell seeds in “collections.” Their “urban gardener” collection had particular appeal, of course! Since I could not find a way to order on their website, I sent them an email to ask how to order. I will update this post if I receive information about how to order.
The Urban Organic Gardener had an article about finding non-GMO seeds. (Does he have the coolest logo, or what?) He said he contacted Botanical Interests, a company he’d done business with for a while, and asked them about their stance on genetically engineered seeds.
The Botanical Interests company wrote back to say this:
Botanical Interests has signed the Safe Seed Pledge, meaning that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds. The future of “safe seed” is a concern for all of us in the industry. It is something that we take very seriously and we are constantly monitoring the news and talking with our growers about it.
We support organic growers, and we’ve been selling organic seed since 2001. The organic certification process is an important one that involves many steps: soil testing for pesticide residue, strict guidelines as to soil amendments that can be used (some soil amendments might contain heavy metal residues), and monitoring general farming procedures used. A lot of companies added organics recently because they saw it as a trend, but we’ve been selling organic seed for the past decade.
The Safe Seed Pledge sounds pretty neat. Of course, I will always do additional research to find out what a pledge means and who is behind it. On the surface, this sounds pretty good to me, and I will look into Botanical Interests for my seeds. I will also be learning how to save seeds this year.
I hope you will join me on Facebook. I set up a page so we can continue the conversation!