Heirloom vs. GMO


Many of you may not know it, but the vegetables you buy at the grocery store are NOT healthy. WHAAAAAAAT?! you say. It’s true. Even if you go to Whole Foods or Sprouts, they are NOT healthy (but those are better than the ones you get at Safeway or Wal*Mart). The reason is because they are Genetically Modified Organisms, AKA GMOs. What is a GMO? According to The Free Dictionary , a GMO is “An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering.”
Most commonly, the ‘technique of genetic engineering’ is gene splicing. Proportors of GMOs will tell you things like it’s the only way to make sure the whole world gets enough to eat. However, since GMOs have come out, worldwide starvation has gotten worse, not better. They also create new genes, like the “Terminator Gene”. The Terminator Gene was created by Monsanto (more on them later), and put into their seeds to make all of that seeds progeny sterile. In other words, if you go to your average super market and buy tomato seeds, and they grow these great big, beautiful, delicious tomatoes, and you decide that you REALLY like those tomatoes, so you’re going to harvest that tomatoes seeds and plant them next year…. you can’t do it. The only seeds that will grow are the ones that Monsanto puts onto the market for a profit. Here’s the big punch in the stomach: when the Terminator Gene was first created, Monsanto’s scientists said that it would NOT cross breed with heirloom species. But it is. Mexico will not allow any of Monsanto’s GMO corn into their country, because their corn is a huge part of their culture and they love the varieties they have. But the Terminator gene made it there, and now they are losing some of those varieties. France has outlawed all corn imports from the US due to the fact that our corn is GMO. I could go on and on and on about this (and about Monsanto and how much I HATE them), but that would become exhaustive very quickly for you. For more information about all of this, I recommend watching Food, Inc.
“I don’t have to worry about that, I buy organic fruits and veggies.” WRONG! You have missed the whole point! Organic and heirloom, AKA Non-GMO (the good guys!), are totally different. Heirloom means that an organism has NOT been altered by insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering, whereas organic is simply defined as “[o]f, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin” (The Free Dictionary ). Do you see how those are different? Organic has nothing to do with being heirloom. A vegetable CAN be both organic and heirloom, but 99% of the ones you buy commercially, or even at a farmer’s market, are not; people do not know the difference. Conversely, a vegetable can be only heirloom but not organic, or vice versa. People who have heirloom vegetables often very loudly and proudly tout the fact, and for good reason- there are fewer and fewer heirloom varieties left in the world due to huge public ignorance. This website is dedicated entirely to heirloom vegetables and fruits. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

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