What is Monsanto?

I got a text from my sister asking that very question. Monsanto has been a topic of discussion around our house for a while, even our daughter can give a pretty good anology as to why we don’t want to support companies that are owned or connected to Monsanto.

Monsanto is an agriculture company that has most of americans eating food produced from thier genetically modified seeds, grown in soil that is filled with it’s patented chemicals. The seeds produced from Monsanto plants can not be used in the next growing season, making the farmer or gardener go back to the company and buy again. It seems wrong to me to take something that is natually sustainable, natural un-modified seed have the ability to grow plants from that seed line for years to come, but Monsanto makes it so you have to go back to them, give them more money for more seeds. I do not begrudge Monsanto for wanting to be the only game in town, but it’s not like they are selling widgets. They are feeding our country, and want to feed the world (and not in the 80s version of providing food to needy folks for free) they want to own the market, THE FOOD MARKET.

I don’t want to support a company who will sue local farmers who don’t buy Monsanto seed or use their chemicals on their crops when Monsanto seeds from their neighbors farm blow over to thier land. In lots of ways I can’t avoid Monsanto, but in one way, in my garden, I can get away from their gentically modified hand. I can also support companies who believe that natually ocurring seeds and food should not be patented, life shouldn’t be something you need to patent like a widget. That’s why we are making the choice to buy our seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange…this is their Safe Seed Pledge:

Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we will not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately people and communities.

I want to say, that what is imortant to me, may not be important to you. I am not here to try and convert anyone, or make a pitch for anyone else to make these changes.

I am off to water my non-Monsanto seeds.