Those who have been in the gardening scene for a while may have become aware of the growing battle between the use of heirloom, hybrid, and GMO seeds. Recently, there have been arguments over the implications of using these different types of seeds but a lot of misunderstanding has occurred as people aren’t too familiar with the distinctions between each seed type. To get a better understanding of the differences, check out the infographic created by Organic Lesson, which will give you a better understanding of how heirloom seeds differ from GMO and hybrid.
There is no concrete definition that every gardener can agree upon on when heirloom seeds wereintroduced but one thing for certain is the process of creating them. Heirloom seeds come from open-pollinated plants that pass on the same characteristics from the parent plant to the child parent. Most gardeners refer to this process as breeding true. Hybrid and GMO seeds, on the other hand, do not breed true. Hybrid seeds are produced when two different types of plants are cross-pollinated. This can happen naturally as long as the two different plant types are compatible to each other. As for GMO seeds, they can only be produced in the labs. Scientists and lab technicians use unnatural methods like gene splicing to produce seeds that will eventually grow into plants with desirable traits.
Although hybrid and GMO seeds can lead to plants with important traits like disease-resistance, there are certain benefits that can be gained from heirloom seeds that cannot be applied to the other types. For example, hybrid fruits and vegetables are known to have better taste and flavor. Some varieties are known to also contain more nutrients than hybrid fruits and vegetables. Aside from that, it is also important to understand why it is vital for us to keep heirloom seeds in the loop. Heirloom seeds play an important role in helping us maintain the genetic diversity of plants. Without heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds would not even exist. The next time you head to the gardening store to buy some new seeds, consider getting heirloom seeds first and foremost.
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