Why Organic Seed?
10 Reasons to Opt for Organic Seed
1. Promote Biodiversity.
Over the last century thousands of local varieties of seed have disappeared− with estimated losses of nearly 75% of agricultural genetic diversity.
2. Keep Collective Resources in the Commons.
Seed sovereignty equals food freedom. Rampant consolidation has swept through the seed industry in recent history, resulting in much of the world’s seed resources being controlled by just 6 corporations.
3. Avoid Genetic Engineering.
By definition, certified organic seed is free of content from genetic engineering.
4. Reduce Use of Toxic Chemicals.
Seed crops are often in the ground longer than food crops. In conventional seed production, this results in more applications of chemical herbicides and pesticides. The allowance for chemical pesticides and herbicides applied to seed is also much higher because seed is considered a non-food crop.
5. Protect Pollinator Health.
Organic seed is not pre-coated with dangerous neonicotinoid (“neonic”) pesticides. Neonics are also systemic: the pesticide is drawn into a plant’s vascular system from its roots and is expressed throughout the whole plant, including the pollen and nectar which pollinators forage for and drink. The resulting chronic exposure is devastating to all pollinators.
6. Encourage Continued Organic Research.
Organic seed is better suited for low-input organic systems. And regionalized research leads to adaptation of varieties, making them even more robust. Seed farmers can select varieties of plants that perform well under local ecological conditions and pressures such as pests and disease, and changing climate.
7. Celebrate Varieties Selected for Quality (Instead of Just Quantity).
Organic researchers and farmer-breeders consider flavor and nutrition in their breeding selections, instead of focusing on traits like high yield and extended shelf life.
8. Preserve Agrarian Tradition.
The future of organic farming depends on sharing the skills and knowledge of our agri-culture, including seed stewardship and the stories of our seeds.
9. Support Family Farmers.
Organic seed farming is intensive, and often family-scale. It substitutes management skill for toxic chemicals, and leads to rural economic development in hiring local labor.
10. Contribute to a Thriving Organic Industry.
The development of a vibrant organic seed trade will result in seed systems suited to ecological, economic, and localized challenges and needs of organic farming at every scale. In opting for organic seed, you support the growth of the organic industry.