SANDIA SEED BLOG

Seed growing tips, recipes & more! Read all Posts »

GMO Purple Tomato vs. Traditional Breeding Indigo Rose

Purple Tomato Seeds

GMO Purple Tomatoes:
As home gardeners page through seed catalogs and pick out their favorite heirlooms, there is a new seed that has never been available to them before: a GMO tomato the color of a concord grape with bright fluorescent-like plum-colored flesh.

This purple fruit, named the ‘Purple Tomato’, is the first genetically modified food crop that is now directly marketed to home gardeners. Historic.

The tomato is purple because its creators at Norfolk Plant Sciences worked for about 20 years to hack color genes from a snapdragon flower into the plant. The genes not only provide pigment, but high levels of anthocyanin, a health-promoting compound.

You won't find these GMO tomato seeds in our collection. But you can find a better, natural alternative:

Traditional Purple Tomatoes:
Traditional breeders were the first to release a non-GMO purple tomato to the public with boosted levels of anthocyanins. More than two decades ago, Jim Myers at Oregon State University began using traditional plant breeding to cross genes from wild tomatoes with modern varieties.

In 2011, they released the 'Indigo Rose,' which has a deep blue skin and a pinkish inside when ripe, and more anthocyanin. This was done naturally through traditional plant breeding, not in a test tube. The goal was to develop a tomato with high levels of anthocyanins, the compounds that give blueberries and blackberries, eggplant and purple cabbage their color and their status as superfoods.

Anthocyanins have been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. They're antioxidants, which can help neutralize unstable molecules in the body that can damage healthy cells and are linked with aging and disease.

GMO Purple Tomato:
In a research paper published in Nature, Norfolk Plant Sciences found that mice who ate a diet supplemented with the GMO version of the Purple Tomato lived 30% longer than those who didn't. Yeah mice.

The GMO Purple Tomato comes with some warnings including:
*No sales of fruit, seeds or plants are permitted in this agreement, including any derived varieties. Does this mean if they cross with other tomatoes in our garden that we can't collect the seeds or sell the resulting fruits down the road? Sounds like it. This is just one problem with patents and GMOs, and why we avoid them.



I choose the Traditional Purple Tomato:
As for me, I am going to eat more blueberries and blackberries, eggplant, purple cabbage and the heirloom Indigo Rose tomato.  I will NOT grow or eat the GMO Purple Tomato. I wonder if this new GMO tomato will cross-pollinate with heirloom tomatoes in home gardens? We hope not, but if you are saving seeds, don't grow the GMO Purple Tomato as it's possible it will cross.

Non-GMO Purple Tomato - Indigo Rose Seeds

Grow NON-GMO:

Buy Indigo Rose Tomato Seeds »

Back to blog
  • Why are mushrooms growing in my vegetable garden?

    Why are mushrooms growing in my vegetable garden?

    Why are there mushrooms growing in my pepper plant's soil? Do you have mushrooms growing in your pepper plant container or in the vegetable garden? If mushrooms are growing in...

    Why are mushrooms growing in my vegetable garden?

    Why are there mushrooms growing in my pepper plant's soil? Do you have mushrooms growing in your pepper plant container or in the vegetable garden? If mushrooms are growing in...

  • Simple Squash Blossom Recipe

    Simple Squash Blossom Recipe

        Do you have squash blossoms from your zucchini, squash or pumpkin plants? These beautiful large orange flowers are perfect for stuffing and pan-frying for a delicious summer treat....

    Simple Squash Blossom Recipe

        Do you have squash blossoms from your zucchini, squash or pumpkin plants? These beautiful large orange flowers are perfect for stuffing and pan-frying for a delicious summer treat....

  • Plant Vegetables in July!

    Plant Vegetables in July!

    Did you know that July is the PERFECT time to get things outside for the fall season for many growing regions? Sandia Seed is excited to share that we just...

    Plant Vegetables in July!

    Did you know that July is the PERFECT time to get things outside for the fall season for many growing regions? Sandia Seed is excited to share that we just...

1 of 3
Fastest Growing Peppers

Fastest Growing Peppers

These are the fastest growing peppers that you can grow from seeds... 

Discount Seeds: 50% Off Seeds + Free Shipping on US Orders over $30

50% OFF SEEDS

Check out our 50% off Seed Discount deals below.  These seeds rotate... 

Best Peppers for Containers

Best Peppers for Containers

If you want to grow peppers in containers, below are our top favorite...