Why Seed Matters: We reap what we sow.
We probably don’t think about it when we sit down to eat our cereal in the morning or tuck the kids into cotton sheets at night, but it all starts with seed. Seed matters. And the seed we sow affects the quality, nutrition, cost and environmental impact of all the food we eat and every fiber we wear.
It’s time we sow more good. The last several decades of industrial agriculture have developed seed that is suited to intensive chemical agriculture. While this has sometimes resulted in higher yields, it has come with very real costs. Unintended consequences include air and water pollution, increased pesticide use, greater dependence on fossil fuels, degraded soil health, and the loss of biological and genetic diversity. These are facts.
The success of diverse, regional, and resilient food systems requires a different approach to seed – an organic approach.
And yet, today’s farmers don’t have access to sufficient seed developed for organic systems. Worldwide, 95% of organic farmers rely on seed bred for conventional, high-input chemical agriculture. There’s an alternative. Organic plant breeding can increase yields, improve nutrition, and reduce usage of pesticides, fertilizer, and energy. We invite you to join us – engage and grow the work of improving organic seed systems.
- Over a three year period, plant biotechnology research received $54 million in public funding while only $775,000 went to organic seed research – that’s a disparity of almost 70 to 1.
- Research shows that breeding crops in organic systems can increase yield by as much as 31%.
- Since 1950, breeding for industrial agricultural has resulted in declining nutrients in 43 food crops.
- Five companies use patents to control 60% of the global seed market.