These days many gardeners are concerned about the quality of the seeds they use in their gardens. There are a few reasons why it matters:
- Local — Seeds that are cultivated in your local geography are adapted to meet the soil and weather conditions of your local geography. That means they need less outside interference to thrive. Hmmm, seems a little obvious when you say like that, doesn’t it?
- Biodiversity — With an estimated 80% of all seeds worldwide being provided by only a couple of companies who can limit the variety of seeds available, the world is in danger of losing many plant varieties that were adapted to micro geographies.
- Nutritional quality — Poor quality seeds produce poor quality food. With all the effort put into gardening, you want to be growing nutritionally rich food. Plus, it tastes better.
- Organic — If you want truly organic vegetables, doesn’t it make sense to use organically produced seeds, as well as ensuring you’re cultivating it in an organic environment?
The question of whether to choose heirloom or heritage seeds, rather than random seeds which pretty much all come from the same Monsanto bin, is an important one to consider.
Gina Mallet‘s book, Last Chance to Eat is an easy to read story of how food has changed as a result of the post- WWII environment. What I found especially interesting was the many unique local varieties of any given food over very short distances. Who knew?!
I am just over half way through Last Chance to Eat by Gina Mallet, a light and entertaining while impactful read on how much food production has changed over the last 100 years or so. While it may seen that we have reached the place of high volume, low quality food overnight, in reality the seeds were sown many years ago and fueled by war and post-war food shortages.
I am enjoying how Mallet’s personal history is interwoven with interesting details on the progression of food eaten from our back yard to food sourced in far away places. I find myself in turns salivating at the description of delicious meals and horrified at how we’ve come to fear food rather than respect, value, and appreciate it.
We’ve somehow lost the joy of savouring the surprise that comes from eating food that offers variety and nuances in flavour in favour of a consistency of texture and taste that is actually rather void of flavour. How did THAT happen?!
In the business realm, the McDonald’s model of providing consistent product is held up as the pinnacle of success. If you can create a business machine that chugs along on automatic, creating exactly the same thing you created yesterday you’ve “made it” and success will surely follow.
I buy that on a customer service and product value model – customers should consistently get good treatment and good quality products. That’s what a quality brand delivers. But I’m reconsidering the value of the mass-produced model when it comes to what I put in my mouth.