Jim Richardson was rather short on the causes of the destruction of cultivated biodiversity. He named industrial farming as the main culprit. He called the meat packing industry a “dis-assembly line”, where only very few breeds meet the “specs” required for “processing” (including bone length and thickness). He also had surprisingly little to say on the impact of the biotech industry and genetically-modified seeds on the narrowing of the gene-pool of crops as GM crops are taking over food production around the world.
His message was important and powerful, nevertheless, and I’m happy to share it here. “You want to save seeds? Grow them out!” Cultivating some long-forgotten variety of potato, tomato or even cabbage in your garden is “one of the best examples of community citizen-participation,” he said. When it comes to long-term food security, “it’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about not throwing away the wheel.”
Hard to argue with that… So as winter is winding down, and if you’re one of the lucky ones with access to a plot of land (no matter how small), connect with an heirloom seeds network (some leads here), let yourself be inspired by the glorious pictures and unfamiliar names, and plant yourself some vegetables that neither you, your children, your neighbors nor your friends, have never seen, let alone ever tasted, before. Yours will be a true contribution to mankind.