The Norman Transcript


March 15, 2013

If you control the seed, you can control the entire food chain

NORMAN — Have you thought of the miracle that is a seed? Jack Harlan, professor of plant genetics at University of Illinois, talks about seed politics.

I quote from a chapter in “Gathering, Memoir of a Seed Saver” by Diane Ott Wheatly: “The ‘amateurs’ have been the guardians of our genetic resources for some thousands of years. There is no need to stop now, and they have one advantage over institutions: i.e., the true meaning of ‘amateur’ is one who loves or cares. There is no substitute for enthusiasm.”

Seed Savers Exchange has attracted a talented group of amateurs, self-taught experts in fields as diverse as the seeds they are keeping. You and I are or can be talented “amateurs” in the service of collecting, saving and planting heirloom seed and other non-hybrids that are the first link in the food chain.

If you control the seed, you control the entire food chain. Community seed banks, farmer curators and garden curators are going to be what keeps the world alive and keeps the seeds free for all of us to use.

“Give us this day our daily bread” should not be a prayer to a government or corporation such as the chemical monster Monsanto that wants to introduce gene modification (GM) into our corn, soybeans, etc., eliminating the purity of our food supply.

What’s the big difference? What’s the big deal? GMO seeds are “genetically modified organisms,” which is a very broad term. In its most simple terms, it refers to any living thing that has different DNA, no matter how slight, than its parent.

This can happen in nature or in the laboratory. The DNA of each of our parents has combined to make us who we are. You’re not identical to either. This also happens in the plant world. Insects or the weather moves pollen from one plant to the flower of another plant of the same or similar species. The new seed from that plant “mating” produces a new plant different from either of the parent plants. This is a type of hybrid (and so are you).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Low-cost and free cell phone options for thrifty seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling Senior Dear Seldom, For financially challenged seniors who only ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Harrah residents at home in restored vintage camper

    Sulphur — David Wiegert was quick to help a couple of newbie campers at the Buckhorn Campground on Arbuckle Lake in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. What Dave offered was badly needed advice on setting up travel trailers, where to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Historic quilt from Noble on auction block

    An alert quilter and teacher is concerned about a vintage quilt from Noble that’s being auctioned on eBay....

    July 20, 2014

  • Bark for Life brings pets into fundraising

    Local American Cancer Society member and Norman Regional nurse is at it again, raising awareness for cancer patients with an event that gets people moving. “Bark for Life” is a noncompetitive walk that will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Deadline for entering United Way’s The Ride extended

    Kids ages 3 to 8 are getting ready to roll on their decked out big wheel tricycles in an effort to raise money for the United Way of Norman. The Ride, a big wheel race organized by First American Bank and other local businesses, is ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will host a flapjack fundraiser July 26 at Applebee’s, 500 Ed Noble Parkway in Norman....

    July 20, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new....

    July 20, 2014

  • Keep toddler’s hair short to help end hair-pulling habit

    Q: Since our daughter, now 2 years old, was born, we have lived with my parents. Being the first and only grandchild, she has been the center of attention. Several months ago, our son was born and we moved into our own home. Almost ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Replacement for anti-flea drugs

    Dear Dr. Fox: I have a young 19-pound cavapoo. The dog had an adverse reaction to Vectra — agitation, rapid heartbeat, bulging eyes, snapping, etc. We took him to the vet immediately, and the vet indicated that it might have had a ...

    July 17, 2014