Sustainability vs. Monsatan

A fellow blogger asked me to expound on the topic of heirloom/organic vs. hybrid/organic seeds. I’ve been putting it off because the subject is bigger than just seeds and begs a much more detailed account of what “sustainability” means to me and my partner. To answer the question simply though, Heirloom/organic = sustainable/healthy; Non-heirloom/non-organic = non-sustainable/potentially unhealthy. Heirloom seeds produce fruits and vegetables that in turn produce seeds that will make the same fruit and vegetable, over and over again, year after year. Non-heirloom, or hybrid or GMO seeds, do not. (That is not to say that all hybridized seeds are genetically modified. It is just a line that we’ve drawn in our personal sand about our purchases.)

First up, for those who are curious about the various types of seeds available out there, you have a ton of choices, and not all are created equal. They might each come packaged in a lovely catalog, or be alluringly displayed at your big box store checkout aisle. They are not.created.equal. It comes down to GMOs, or genetically modified organisms and the Great Monsatan.  If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly urge you to do so immediately: The World According to Monsanto. (It’s free to watch and disseminating it is encouraged by the film’s producers.) It describes in vivid detail how genetically modified foods are ruining lives and our planet.

It’s touted as a way to “feed the world,” when what it actually is is a genius way to make money off a circular reasoning, self-fulfilling line of products. They create genetically modified seed that resists say, Round-Up. Then the farmer is able is able to plant the resistant seed and use Round-Up to control weeds and not kill the plant. Sounds super-smart, correct? Except that Round-Up has been proven to cause DNA damage, birth defects, liver dysfunction, and cancer, is decimating bee and butterfly populations all over the word, and remains in the plant’s tissues through the life of the plant, meaning when we eat the plant, we eat the Round-Up.

Speaking only for myself and my partner, I can emphatically state that we do not want these products in our bodies, near our home, in the US or on the planet, period. They can fuck you up, they can fuck up the planet. Whoever Controls the Food Controls the World, and I don’t want these assholes in my yard.

Here’s a link to a site that gives a wealth of information, other links and studies, and videos. Google “GMO” and you’ll come up with thousands of hits, scientific studies, research papers (and even a few propaganda nuggets from Monsanto, BASF and Dow). (Yes! Chemical companies are in the food business and buying up seed companies faster than we can even blink. Monsanto, thanks for Agent Orange!) GMO foods are not required to be labeled as such in the United States, and to date, we are the largest country using GMOs to not require labels. No informed decision making for us, thanks to the gigantic GMO food lobby that owns our politicians.

Devil Corn

In 2005, Monsanto purchased Seminis, the largest “developer, grower and marketer of fruit and vegetable seeds in the world” (from their website). Here’s what that means to the average home gardener (each of these widely available seeds is owned by Monsanto and has already or is undergoing some sort of genetic modification…DON’T BUY THESE SEEDS):

  • Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema
  • Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman
  • Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty
  • Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III
  • Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman
  • Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76*, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega
  • Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening
  • Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz
  • Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador
  • Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno
  • Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision
  • Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster
  • Spinach: Hellcat
  • Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM
  • Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation
  • Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot
  • Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui
  • Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia

* Marketmore 76 is a very old cucumber-variety.  If you are ordering it from a seller of heirloom veggies,  check with the dealer to make sure the seeds were not purchased from  Seminis/Monsanto. If you buy the seeds from a big-box garden center, odds are they were purchased from the evil empire.

The bitch of it is, I’ve GROWN some of these in the past, not knowing what was in them or had been done to them. I still don’t know what’s in them, but I know not to grow them now.

Some seed companies that offer heirloom/non-GMO varieties:

  • Sustainable Seeds
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
  • Annie’s Heirlooms
  • Johnny’s Seeds (check for heirloom varieties)
  • High Mowing Seeds

So regarding the heirloom/organic vs. hybrid seed question, we view non-organic options as unhealthy, and we KNOW that non-heirloom means no sustainability. We’re on this farm for several reasons: Grow our own healthy food, sell some of that healthy food, donate healthy food.

Monsanto, Dow and BASF (among others) would have us unhealthy and dependent on them and upon the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of our (shortened) lives. To that I say: Hell No.

EDIT: 3/26/12: “Agent Orange” comes from Dow Chemical, not Monsanto.

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42 thoughts on “Sustainability vs. Monsatan

  1. Excellent! I am printing this list and posting at the local store where everyone buys their GMO seeds 🙂

    I am spreading the word about GMO’s to everyone that I know, and getting the reputation as quite the lunatic. But I really think this is the most important health issue that has come about since trans fats. And nobody was forcing us to eat trans fats, GMO’s are being shoved down our throats. Scary stuff!

    Great post!

    • Awesome! I can’t independently source the list (I’ve seen it in several places online), but I know at least the random sampling of seeds I researched from it really are owned and being manipulated by Monsanto. I think people might think I’m a little nuts, too, but hey, knowledge is power and the truth is always better than bullshit. Thanks for reading!!

  2. This is a fantastic piece. Can I reblog it on my blog?

  3. Reblogged this on The Soulsby Farm and commented:
    Such a great post from our friends at Soilentgreens that I just had to share. This whole Monsanto situation is just getting more and more frightening each day. This article is packed with great info and great links.

  4. thebeadden says:

    Thank you for sharing this list.

  5. Reblogged this on Ramblers Rest and commented:
    Please share this information about Monsanto, stop using thier products, they are under investigation already in South Africa, but as you know honesty takes a backseat when it comes to money and politics.

  6. thank you for this very important article. The more we learn about GMO seeds, the more we share. Hopefully it will teach others to avoid this company like the plague, perhaps worse than the plague as it is a silent killer.

  7. Cosmic Earth says:

    Reblogged this on cosmicearth and commented:
    This is a really fabulous blog post from Soilentgreens that I think says some of my thoughts better than I can express them myself.

  8. riderofchaos says:

    Reblogged this on All Things Krista and commented:
    I complain about Monsanto and GMOs a lot, although not on this blog. That is mainly because it is such a large topic that is so very important that I do not feel I have been able to collect my thoughts about it in a way to really get the message across in a manner that sounds intelligent. And I did not want to tackle this topic half assed. But blogger, Soilentgreen did in this fantastic post. It is worth the few minutes it will take to read. Then you are free to do as you please with that knowledge.

  9. […] Reblogged from soilentgreens: […]

  10. goudreinet says:

    Excellent info! I will send this to a friend who is currently lobbying against a proposal for GMO potato testing in Ireland (closing date for submissions is 27/3/’12). See: So far we are still GMO free in Ireland (or at least I hope …).
    Will follow you!

  11. Jennifer says:

    Kick ass article and the first to really spell out for me which varieties to avoid. Also digging your blog name and wondering how many out there remember that movie? Rock on and thanks for being.

    • Thanks! I’m glad you’re liking it. We tried to make the name different enough that nobody will actually think it’s people, right? Heh. Keep reading; more to come! I’m following your blog, too.

  12. thebeadden says:

    Reblogged this on Weed'em and Eat'em.

  13. Excellent can I also post on my Organic Blog?
    The more we spread the word the better, so happy I found you through Soulsby Farm 🙂

  14. Excellent post, and a useful list of seed names to ignore nad companies to buy from. Now I’m curious if there is a list of seed types and varieties that are sold in Europe / UK that I could happily ignore. I know all about F1’s etc, but when buying seeds it would be nice to know who I am buying them from!

    • I wish I knew. My friend Bana, who is a frequent commenter here, might know. She’s in the UK as well, and into organic farming. I’ll see what I can dig up. (So to speak, ha!)

      • That would be great, it’s just knowing where to start looking for the information. I know some smaller companies who use their own, open pollinated seeds, but as to the bigger companies I have no idea where they get them from!

  15. […] I received a post from Soulsby Farm this morning and I just had to share it here and they received it from Soilent Greens. […]

  16. attemptinggreen says:

    Thank you for this. I lived Southern MN, where Monsanto is God. Round-Up Ready Sweet Corn anyone? Glad I am not the only one concerned about Monsanto. They are scary.

  17. Michael says:

    Obviously a fear mongering blog post. GMO’s are feared because the average person does not understand them. The GMO’s that once were banned in many parts of the world are now being accepted since the science proved the fears were not real.

    There have been long term tests of the effects of GMO’s and they are still going on. I’m not talking about one test, I’m talking about scientifically replicable tests. Testing that takes years to prove one way or the other. So far there is no difference in the effect of GMO’s versus non-GMO’s. The tests that seem to show an adverse effect from GMO’s, show about the same amount of damage as washing your hands with soap and do not have a control to show what a non-GMO does. The word is as stated above, potentially, so far, no difference.

    GMO’s do much more than just making a plant resistant to a chemical. Some of the most exciting GMO’s are ones that make plants have better root systems so that they can survive in dryer conditions. There are also some GMO’s that are making plants so that they are more efficient, thus they use less fertilizer, or even survive insect infestations that previously would have killed them. There are so many GMO’s that you should not lump them all into one Monsatan pot. In fact, Monsanto is not the only company that is producing GMO’s, nor were they the first.

    By all means keep eating heirloom varieties of plants. We need those varieties for protection from some as yet unknown problem, but please, it does not have to be organic or heirloom to be sustainable. Eat them for the taste or the novelty, not for some potential, but never proven problem.

    Beware though, some of the organic practices are just as scary as non-organic ones. I’m thinking of things like organic peanuts that leaves them open to a natural toxin. There are many real natural things out there that WILL kill you or make you sick. There is nothing potential about it.

    Sustainability means so many different things to so many different people that it is hard to peg down. Please do not confuse a love of the old ways of doing things with being sustainable.

  18. eremophila says:

    Reblogged this on Eremophila’s Musings and commented:
    Essential reading.

  19. […] me and you want Monsanto’s frankenfoods as far away from your garden as possible, go read Sustainability vs. Monsantan by Soilent Greens.  The post has an excellent explanation of what genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are and […]

  20. Tina's Pharm says:

    For the people who do not agree that GMOs are potentially dangerous – can we at least label them and let the consumer decide what they want to put into their body? If you truly believe they are safe, you can buy the GMO products, but let me decide if I want to avoid them – and don’t try to trick consumers into eating them.

    The animal studies using GMO products have been concerning, and some effects, such as sterility, were not seen until the second or third generation. As a pharmacist, I am very familiar with drug trials and realize that even if a product seems safe during initial trials, some effects are not seen until the product is released into the market due to the size of the population. Once something is released to the general public many more people are exposed to it compared to a limited sample size in a trial. Toxic side effects (like cancer) also sometimes need time to develop. I don’t want to be a part of this experiment – the data has already shown me these products are most likely not safe.

  21. Thanks for this post. I’m on board with labeling for consumer choice too. But really, what do you say to people who just think that we are “uneducated” or “naive” or “don’t understand” when it comes to GMOs? I’m not frightened because I don’t understand them, I’m frightened because I DO. I am skeptical of anyone who says something is totally safe, when there is not enough evidence to really tell us that. Thanks again.

  22. Tim Loyal says:

    Reblogged this on Three Loving Chritians and commented:
    I have followed this subject for a while now and it seems like Monsanto is trying to patent life itself. They have no rights to life as they started with Jesus food. We own the food and no one company or individual owns food. It was here before we arrived. This is why they are making the arc in the pole so when we run out of food as we will since this is happening, we can go there someday and revive dead plants. But what they do not realize is that nature corrects itself. Their modifications will die off and some will produce new life which will in turn revive the plants on its own. But yes do not pay these evil people for trying to rule the world with food they stole from nature.

  23. Webeers says:

    Will repost this. Great article. Wonderful list. Really indispensible. Just came back form Baker Creek Seed Bank in Petaluma, CA. Had a big sign out from of the seed bank stating “NO GMO SEEDS”. Awesome.

  24. […] Modification) laws are up for review in November.  Check out why this matters:  Monsanto Doco   Blog on Monsanto  […]

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