Here at Reel Gardening we have had many people ask us what it means to have “contains no GMO” printed on all of our products. While some people are asking out of a general curiosity, more people are asking because they are becoming more conscious of what their food contains and how it has been produced. Furthermore, the “industrial food anxiety” has been pushed into mainstream conversations about food production and potentially influenced our food buying decisions.
There is a great deal of information on the controversial topic of Genetically Modified seeds and crops but not many people understand what it is and how this affects the growing and the consumption of food. According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, a genetically modified organism is one who’s genes have been extracted through a laboratory process and artificially put into the genes of another unrelated plant or animal. This process is called Genetic Engineering or Genetic Modification. In relation to seed, this chemically intensive process is done for a variety of reasons; to make the crop pest and disease resistant, grow quicker, produce a bigger yield and have an “unnaturally” longer shelf life. There is not enough information or data available on whether crops grown with genetically modified seed have a higher nutritional value than those that aren’t. In 1999 South Africa put into effect the Genetically Modified Organisms Act of 1997 and this has allowed us to be the 8th largest producer of GMOs in the world.
The Non-GMO symbol on our seed tape means that our seeds have not been genetically altered in any way. Furthermore our seed is packed in its most natural state and not chemically treated.
But why does Reel Gardening use non-GMO seeds and what are the benefits of this route?
- With GM seeds, they are forced to go through their entire life-cycle much quicker to meet a demand, which means that they don’t have enough time to collect the soil’s nutrients or just grow normally.
- With the genetic modification and chemical treatment, GM seeds also lose some of the properties that are supposed to make the produce taste better and this introduces us to a whole new world of toxins, carcinogens and allergens.
- Non-GMO seeds grow at a slower rate, but fruit and vegetables grown from them are more flavoursome because they have had enough time to grow through all stages of their life-cycle. Think of that disappointing feeling you get when biting into what you thought would be a juicy orange, only to find that it tastes like it had been injected with lots of water. This is because it has not had enough time to grow because it had to meet output demands at your local grocery store.
- Non-GMO seeds are re-usable-which means that you can re-use the tomato seeds of a tomato that has been grown from a non-GMO seed and still get a harvest that is just as good as the first one. Which is not the same for chemically treated seeds-you may get a harvest but it will not be as great as the first one.
Reel Gardening is committed to producing products that are GMO free and making sure that we are transparent about how our products are sourced and produced.
For more information on how you can get started on growing your own food from non-GMO seed, buy a Reel Gardening Garden in a Box today!
Institute for Responsible Technology http://responsibletechnology.org/gmo-education/ ,
Non GMO Project https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/ ,
Douglas Halt- ‘Branding in the age of Social Media’ https://hbr.org/2016/03/branding-in-the-age-of-social-media ,
The Organic and Non-GMO Report http://non-gmoreport.com/articles/february2014/spectrum-seed-helps-farmers-see-advantages-going-non-gmo.php ,