Related: 10 Scary Reasons Why You Should NEVER Buy Conventional Pork
Heirloom refers to the plant’s heritage. With seed-grown plants, only open-pollinated varieties are considered heirlooms. Unlike hybrid plants, open-pollinated seeds will reproduce “true to type,” meaning the offspring will display the same characteristics as the parent plant, and seeds can be saved from season to season—and here's an explanation of The Difference Between Hybrid Plants And GMOs. Seeds are generally considered heirlooms if they were introduced into cultivation at least 40 years prior to the current date, though some experts consider seeds heirlooms only if they were introduced before World War II.
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Gardening organically goes hand in hand with growing heirlooms, since many were introduced before synthetic fertilizers and pesticides became available. But heirloom does not guarantee produce was raised without chemicals, making organic a better choice when you’re worried about toxins.
This article originally published on Eat Clean.