Hometown Seeds offered to send me a "Survival Seeds" kit, which contains 16 varieties of open-pollinated vegetables. My initial reaction to this was - "Do I really need more seeds this year?" But as I read and thought more about it, I began to realize that unlike the other seeds I've purchased and intend to grow this year, this kit serves a different purpose.
I am a 32 year old husband and father - old enough to remember the Cold War tensions between Russia and the United States prior to 1990, and young enough (or should I say jaded enough) to be ultra-cynical about what happens on Capital Hill today. I wouldn't consider myself to be a food activist (well, maybe a passive one), but I will admit that all of the headlines of this past decade surrounding terminator genes, genetic engineering, decreasing bio-diversity and patenting life have made me a bit nervous about the security of our world's food supply. It seems that whenever human beings choose to limit the bio-diversity of our crops and animals, the more we put ourselves and our food at risk. It happened to the Irish and their potatoes; will it also happen to Monsanto's Round Up Ready soy beans?
When my survival kit arrived, the first thing I noticed was how tightly sealed and heavy it was- like my own personal ark of veggies. It's somewhat comforting to know that these seeds will last for up to 10 years if kept frozen. Now all that's left to do is to make sure that I preserve enough of this year's harvest to stock our large pantry in case of a real emergency and learn the art of seed saving.
So what do you think? Are we really at risk for a sudden and widespread food catastrophe? Or is all of this talk about "Franken-foods" blown way out of proportion? I can't help but to think about all of those people who built nuclear bomb shelters underneath their homes during the Cold War. Were these people crazy, or just plain realistic?