April 14, 2017

Save seeds!

The Story of Seeds: From Mendel's Garden to Your Plate, and How There's More of Less to Eat Around the World
by Nancy F. Castaldo

When seeds disappear, they’re gone for good. This spells trouble for our food supply. Out of thousands of plants species, only about 150 are grown for sale, while half our calories come from just three: rice, wheat, and maize. This lack of diversity makes plants vulnerable to disease, climate change, and habitat loss.

Fortunately, there are people all over the world who are trying to protect seeds. You will meet many of them in this book, including a heroic group of Russian scientists who saved important seeds during World War II. Even though they were starving, not one of them ate any seeds. Many of them died.

The perils of GMO seeds are discussed as well, and it has nothing to do with whether they’re safe to eat. As farmers in India have discovered, GMO seeds are very expensive, often require more fertilizers and pesticides, and result in lower yields. This leaves farmers so heavily in debt that they’re often driven to suicide.

A sobering book, it will open your eyes to the importance of plant diversity and why this crisis cannot be ignored.  A call to action, Castaldo’s book should be on every student’s reading list.

Highly recommended.

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