An heirloom vegetable is a vegetable variety that hasn't been changed by modern-day breeding techniques. Some varieties can be hundreds of years old. These varieties are not usually used in large-scale commercial agriculture. Heirloom vegetables are, by default, non-GMO.
Here are some of the best reasons to buy heirloom vegetables:
1. They taste amazing.
No more bland tomatoes ruining your dishes. Heirloom vegetables are more flavor-focuses than big-agro varieties. The trade-off is that some of the vegetables might be different looking, or even "ugly", or "sheer perfection".
2. They're more nutritious.
Because large-scale commercial growers prefer higher yields, their modification of plant genetics have geared the plants to produce more, but not necessarily better. Heirloom plants retain traits created by nature and are often found with higher quantities of vitamins, minerals, and other components than traditional grocery store vegetables.
3. The seeds are more equitable
Heirloom plants produce seeds, unlike plants grown from GMO seeds. GMO seeds often grow into plants that never produce more seeds, which means you have to keep purchasing seeds from the GMO supplier year-after-year. This goes against the laws of nature. Heirloom seeds allow farmers to produce crops without having to give thousands away to big-agro.
4. Harvest Uniformity
GMO plants are usually geared towards being harvested all at once, whereas heirloom vegetables are more spread-out and gradual. This means that it's more useful for supplying small groups of people, vs massive produce suppliers, because your ripe fruit will be spread out over time.
Pound for pound and typically seed for seed, heirloom seeds, plants, and vegetables are usually less expensive than grocery store GMO equivalents.
6. Veggie Theatre
Most of these heirloom vegetables were preserved with great intention. For this reason, each variety has its own rich origin and history that helps us understand what it takes for a vegetable to get from a farm, far away, to the table in front of you.
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