voltarine's Profile

Display Name: voltarine
Member Since: 2/18/10

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There are some seed companies, including Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com), who test their seeds each year to screen for GMOs. Usually if the company is selling organic seed, it is a point of pride to offer non-GMO types and they'll advertise that fact. That said, Baker Creek noted this year they are having a harder and harder time getting pure, non-GMO seed - here in the Midwest a lot of the fields are filled w/ GMO crops, which will very easily cross-contaminate even the most pristine organic fields. So if you are adamant about avoiding GMOs you might want to go with a company that tests for them. Baker Creek is fantastic, truly one of the best out there. Sand Hill Preservation is another good seed source that is careful about what they offer. High Mowing, Johnny's and Seed Savers Exchange are good too. Another good source is to find a group of seed savers in your area and swap with them!

Can You Provide Clarification on GMO Seeds for Gardening? Good Question | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
3/1/10 01:49 PM

PS, just saw "biodegradable plastic" in the earlier post, my apologies. That is a much better solution. Still, better to try to train people out of using extra packaging when possible. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Plastic Packaging Is Good for the Earth? | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
2/19/10 02:58 PM

I agree that we need to question our assumptions and be flexible and not puritanical, but in this case it is just a matter of common sense -- as acbuiten pointed out, it's the fact that organic matter rots back into the earth; plastic does not. And plastic has a whole range of negative effects on the environment which far outweigh having to produce three times the cucumbers, hormone disruption being only one of those factors. I think the earlier suggestion of reusing plastic bags is a good solution. And I'm just sort of perplexed by this whole thing - why start doing this now? Extra packaging *is* a problem, especially when it doesn't biodegrade very well and/or introduces a host of life-unfriendly materials into the water and soil? Also, I think there's the whole issue of the deep dysfunction that runs through the whole industrial food system. Not that we have a handy replacement at the moment, but I think it is imperative for people to start thinking about how to NOT eat in these sorts of ways. Of course you have to respond to the environment you find yourself in, but why not push for a better solution than this? What we have in place right now is a bunch of strung together solutions like this one that take the place of true, systemic change for the better in our food system.

Plastic Packaging Is Good for the Earth? | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
2/19/10 02:52 PM

The great oceanic garbage patch = smackdown on this argument. "Off" fruits and vegetables can be composted. Even if you end up with moldy cucumbers in your fridge, it doesn't take that much energy, once you get a composting system set up, to turn that dead cuke into humus. Plastic is forever. It's true that not everyone has a backyard for composting but there are very often garden groups who are actively looking for compostable waste. Busy is a lame argument for not switching gears; any habit change is hard, but once you have a system in place as far as better shopping, cooking and eating habits it's not all that hard. I vote not to let American consumers off the hook on this one, this is exactly the opposite of the direction we need to go.

Plastic Packaging Is Good for the Earth? | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest
2/18/10 04:02 PM