Glenn Beck advertiser sells "survival seeds" for apocalyptic agriculture


The Survival Seed Bank is advertising on Glenn Beck's television show. They offer "survival seeds" for growing your own "crisis garden" amid "emerging totalitarianism."

As Media Matters points out, the brand identity meshes well with the host's apocalyptic visions of the future. "More valuable than silver or gold in a real meltdown," the website reads.

They may quote WorldNetDaily as a news source, fine, but I really like the sound of the heirloom varieties they offer: Jacob's Cattle Bean, Yellow Dent Corn, and non-hybrid varieties of tomato and leafy greens. I'd eat that!

"You'll have confidence knowing that you and your family will be able to eat if the Insiders trigger some huge meltdown," reads the promotional copy. Perhaps (and who are these "Insiders?"), but I'm not convinced $149 is such a great deal for a couple dozen packets of seeds and a little plant food, even if it's enough for "a full acre Crisis Garden." But hey, when the jackbooted Obama-thugs destroy all the grocery stores with their black helicopters, it does look like we may be going extreme vegan locavore for a while.

Make sure to listen to the audio testimonials from happy customers. (via Baratunde)



  1. Fear sells. And Monsanto aims to “own the rights on” and sell non-self-reproducible forms of every possible crop known to humanity.

    $149 is worth it. Look at that child!

  2. Funny how their promo copy says “Remember, non-hybrid seeds can be grown practically anywhere and have the ability to assimilate mineral and trace elements from the soil that man made plants just don’t seem to have. That’s because they were created by God as we read in Genesis” — when what they’re selling are varieties developed by farmers over the years. God didn’t make cabbage, people did.

    1. Agreed.
      Here’s “yellow dent corn”

      Corn likely evolved kind of quickly a couple thousand years ago, according to the “catastrophic sexual transmutation theory”. Worth a google. I just like saying “catastrophic sexual transmutation theory”.

      The Jacob’s Cattle bean is supposed to have been used by native Americans. Which I guess if you’re Mormon and believe they’re the lost ten tribes explains how it got from the garden of eden to the US.

      Though the more money Beck’s followers overspend on seeds, the less they’ll have for flamethrowers and fertilizer bombs, so this is likely a positive trend.

      1. Snig, I can totally imagine a horrifying anime series built around the notion of “catastrophic sexual transmutation”. I’m not sure I’d want to watch it, but I can imagine it.

        1. I always figured there’s a punk band with a botantist out there somewhere that used the name.

      2. Having rtfa, they do accurately source where the seeds were developed, but then state they were created by God. I don’t think they really know what hybrid means. The paranoia is quite bizarre, especially as the Obamas had a victory garden grown at the White House featuring heirloom varieties as an example to the nation.

        1. Don’t be ridiculous–everyone knows that the Obamas only grow arugula, white wine, and hybrid cars.

  3. Wow, this could be a great merged marketing opportunity for the NRA! You know you will want to protect those valuable (pricey) seeds/plants once the great social demise is underway!

    Better stock up on some crisis soil builder while yer at it…

  4. I guess that if Glenn Beck sells enough packets of seeds, he will earn a bicycle or a catcher’s mitt. (Or maybe a free week of rehab?)

  5. So Glenn Beck is now hawking magic beans to the people?

    I think this story ends with an angry giant waking up. And a golden goose. And other trite metaphors.

    Seriously, the notion of the panicked residents of, as Roger Ebert perfectly coined it, Beckistan, digging up their chemically leached suburban backyards when “THE HOUR” strikes and trying to grow enough corn to keep the family fed is…sad.

  6. “What will your family eat when the grocery store shelves are empty?” Duh! This is America, no one is going to WAIT for vegetables to grow. Look, we’re about the laziest, most impatient culture on Earth, let’s just all plan on foraging for canned goods for a few weeks and then skip straight to the cannibalism, okay?

    1. I’m with toolbag (#8). My answer is “the weak and the slow.”
      PREDICTION: Zombies of the apocalypse won’t be The Crazies, they’ll be The Hungries!

      A wise man once said:
      “right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
      Chew the meat and hold it down,
      It’s a tale they won’t believe,
      When I get down to Hobart town.”

  7. Wow, they are shipped in a canister which “…Can Be Buried To Avoid Confiscation.”

    Maybe better termed “apoplectic agriculture”.

  8. Seeds? Gardens? I thought we’d be moving straight back to hunter-gatherer societies. I would think field guides to edible plants and animals would be even more valuable than some piddly can of seeds. Besides, cultivating a plot requires you to be stationary. That makes it easier for the death panels to find you.

  9. Yes. Nothing will protect your family during “End of Days” but a fucking produce section, in your front yard, like a giant neon sign saying “KILL US WE HAVE FOOD”.

  10. I can say this, the company seems to know their target market. According to this picture towards the bottom of the page, you don’t even have to be able to cipher those infernal squigglies to know that here you’re planting the Blessed lettuce patch, and over there you are planting the Baby Jesus peas. That’s some fine market research if you ask me!

  11. I thought the point was more to give the little ‘uns some marketable skills, like subsistence farming, that they can take to the relocation camp shantytown bantustan that looms large in all of our futures….

    Imagine the kid in the photo chirruping, “These cabbages were watered with my family’s blood and tears! Precious…. and delicious!” You get the idea….

  12. I bet Beck’s listeners will be disappointed that the collection doesn’t include seeds for Tater Tots, Hot Pockets and Little Debbie Zebra Cakes.

  13. I’d be surprised if 1% of the people who jump on this bandwagon have the knowledge, ability, or stamina to work a 1 acre garden! Or to figure out how to make it produce year-round to feed the family. I’ve spent years perfecting my technique, and I still can’t provide for the two of us year-round without outside sources. This is only going to appeal to people who are worried about the future, yet have no idea how hard it really is to farm their own food!

  14. Unless your compound vacation retreat is far from civilization, it might be awhile before a person could easily wander around their fields tending a garden.

    Although they are good at cultivating plots covered with plenty of manure..

  15. What will your family eat when grocery store shelves are empty?

    My family is preparing for a different kind of meltdown. We’ll be eating the rich.

  16. Ah, Threads. You’ll always be relevant.

    BTW, I met a man who had his own little 3-acre compound with plenty of seeds and beehives to keep himself alive after the Year 2000 collapse of society. He’s keeping up his stockpile and land in case Obama does something crafty.

  17. oh my goodness. I have grown almost all of those varieties. They are about the most common heirlooms you can get, and nothing spectacular, available from Fedco Seeds for under $25 total. And I can say, having grown and personally tested 10 different varieties of dried beans that Jacob’s Cattle are the gassiest beans ever. Is that a maybe good defense against invading zombies? Rosa Bianca eggplant are very tasty, but about the worst producers unless conditions are perfect. Same with Pink Banana Squash. Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage is actually spectacular. Costs about $2.50 for 300 seeds.

  18. I dunno what the deal is yes they have marketed to a particular segment, but lets see here, MORE PEOPLE GARDENING and MORE PEOPLE INTERESTED IN HOME AGRICULTURE and these are people who will tend towards organic farming due to the whole anti big business and fertilizers are bad pesticides are killing our children types. So MORE ORGANIC FOOD CONSUMPTION.

    This is almost a liberal’s dream, I don’t see the problem here. Their why’s and wherefores are pretty odd, but the results are ones I and many here would encourage.

    1. anonymous, they’re supposed to sit on the seeds until the apocalypse hits, not plant them right now.

      No matter how well you store onions seeds, they lose almost 75 percent germination after a year. It’s just the way onions seeds are. Storing up to 20 years at 70 degrees is what the site recommends. And there’s dessicant inside the vaccuum packages. The problem with that is seeds do have a little moisture inside them – it’s part of what keeps the seed alive. If the seed dries out 100 percent, it will never germinate. It’s no longer alive.

      And..and..and…i keep thinking of things that don’t make ANY sense with this. Like why are there NO root crops in the mix? It’s all stuff you have to eat fresh, like lettuce and tomatoes. Why on earth wouldn’t you want to grow stuff that keeps forever, like parsnips and carrots?
      Cylindra beets are yucky.

  19. I wonder if he’ll go the Art Bell route and start shilling for mail order canned food.

  20. That’s pretty neat. Get people to spend $150 on seeds, then bury them in the one way that they can’t possibly grow. And from a quick scan there, there’s a good bunch of those varieties that aren’t going to work where I live. (corn, eggplant and peppers to name a few).

    If you’re really worried about it, you’ve got to be living it now. You need to be planting now (or in a few weeks). You need the experience of doing it successfully a few times before you really need to. The only place to have seeds is in the ground and _growing_. If the %^#$ hits the fan, your garden needs to be producing, or you need to have the harvest stored and ready for eating. Your stomach isn’t going to wait the months for those things to produce.

  21. This is almost a liberal’s dream, I don’t see the problem here. Their why’s and wherefores are pretty odd, but the results are ones I and many here would encourage.

    Part of me wonders if this is the reverse of the Whole Foods scam – instead of a conservative bastard bilking suburban liberals by selling overpriced food, this could be some liberal bastard selling overpriced food to suburban conservatives. Stranger things have happened.

  22. What’s more valuable than gold is having the land, dependable water source for irrigation and the knowledge gained by actually growing stuff. If you aren’t gardening already, taking an unknown quantity of untried seed varieties and sticking them in the soil during a time of disaster is just a recipe for starvation. But then you already have your guns so you can go rob your neighbors and turn them into your serf laborers.

    Damn Suckvivalists, sigh, the economy has probably recovered enough for the next crop of blighters to move into our area and try to impress us on the fact they’re the chosen few to survive impending disaster. Takes about five years to bankrupt ’em so they move elsewhere.

  23. Xeni, would you rather have Monsanto own 95% or more of the world’s seeds/ patents?


  24. Also, isn’t yellow dent corn so called “field corn” generally considered unfit for human consumption? Of course it is edible, but it’s nothing like sweet corn. More suitable for cornmeal than anything else. I could be wrong.

    HEY! I think I should sell a grindstone for your Christ Corn on Beck’s show. Only $1400.00 plus shipping and handling. I’ll make a mint, then sell the gold from my mint on Glenn Beck’s program. Sheer genius I tells ya!

    1. Eh, I dunno about yellow dent in particular, but field corn is in fact edible fresh (though not as tasty as sweet corn), plus it’s able to be dried and ground for cornmeal, etc. Sweet corn varieties, however, are not terribly useful beyond fresh eating, unless you can or freeze them (quite easily done of course).

      1. It tastes pretty good when it’s immature, but as I recall from my childhood, it tastes horrid when mature.

  25. Highly doubtful a totalitarian regime would allow people to grow their own food as that means people won’t be forced to be dependent upon the guvmint in order to survive. If you want to live and get your daily ration of gruel then you will march in step with the fascists.


    1. I saw it but was elbow deep in a spammer nest. Funnily enough, you can’t always tell whether they catch seed or pitch seeds.

    2. I’m late to the party, but I was going to reply along the lines of “You pegged Glenn Beck? That’s epic.”

  26. Why do I love that they’re keeping their website old school, with the whole narrow page, long ass scroll design. Somehow the fact that online ordering is the third option listed after ordering by phone and snail mail kind of completes the whole theme.

    1. Um, the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ seed banks there link to what I am fairly sure is the same company. I think you’ve been had.

  27. Damn! And I just began exposing myself to a fictional version of this kind of horror through reading The Windup Girl, written by some (supposedly) liberal-leaning author (don’t know for sure, exactly).

    Who owns the heirloom seed argument, anyway? It’s one of those issues that straddles ideological groups.

    “Wait — we agree with one another? Alright, one of us will have to change our minds and oppose this stuff. Who’s it gonna be?”

  28. I thought we were going to just eat each other when the end-times come.

    (*checks his copy of “The Road” again*)

    Yup, nothing about seeds in there.

  29. Mental Note: Inmediately after my ascent to absolute power, raid his database for well fed food rebels. Yum!

  30. What is really funny is how slow you guys are to get this ‘news’. This seed company has been advertising on the radio for two years now. Here is some other breaking news: Glenn has advertised for a Food ‘insurance’ company (they sell large quantities of food), he has advertised mail order flowers, adjustable beds, online computer backup services, gold sellers.

    Yeah, it can all sound crazy, but you have to understand the Mormon mindset promotes not only being able to provide for your family, but for others as well (as a form of outreach).

    Is this attempt at self sufficency a bad thing? My family got ready for Y2K. We ended up with a lot of extra food and water, learned some gardening techniques, and overall trimmed down our need for outside help. We’re not totally self sufficent, but I think that we are better prepared if something does happen. We’ve had several power outages due to ice storms that we have not had to “OMG RUN TO THE STORE RIGHT NOW!”

    Yeah, the seed company is using fear to sell their product, but government has been doing that regarding every bill coming down the pike for the last 3 dozen years.

  31. Can’t recommend them enough.

    Stephan Jones@18 pretty much nails it. There is no way the intellectually lazy GB follower has the patience, knowledge, or attention span necessary to grow their own food.

    Here’s my question: Why are so many Jeebus believers preparing for post-apocalyptic survival? Why plan a garden for 2013 if you’re sure you’ll already be in your blessed afterlife?

    1. ’cause not everyone believes in the God Almighty Hoovering of the rapture. Some are more realistic in figuring they’re gonna have to tough it out like all other natural disasters that befall earth dwellers. The God Almighty Hoovering is a rather late blooming belief among the born again set that also bought heavily into Prosperity Gospel. They’re the privileged, so they don’t have to sweat it out like the rest of us.

  32. Depending on a garden full of food, if a totally inexperienced person ever gets this from their can of seeds, in an ocean of hungry people in a nation that averages 2.2 guns per person never made much sense to me.

    Learning how to teach an entire community to grow some food and save the seeds does make sense. It is called food security.

    You can find seed saving and growing information on the website of this 20 year-old non-profit:

    1. Food is a recurring cost. I started growing espaliered dwarf fruit trees five years ago, and have been expanding my food production annually. I also have helped to establish a gardening program at our local Middle School, as well as helping several neighbors establish gardens. The price of oil will only go up from this point forward, so it would benefit everyone to think more about the food we eat and it’s source. I believe within the next decade, organic food will be cheaper that Big Agra food. The lack of FDA inspectors is a large part of why we have these huge food recalls along with a mass distribution model which is unsustainable. We need to get serious about decentralizing food and energy production. You don’t have to do everything at once, start by planting a favorite fruit tree that will grow in your area. Grow a couple of tomato plants, or some salad greens. You can add foods to grow as you become more familiar with the process. Just start with foods you like that will grow in your area. Survival seeds don’t come with the knowledge and experience to grow straight from the box. They also are not necessarily the varieties that you like to eat, or will grow in you climate or soil conditions. My recommended seed source is

  33. Foods shortages are nothing new in financial crisis, but an inevitable outcome from price controls. Last time dollar was heavily inflated in 70’s, Nixon ordered price controls for years, resulting lines and shortages for gasoline, food items and even for toiletpaper. Before that in the 1933, FDR made shortage by ordering millions of acers of crops to be destroyed and millions of livestock to be butchered, because shortage was hoped to prevent prices from falling. Of course this only expanded the depression.

    US has no way of paying it’s debt, it can only try to inflate dollar even further in vain. I doubt Obama will rise taxes and cut spending. The industrialized agriculture is also dependent of the price and availability of energy, mainly oil and fertilizers, that seeing falling production and growing demand from Asia, pushing price in dollars even higher. There is no reason to think Obama wouldn’t try to prevent rising prices by price controls. As I understand, Obama is already trying to control prices of the medical insurance. It’s not a big step to control food, when the bubble finally bursts.

    Of course Beck or Survival Seeds are propably not the best sources for help in this situation, but I suggest those of middle and low income to think about how much they really need to consume, and could they be more selfreliant.

  34. Post-apocalyptic gardens are appealing for the same reason post-apocalyptic armories are: they give us the feeling that we could “go it alone”, being independent and self-sufficient when the rest of the world collapses into chaos.

    And they’re both lies for the same reason: we depend on our community not to kill us, and no amount of self-sufficiency can save us from a community that wants to kill us. Neither bullets and diesel nor hippy gardens and herbal medicine can keep a family alive in the face of large organized groups of people bent on murder, taking your shit, or doing anything else that makes survival impossible.

    Once the society you live in includes an organized group that wants to kill you (be it government, religious, tribal, military, or a good old fashioned mob), and there’s no stronger group organized to suppress it, the game is already lost.

    1. It all depends on the nature of the apocalypse. Wing-nuts tend to have weird ideas, no surprise there.

      “Apocalyptic” scenarios that have any realistic chance of happening would I think look more like the 1930’s – lots of unemployment, lots of people who can’t afford food or rent, poor communities banding together, and relatively few henchmen in opaque facemasks who are uniformly lousy shots with their blasters…

  35. In general, I think religious nuts are better off hoarding seeds, than machetting neighborous.

  36. I truly appreciate the commenters that want to point out what a bad deal this is for Beck’s viewers.

    But some people are laughing at individuals that are purchasing this service, as if being prepared for emergencies (supposing that’s what this service does) is really that bad of an idea.

    I think I remember some fable, about an ant that prepares for the coming winter vs. a grasshopper that laughs at the ant for doing so. And I think I recall what happened to the grasshopper in the end…

    If this company is a waste of money, please work to convince your fellow man to avoid the waste, rather than insult them for their desire to be prepared.

    1. To take the analogy a little bit further, since I’ve seen too many survivalists come and go in our little piece of Dog’s country.

      The ants work hard at preparing for the coming winter, like they always have…

      And then comes in the Grasshopper with a bunch of money, buys himself a plot of land and brags how he has all these seeds in jars that can be planted in case of unnatural disaster while he sits back and defends his plot with his guns. Course, he never bothers dirtying his hands with planting those seeds and actually learning how to grow stuff. After while his money kind of peters out and he leaves. And still sitting on the shelves are those poor little jars of “Survival Seeds”, dried up and impotent.

      Meanwhile the ants who were gardening before, are still gardening and growing their food, are shuddering against the day when the next Grasshopper comes along bragging about his “Survival Seeds”, his guns and how the next unnatural disaster is gonna wipe out all but the selected few who are determined to “Survive”…

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