As if there wasn't enough to worry about in the world of food already, with supermarkets filling our heads with the need for special offer junk, sugar in absolutely everything and multi-national companies tampering with whatever takes their fancy, GMO OMG has planted the seed of nightmare killer corn and chemically engineered soya.
I thought I was doing my bit by being a vegetarian, growing my own fruit and veg and forcing it on my kids instead of feeding them McDonalds, but "no!", the scientists have been at my seeds. When I first got my allotment there was an enormous parsnip growing happily there that went to seed and I was warned against collecting the seed because my parsnips "wouldn't come true". I nodded wisely, thinking "poppycock" in my head and collected the seed anyway. But what was in this whole "not coming true" business? Should I be scared of my hundreds of seeds that I got for free?
Basically a F1 hybrid seed involves hours and hours of hand pollination and careful conditions and work on the part of the breeder. It's like the elite of seeds, you can't have any old insect coming along and cross pollinating from other common old plants. So on purpose the seed with not be the same as its parent otherwise what would have been the point of all that hard work. However I'm not sure I care much for elite veg as I'm just growing food. I'm not a seed breeder trying to make a profit nor am I up for discrimination against my veg. GMO seed are a little more sinister. It's where the DNA of one organism like bacteria is injected into another to result in new traits effectively making a super seed that can then be owned by corporations. Things are a bit more complicated than that but the solution is quite simply to just grow some real seeds.
It feels like I'm doing the right thing and even if it's just a selection. It's keeping heirloom and heritage varieties alive and they have such fantastic names like 'Glory of Enkhuisen' cabbage.
And 'Grandpa Admire's' butterhead lettuce which could easily have been seed saved by my own Grandpa.