Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Step in Taking Back Our Food Supply

I recently read through another one of Raoul A. Robinson's books about horizontal resistance. This one is titled The Amateur Potato Breeder's Manual and it had a really great quote I wanted to share. I would recommend you all read this book if you are interested in not just saving your own garden seeds, but want ideas on how to improve the quality of the vegetables you plant. Here is what he said...
Many of the big chemical corporations have been buying up seed companies. They have also been buying up plant breeding institutes. These take-overs, which have nothing to do with chemical manufacture, will give them an almost monopolistic control of the cultivars available to farmers. And the best way to guarantee their market for crop protection chemicals is to ensure that these cultivars are susceptible, and that they can be cultivated only under the shield of both certified seed and crop protection chemicals.

The best way for crop scientists to combat these commercial trends is to breed crops for horizontal resistance. By and large, they have not done so, and they show few signs of doing so. There is a sad mindset within crop science that rejects the use of horizontal resistance. And, if the scientists refuse to investigate horizontal resistance, and they are backed up by chemical corporations who oppose its use, the only remaining possibility is for the public at large to undertake this task by forming plant breeding clubs. And, once started, and successful, there will be no stopping this trend.

It is true that most of these chemical companies (now garden seed companies) likely do not have our best interests in mind. Monopolies on your food. I think that it is outrageous that a company would try to make a monopoly out of our food supply by keeping crop varieties susceptible to disease and hooked on the chemicals. This dependency can't be healthy and appears in many aspects to have some similarities to a drug addiction. Farmers are hooked on these engineered plants and the chemicals required to keep them alive. All we need to do is save our own seeds and breed plants for horizontal resistance to get off this horrible chemical dependency and break the cycle.

It is a dangerous predicament that we are so dependent on these chemical companies for the fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that our crops would die and we would starve if these companies stopped supplying these chemicals. Truly this is a dependency that we need to break in a concerted effort as united citizens, farmers, and scientists world-wide.

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