Five Global Seed Banks That Are Protecting Biodiversity 2inShare Share By Victoria Russo Almost all food begins with a seed. Even when people eat meat or other animal products, those animals were most likely fed on grasses or grains that began as seeds. Seeds are the basis of plant life and growth, and without them, the world would go hungry. The world is home to hundreds of thousands of species of plants, and it requires a diverse variety of seeds to satisfy nutritional and environmental needs. The world requires a diverse variety of seeds to satisfy nutritional and environmental needs. 1. How many plant species can you think of? Millennium in Action The Royal Botanical Gardens has been collecting research on seed saving since 1898 and has had a formal seed bank for 40 years. 2. Since 1987, Vandana Shiva, who created Navdanya, has dedicated her life to protecting seed diversity. Navdanya in Action Since its creation, the Navdanya seed bank has conserved around 5,000 crop varieties, focusing largely on the preservation of grain species. 3. 4. 5.
First Solar-Powered Eco Pool in Morocco Uses Zero Chemicals A family near Essaouira, Morocco happily splash around in a natural pool with zero chemicals. A beautiful, luxurious swimming pool in Morocco that contains none of the nasty chemicals that irritate your eyes and cause respiratory problems has functioned perfectly well for over a year. A family living near Essaoiura on the country’s windy west coast (famous in parts for its murals) commissioned a natural, zero emissions eco-pool that blends in with the natural landscape. Despite critics who claim that it’s dangerous to have a swimming pool without chlorine, the “Schwimmteich” still looks great and allows the local fauna and flora to thrive as well. Nature’ kidneys Babeth and Guy from Morocco have a whitewashed stone house typical of the area as well as a generous garden. Eco-controversy Ecological pools that rely on nature to stay clean are considered quite controversial since they lack fast-acting chemicals that kill bacteria. More on wetland plants and natural pool in the Middle East:
Reinstating Local Food, Local Rules NOTE: This is a guest post from Siena Chrisman, Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Alliances at WhyHunger, with excerpts from Andrianna Natsoulas’ Food Voices. In the spring of 2010, WhyHunger began a partnership with Andrianna Natsoulas, longtime food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement. Food Voices captures the testimonies and images of farmers and fisherfolks across five countries who are fighting for a just, sustainable and sovereign food system; a food system that values quality over quantity, communities over individuals, and the environment over the corporate bottom-line. Andrianna talked to Maine farmer, and WhyHunger partner, Bob St. “For me,” Bob says, “food sovereignty means being able to farm and care for a piece of land in a way that I feel is appropriate, without having market forces dictate what or how I grow.
Implications of climate change for agricultural productivity in the early twenty-first century (a) Changes in mean climate The nature of agriculture and farming practices in any particular location are strongly influenced by the long-term mean climate state—the experience and infrastructure of local farming communities are generally appropriate to particular types of farming and to a particular group of crops which are known to be productive under the current climate. Changes in the mean climate away from current states may require adjustments to current practices in order to maintain productivity, and in some cases the optimum type of farming may change. Higher growing season temperatures can significantly impact agricultural productivity, farm incomes and food security (Battisti & Naylor 2009). In mid and high latitudes, the suitability and productivity of crops are projected to increase and extend northwards, especially for cereals and cool season seed crops (Maracchi et al. 2005; Tuck et al. 2006; Olesen et al. 2007). Figure 1. Table 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. (i) Extreme temperatures
One Weird Trick to Fix Farms Forever Photos by Tristan Spinski Chatting with David Brandt outside his barn on a sunny June morning, I wonder if he doesn't look too much like a farmer—what a casting director might call "too on the nose." He's a beefy man in bib overalls, a plaid shirt, and well-worn boots, with short, gray-streaked hair peeking out from a trucker hat over a round, unlined face ruddy from the sun. Brandt farms 1,200 acres in the central Ohio village of Carroll, pop. 524. This is the domain of industrial-scale agriculture—a vast expanse of corn and soybean fields broken up only by the sprawl creeping in from Columbus. Brandt, 66, raised his kids on this farm after taking it over from his grandfather. "Our cover crops work together like a community—you have several people helping instead of one, and if one slows down, the others kind of pick it up," he says. But Brandt's not trying to go organic—he prefers the flexibility of being able to use conventional inputs in a pinch. Tristan Spinski
La Via Campesina : International Peasant Movement IFT.org Organic Value Recovery Solutions Homepage I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Community, Food and Agriculture (45% of my appointment). My research focuses on the “food system” (55% of my appointment). The food system involves all of the steps required to produce food and get it to our plates–from farming and processing to distribution and consumption. My work is unified by three main questions, (1) what changes are occurring? These questions drive two main projects, (1) characterizing consolidation in food and beverage industries, and (2) bridging information gaps between producers and consumers through ecolabels. Please note: the book/film database is not always viewable in Firefox or Chrome. Recent Information Graphics Organic Processing Industry Structure, February 2014Global Seed Industry Structure, 1996 to 2013Concentration in the U.S. Getter, Kristin L., Bridget K. Student Publications Herrnstadt, Zachary B. 2014. Philip H.
5 Reasons Why Butter is a Superfood I ate a quarter pound of butter today. Yep, that is one whole stick. If you want to know how that is possible, let me explain: 2 tbs. mixed into half a batch of Paleo Cornbread Muffins2 tbs. slathered on top of said muffins2 tbs. stirred into warm butternut squash pureé2 tbs. tossed with steamed carrots, salt, and chopped fresh thyme You may be holding back a gag reflex after reading that. I eat butter because I am on a mission to heal my body. 1. Yep, butter is the highest dietary source of this powerhouse fatty acid. What is so great about CLA? In a number of studies, conjugated linoleic acid, at near-physiological concentrations, inhibited mammary tumorigenesis independently of the amount and type of fat in the diet. Additionally, this fatty acid has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer (1, 2). One study done with rats shows why butter is so important for children to eat! 2. Butter contains 4% butyric acid, an anti-carcinogenic short-chain fatty acid. 3. 4. 5.