Which makes me sad, because even some of the seed companies I had thought were better than the rest are selling all these hybrids too. So does that mean the only source for heirloom seeds that has decent selection is rareseeds? I mean, don't get me wrong, they're one of my favorite seed companies... but seriously, no competition at all?
Come on seed companies! Please start offering more heirloom varieties. Demand your growers go organic. Why are people still paying sometimes over $5 per packet for hybrid seeds that are chemically treated? Please stop!
From the seed sellers perspective, they probably sell a lot more of the hybrid seeds... because once you buy the heirloom seeds, you don't have to buy them again! You can save your own. Seed saving is such an important skill to have too. Every gardener should know how to save seeds. I think if more gardeners saved their own seeds, we (as a whole) would be less dependent on seed companies right from the start.
So as you are picking out varieties for your garden in the spring, please take note. Varieties with "F1" after the name are hybrid seeds. Not necessarily GMO, but hybrid - meaning it was produced by breeding two different varieties together. If you save seeds from these varieties, your seeds will not produce the same fruit or vegetable that you got those seeds from. If you buy seeds that are heirloom varieties, you can safely save seed from them. Note some varieties will naturally cross pollinate if planted near one another (different kinds of squash for instance). The seeds saved may grow interesting variations of two of the varieties you had the year prior. Look up safe seed saving distances to know how far away different types of plants need to be to prevent cross-pollination.
And a big one - If it's labeled as ORGANIC, then it is not GMO. According to the USDA, in order to be certified organic, the plants cannot be GMO, the feed for the animals cannot be GMO, and the ingredients to make something cannot contain GMOs. If you are wanting to buy seeds and want to be certain they are non-GMO, make sure they are certified organic!