A hybrid also known as F1 hybrid, is created when plant breeders intentionally cross-pollinate two different varieties of a plant, aiming to produce an offspring, or hybrid, that contains the best traits of each of the parents. Cross-pollination is a natural process that occurs within members of the same plant species.


Heirloom vegetables are open-pollinated, which means they’re pollinated by insects or wind without human intervention.  Heirloom plants come from seed that has been handed down for generations in a particular region or area, hand-selected by gardeners for a special trait.  While this may unclear, these seeds are said to be at least 50 years of age to be considered an heirloom.


Organic seeds/plants are grown strictly without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides; the use of sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering (GMOs) are also prohibited.


GMO plants and seeds are the result of genetic engineering. (“GMO” stands for “genetically modified organism.”) This is a process during which the plant’s DNA is altered in a way that cannot occur naturally, and sometimes includes the insertion of genes from other species.  This process is done through the use of chemicals.


With that being said a seed/plant can be Non GMO, Organic and Heirloom or Non GMO, Organic and Hybrid.  A plant or seed can be Non GMO but grown with pesticides, chemicals and unnatural fertilizers.

I always opt for Organic first but look for clear distinction or labeling that it is Non GMO.  I prefer heirlooms or original foods but knowing that most of what we are accustomed to buying from the store are hybrids.

While this information was written to educate about seed/plant labels, the same information applies to the food you eat and products you use.



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