Seeds and other such things

I’m reading a very cheerful book at the moment about the industrialisation of our worldwide food industry, particularly intensive meat farming. It’s telling me things I kind of already know and suspect you do to about the damage this intensive farming is doing on all levels. From the people who work in these intensive systems, to the environments affected by the waste these systems produce, to the animals themselves and finally to us as the consumers. Very few people win in such systems.

I also kind of know about seeds and the fight to keep them free. This book mentions it in passing and it reminds me of the importance of saving seeds. Of sharing seeds. Of buying heirloom seeds and keeping these plants alive. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, have a quick look here: http://navdanya.org/news/240-dr-vandana-shiva-calls-on-you-to-respond-to-the-seed-emergency–join-us-for-the-movement-for-seed-freedom

But this book also mentions the ownership of semen. Not something I’d ever thought about. Something I’m kind of hesitant to write on my blog for fear of what spam it will bring me. But something my mind returns to. Who owns the genetic material of our farm animals? I couldn’t find a good link, but I think we can all be fairly certain that this material is becoming as restricted as other mainstream food items are.

So what can we do? Urban dwellers are not farmers. We can’t put a rare breed cow in our backyards, as much as we may like to.

So it comes down to our purchasing power. Think about what you are buying and where it is coming from. If you aren’t sure ask questions. And be prepared to pay a little more for food that is ethically produced.

It comes down to communication. I’m telling you. If you read this and think it’s worth thinking about, maybe you’ll tell someone else. Maybe you’ll spend a little time googling and find more information you’d like to share.

It comes down to doing what you can. So you can’t have a cow. Maybe you can’t even fit in a chicken. But everyone can grow something somewhere. And when you do, choose a plant that will produce seed. Let the plant produce seed. Learn how to save it. Share it. Grow it again. The bees will enjoy the flowers, and you probably will too.

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