A friend passed along a must-read article from the National Geographic about the importance and the implications of protecting different varieties of seed. It’s troubling – to say the least – to think that varieties of heirloom vegetables and grain are heading for extinction. This is one of the outcomes of modern commercial farming. Agribusiness relies heavily on growing crops that can withstand just about anything, and that will yield the most output. It’s business, right?
They consistently have to bring bushels and bushels of crop to market, and so they are using the best of science and technology to take some of the risks out of farming. This means genetically altering seed to make them resistant to drought, insects, and other environmental hazards. It means genetically splicing the most robust, highest producing seeds until we are left with the superman of all seeds. What’s wrong with efficiency and effectiveness in the name of growing business? (more…)