Of course, seed vitality decreases with time,
Storing Seeds for Long Term Storage Contrary to what you might assume, if properly cared for, high quality vegetable seeds have an amazingly long storage life. What many people do not realize is that in nature, the seed is designed to remain viable until the conditions of the soil and weather are ideal for germination.
So just how long do seeds remain viable anyway? To be honest, there is really no definable limit, as was recently proven in Israel with the successful germination in 2005 of a 2000 year old seed of the extinct Judean Date Palm that came from an archeological dig at King Herod's palace near the Dead Sea. In 1978, a 1200 year old Lotus seed discovered in a dry lakebed in China was also successfully germinated, which prior to the Date Palm was the world's oldest successfully germinated seed. More recently, the Millennium Seed Bank successfully germinated three species of plants from 200+ year old seeds.
In the realm of vegetable seeds, reports of 25 to 50 year old seeds germinating are quite common place and it was reported that during World War 2, cabbage and other Brassica seed that was hundreds of years old were successfully germinating after a seed repository was bombed by Germany's Luftwaffe. Needless to say, although the germination rate of seed does decline as time passes (and different crops decline at different rates), seed still has a remarkable vitality.
To store seeds properly, the essential goal is to place the seed into a set of conditions that are the polar opposite of what is required to germinate the seed. For proper germination, for the most part, seeds require moisture and warmth. (Some species also require light and other conditions. Humidity also plays a role). Needless to say, to store seeds, a cool, dry place with little to no humidity is always best.
"Even at Monsanto, many in-the-know employees won't consume the company's own GM creations."
By Jeffrey Smith
April 1, 2009
If President Obama's new Food Safety Working Group dedicates all their time and credentials to prevent future food recalls, they will have saved thousands of people--but forsaken millions. Over the last decade, our radically changing diet has ushered in the explosive growth of food-related ailments, such as allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes, autism, infertility, gastro-intestinal disorders, and learning disabilities. Of all the changes in our food, the most dangerous transformation was the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops.
When these gene-spliced concoctions, such as GM soy, corn, canola, and cottonseed, came on the scene in 1996, the proportion of Americans suffering from three or more chronic ailments. After just 9 years, that nearly doubled to 13%. GM foods are the prime suspect. Government policy at odds with science.
Until now, the government has sidestepped the controversy by hiding behind FDA policy, which asserts that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are "substantially equivalent" to natural foods and therefore don't require any safety studies. But as Obama acknowledged, "many of the laws and regulations governing food safety in America" are outdated.
In truth, the FDA's GMO policy was not even up-to-date when it was implemented in May 1992. FDA documents made public from a lawsuit revealed that virtually all the agency scientists asked to comment voiced strong warnings that GMOs may cause serious health problems. But the FDA was under orders from the White House to fast track GM foods, and the person in charge of FDA policy was the former attorney of biotech giant Monsanto--and later become their vice president. The scientists and the science were ignored.
Now that animals fed GMOs--in labs and farms around the world--have exhibited symptoms related to the growing list of diseases in the US population, the President's Food Safety team, including Dr. Margaret Hamburg as FDA Commissioner, must update GMO regulation. A scientifically sound regulation would translate into an immediate ban of current GM crops, and the implementation of rigorous safety testing requirements before any GMO was put back into the food supply. And certainly mandatory labeling, as promised by President Obama during his campaign, must accompany any GM food approval. Presidents and industry insiders avoid GMOs. The Obama family has wisely opted out of exposing themselves to GM foods by requiring organic--and therefore non-GMO--foods served at the White House. They are even planting an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House, to feature 55 types of vegetables.
The Bush family also had an organic kitchen policy. Laura Bush was "adamant" about it, but kept it all quiet. Even at Monsanto, many in-the-know employees won't consume the company's own GM creations. Back in 1999, the management of the cafeteria at Monsanto's UK headquarters in High Wycombe, England wrote: "In response to concern raised by our customers .. . . we have decided to remove, as far as possible, genetically modified soy and maize (corn) from all food products served in our restaurant. . . . We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve."
And one former Monsanto scientist told me that his colleagues, who were safety testing milk from cows injected with the company's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, decided to stop drinking milk--unless it was organic.
It's now time to let us all opt out of this dangerous and failed GM experiment. If Obama's team is serious about food safety and public health, they must take GMOs off our plates and put them back into the laboratory.
© 2008 Jeffrey Smith - All Rights Reserved