OM Times March 1/2 2012 : SOW What? Survival Seeds to Sow

Sow What?


Survival Seeds to Sow – Heirloom, GMO or Non-GMO

"Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed.  Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders."                       -  Henry David Thoreau


As many are beginning to take interest in buying seeds in order to secure their future, there is confusion as to what type of seed to buy.  With the different varieties available such as genetically modified (GMO), non-genetically modified (Non-GMO), and heirloom seeds, it is no wonder why there is such confusion. 

In a survival situation, finding the right type of seeds that will offer vitamins and food security with reoccurring harvests will be of great importance for long term survival. 

Food Security in Seeds

All seeds are good to have in order to grow food.  However, there are certain types that are preferred seed varieties because they are better at sustaining long term survival. That being said, if a person is purchasing seeds for food security, then the seeds purchased should be heirloom open-pollinated or non-hybrid (non-GMO) quality.  

Heirloom or Open Pollinated Seeds (Non-GMO)

Heirloom seed varities are an open pollinated seed developed before 1940.  These type of seeds are bred for their flavor and not their durability while being shipped.  Additionally, these types of seeds will produce fertile seeds that can be saved for subsequent growing seasons.  This is the preferred seed variety that preppers and survivalists are storing as one of their long term survival items.  These seeds are the ones that will continually produce viable seeds.

Genetically Modified Seeds (GMO)

Seeds from a genetically modified variety are a hybrid of two separate varieties that have different genetic make up from it’s parent plant.  As the plant matures, the seeds produced from the plant will either be sterile, or start to revert back to the parent plants.  Furthermore, the seeds that have been genetically modified have been so to be disease resistant, insect resistant, and drought resistant is some cases.  However, these type of seeds are not good choices because while the seed is created a pesticide known as bacillus thuringiensis or BT,  is created inside it in order to keep insects away.  The reasoning behind this idea was to create more plentiful crops.  The problem is that the finished product is a seed that holds pesticides inside it that will kill off any insects (even the beneficial insects).  These are not the best choices for survival seeds due to the BT pesticide and the seed that is produced from the mature plant will be sterile.


In present time, Americans are struggling in the midst of a severe economic downturn and that makes us all feel a loss of control. Growing a garden helps us to gain back control over crucial basic needs, our financial and food security. Growing our own food rewards us in so many ways, all the way from eating healthy to saving on the grocery bill. Unfortunately many in America today do not get to experience the rewards of freshly grown food.

Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site:

Date: January 17th, 2010



Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), member supported organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations.

Our mission is to save North America's diverse, but endangered, garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, while educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity.









sowwhat, gmo, nongmo, heirloom, seeds, differences, seedsavers, omtimesmagazine, media, humanityhealing, wellness, sustainability, deZengodesigns, sacredspacestudio, namaspirittn

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