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Thread: Starting a garden... GMO's page

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    brooke.S.'s Avatar
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    Starting a garden... GMO's

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    I'm going to plant a small garden within the next 2 weeks. I'm going to start with tomatoes and cucumbers. This may be a silly question but do I have to worry about the tomato plant being GMO? I'm just planning to go to Lowe's to buy the tomato plants. Are there any specifics I need to know?

    Any info on seeds/plants/etc on starting a garden would be appreciated!

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    bloodorchid's Avatar
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    look for 'heirloom'
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    yeah you are

    I mean there's so many ants in my eyes! And there are so many TVs, microwaves, radios... I think, I can't, I'm not 100% sure what we have here in stock.. I don't know because I can't see anything! Our prices, I hope, aren't too low!

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    If it's a "hybrid" it's been "genetically" modified... It may have been "modified" by natural breeding, or by artificial means. In either case the resultant plant is a mix of traits of it's parents. Heirlooms are good varieties to grow, and there are some very good one out there. May have trouble finding them at Lowes though.....

    I'm not sure why everyone gets their knickers in a knot over the term GMO..... every plant has been "genetically modified".... my problem with "GMO" has to do with the intended modification. I can see that some modifications would potentially be bad and others maybe not so much..., i.e. has a natural levels of pyrethrin in the fruit from inserting the "pyrethrin" gene from chrysanthemums in to squash. Is a genetic modification in corn to have 23 rows per ear instead of 18 rows a bad modification? Or a particular color in squash, or shape of pumpkin, seedless watermelon? I doubt it.... but having a pesticide produced by my peas? ehhh, probably not such a good idea....

    If you want a good tomato for sauce, the "standard" is La Roma. It is a plum type, meaty tomato, and has been the "standard" for a very long time (since the 50's)
    A good "slicing" tomato variety is "Celebrity", which is somewhat smaller than a "Beefsteak" tomato.
    Both varieties will need a cage to help hold the up

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    Doc, I think there is a big difference between genetically modifying something through selective breeding, and screwing with a plant's dna in a lab. What I'd bet the proverbial farm on is that when Monsanto is genetically modifying something, they could care less whether the resultant crop is good or bad for my health.

    I think you and I are close to the same age. Do you remember how good even store bought tomatoes tasted when we were kids? Now, most store bought tomatoes, even Romas, don't taste like anything.

    Artificial scenario 1: A farmer or gardener has two tomatoes. One is big and beautiful with a moderately good taste. The other is kind of scrawny, but tastes like a sun lit day. S/he decides to try to crossbreed/pollinate them to create one bodacious tomato.

    Artificial scenario 2: A corporation decides that it wants its customers to be dependent on them, so they create seeds that will grow crops with non-viable seeds so those customers have to buy seeds every season. The resultant fruit is also stable when sprayed with the most hellish levels of pesticides. These crops travel well. They have 40% fewer nutrients than family farmers or gardeners get. The motive here is not to produce a beautiful, nutritious, delicious tomato, but to produce a red thing that embarrasses real tomatoes, but creates a lot of red things per square foot.

    There is a qualitative difference in those two scenarios.

    Also, to get one's knickers in a knot, one has to actually wear knickers.
    Last edited by JoanieL; 05-21-2013 at 06:00 AM.
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    ssn679doc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    Doc, I think there is a big difference between genetically modifying something through selective breeding, and screwing with a plant's dna in a lab. What I'd bet the proverbial farm on is that when Monsanto is genetically modifying something, they could care less whether the resultant crop is good or bad for my health.

    I think you and I are close to the same age. Do you remember how good even store bought tomatoes tasted when we were kids? Now, most store bought tomatoes, even Romas, don't taste like anything.

    Artificial scenario 1: A farmer or gardener has two tomatoes. One is big and beautiful with a moderately good taste. The other is kind of scrawny, but tastes like a sun lit day. S/he decides to try to crossbreed/pollinate them to create one bodacious tomato.

    Artificial scenario 2: A corporation decides that it wants its customers to be dependent on them, so they create seeds that will grow crops with non-viable seeds so those customers have to buy seeds every season. The resultant fruit is also stable when sprayed with the most hellish levels of pesticides. These crops travel well. They have 40% fewer nutrients than family farmers or gardeners get. The motive here is not to produce a beautiful, nutritious, delicious tomato, but to produce a red thing that embarrasses real tomatoes, but creates a lot of red things per square foot.

    There is a qualitative difference in those two scenarios.

    Also, to get one's knickers in a knot, one has to actually wear knickers.
    By selectively breeding for a perticular characteristic in a vegetable (size, color, flavor or what have you) you ARE already screwing with the plant's DNA.... it just takes much longer to do it in field trials than it does in the lab. What is the difference in splicing the gene for "purple" color in a tomato and putting it in a seeds DNA in the lab than breeding it through 5 or 6 generations (read that as years since tomatos are annuals)? The end result is the same... you get a purple tomato. The lab did it in one year instaed of six. Companies like Monsanto want veggies that can be picked earlier, and shipped greener to ripen when they arrive and tough enough to withstand being shipped all over the world..... because that is what the buying public (read that as the "market") requires. Would you get a better product if you bought from a local farmer? hell yeah, and I would love to sell you some local grown tomatos! That isn't how "industrial" ag works...... the problem isn't necessarily GMO.... but industrial ag that is the root to the issue. That is what is driving the GMO issue because the "market" requires more yield with less input. Vertical integration is not a good thing in this area.... Actually I can't think of many areas inwhich it is a good idea for the long term (but that is a different debate)
    In that regard, I agree with guys like Joel Salatin. He is dead on right about how ag can be sustainable, with better quality products delivered to the market through better farming practices and more local producers.

    As far as knickers go, I didn't suspect that you wore any... so it was a rhetorical statement.....

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    MEversbergII's Avatar
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    No matter what kind of things you do in the field, your crossbred hybrid tomatos aren't going to acquire fish genes. There are fish and human genes in some of the GM crops out there. Take that how you will, but know there is a difference.

    Now you do a pretty good job touching on one of the points of GMing crops: Marketing. Tough things that'll ripen in transit so they can go far and not be mush at the end. However, I cannot support that as an individual because we largely need to work on reducing our food miles. Even if it means I'm going to have to say good bye to bananas, shipped in from South America as they are.

    ...can bananas get grown anywhere in the U.S.? I'm going to go research this.

    M.

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    brooke.S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodorchid View Post
    look for 'heirloom'
    Hello fellow Tennessean!
    Thanks! I'll have to do a search in my area and see where I can get heirloom.

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    brooke.S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssn679doc View Post
    If it's a "hybrid" it's been "genetically" modified... It may have been "modified" by natural breeding, or by artificial means. In either case the resultant plant is a mix of traits of it's parents. Heirlooms are good varieties to grow, and there are some very good one out there. May have trouble finding them at Lowes though.....

    I'm not sure why everyone gets their knickers in a knot over the term GMO..... every plant has been "genetically modified".... my problem with "GMO" has to do with the intended modification. I can see that some modifications would potentially be bad and others maybe not so much..., i.e. has a natural levels of pyrethrin in the fruit from inserting the "pyrethrin" gene from chrysanthemums in to squash. Is a genetic modification in corn to have 23 rows per ear instead of 18 rows a bad modification? Or a particular color in squash, or shape of pumpkin, seedless watermelon? I doubt it.... but having a pesticide produced by my peas? ehhh, probably not such a good idea....

    If you want a good tomato for sauce, the "standard" is La Roma. It is a plum type, meaty tomato, and has been the "standard" for a very long time (since the 50's)
    A good "slicing" tomato variety is "Celebrity", which is somewhat smaller than a "Beefsteak" tomato.
    Both varieties will need a cage to help hold the up
    Thanks for all the info! When I say GMO I'm more referring to Monsanto and the like. I'll also pass on the peas that can produce pesticides! Now I've got to go get my knickers out of a knot.

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    I don't think you need to worry about Monsanto-style GMOs in your store-bought gardening plants. Selective breeding can be done as simply as by you saving seeds from an especially strong and productive plant in your own garden.
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    ssn679doc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
    No matter what kind of things you do in the field, your crossbred hybrid tomatos aren't going to acquire fish genes. There are fish and human genes in some of the GM crops out there. Take that how you will, but know there is a difference.

    Now you do a pretty good job touching on one of the points of GMing crops: Marketing. Tough things that'll ripen in transit so they can go far and not be mush at the end. However, I cannot support that as an individual because we largely need to work on reducing our food miles. Even if it means I'm going to have to say good bye to bananas, shipped in from South America as they are.

    ...can bananas get grown anywhere in the U.S.? I'm going to go research this.

    M.
    US banana production is very limited; in 2009, US total banana production reached almost 7,000 mmt, or 0.01% of the total world production, on an estimated 16,000 acres. Hawaii is by far the largest banana producer in the United States, followed by Florida. Banana production in Hawaii has followed a downward trend, from 13,181 mmt in 2000 to 8,090 mmt in 2010. Hawaii produces mainly the conventional Cavendish variety and the Hawaiian apple banana, which are sold in the local markets due to high labor and land costs. The major US banana exporter is Florida, which produces mainly Thai and cooking bananas (Bluggoe type). In addition, US banana producers are seeking opportunities in the organic and specialty segments of the banana market in Florida and the coastal region of Georgia (Schupska 2008).

    FE901/FE901: Banana Market
    ..

    From what little I have read the "fish tomato" was never a commercially viable product, so there are no fish tomatos on the market....
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_tomato
    Last edited by ssn679doc; 05-22-2013 at 04:30 AM.

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