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Creating Waves of Awareness

Plant and Seed Diversity is Key To Survival of the Planet


Dr Vandana Shiva will blow you away with her message and eloquence.  A prominent environmental, social justice and anti-GM activist, she received the Sydney Peace Prize in 2010 and was named by Guardian UK in March 2011 as one of the top 100 women in the world.

Dr Vandana Shiva founded the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm and Bija Vidyapeeth in 1987 and explains in simple terms that ecological farming is pro-peace, pro- biodiversity, pro-culture and pro-livelihood for the poor. All good things and profitable for the earth and business. 

 

How can we get her message out to an even wider audience? We must shift thinking about mass production, change the old saw of better living through chemistry and realize the negative impacts of insecticides and pesticides. 

  • The studies keep piling up to implicate the mass use of chemicals and genetically modified plants



 

Vandana Shiva Granmother's University in Dehradun, India

She calls her institute "Nine Seeds" and "The New Gift" which began in 1987. Vandana has saved at least 1500 varieties of seeds so far and grows them in-situ so they adapt to the changing environment. She developed her community village among the eucalyptus desert to make it bloom, now a biodiverse sanctuary.

You might say part of her watch word consists of training and research. The facts back up her statement that, "Ecological systems can produce 2-5 times more produce than industrial monocultures." Even in her anger and desperation, Vandana speaks calmly and with statistics to back up her belief system.

Death and Sterility
GMO and genetic engineering will cause only sterility and death. Pooling together the resources of Grandmother's University, the elders link the past to the future. Every grandmothers generation transmits to the next generation their motherly wisdom.

The Invasion of Her Country

Her heart has been broken by the cultural invasion of industrialized, mechanized society of our fast food nation.

She demonstrates how training can change how people think about farming, sustainability, diversity and the world. Her main project of saving seeds comes from the hazard of GM and the wake of seed destruction. She talks about India, the land of cotton, where Gandhi spun these fibers from variety and diversity. Whereas, now the cotton is all BT Monsanto cotton, a great loss of culture.

The Seed Holds The Memory

Just as the acorn holds the memory how to grow into a mighty oak tree, so too, the ancient forms that developed over millennium hold DNA story to live in harmony within the land. With the loss of the seed's memory, the cultural memory and the farmer's livelihood, they have lost all hope and have been committing suicides at alarming rates. The BT crop devastates nature and her message to defend life, to defend the future, to defend the cultural heritage that lies dormant in the seed, but which has been destroyed through genetic engineering.

  • Peepli Live was shown at our local Galaxy theater in 2010 which tells the story of subsistence farmers in India and how they have no way out of debt but suicide. Faced with crops failing because of a lack of rain, farmers in India have been committing suicide because they're unable to pay back the loans to local money lenders. Indian farmers are still living in abject poverty, despite the progress the country is making in areas such as outsourcing, technology, infrastructure and biotechnology.



Talk of War

The work of this village is not a war, says Vandana, but farmer friendly. Ecological organic farming working with the laws of nature to recycle and uphold biodiversity means working with nature.

The attack and war on the people comes from Monsanto selling GM seeds to these migrant workers and farmers from which they cannot sustain their livelihoods. Instead, they become slaves to the manufacturing industry. An ecological farm means working WITH the earth, which provides new seeds year after year.

Taste the Difference

The produce harvested on the bio-diverse farm benefits the consumer. You can taste the real live produce. Asked about the food crisis, Vandana explains that GM changes the gene to produce toxins. They cannot yield the natural benefits of drought resistance that weathers the change in seasons year after year.  The researchers cannot relocate the complexity of the genetic complex of seeds.

The Big Lie

The promise to produce more food is a lie. Natural varieties out compete the GM variety and they live within the diversity of the land. She continues to describe these CRUDE mechanisms that mankind calls, "scientific advances" with promises to the people. Unfortunately, the actual result of these technologies shows profit for the manufacturers by enslaving the farmers forever. In the same way as Americans have become enslaved by the banks with credit card debt.


The Suicide Belt
Genetic engineering has produced two applications, 1) herbicide resistant and 2) BT to produce pesticides within he plant, which has resulted in super weeds. In the same way we find MRSA antibiotic resistance within the bacterial and viral world. Nature has the upper hand in producing and mutating its own diversity. Our meager attempts at engineering broad spectrum antibiotics, pesticides, insecticides and sprays cannot win this war. We must learn to live in harmony with nature using natural immunity and natural biodiversity. Our ancestors had the wisdom.  Millions of acres in the US have been destroyed and now we live in a cycle of dependency. In India, the boll worm has become resistant and new pests and diseases have cropped up.

Ecological Farming
The interviewer wants to learn about progress of third world countries. How much you sell and buy determines the economy. How can a country contribute to feeding the poverty stricken? During this period in India's history of high growth, we also see mass hunger, land and home displacement, loss of culture, poverty and misery. All the concentration of wealth has risen to a small percentage of people at the top. She calls them "robbers of the public wealth" making profits off the people. Does this sound like a familiar story? She explains this economy of theft and privatization of public growth.



Biodiversity Makes A Healthy Economy
This is her message. How to feed the people? Everyone talks about #OWS Occupy Wall Street both in America and in India. Who takes the land? The bankers. The industry. We need more people on the land. Return to an agricultural society. Become a small local village, just like Pat's vision of InSide919, where Vindana says an economic resurgence will become the source.

You can tell when listening to her speak that she has a vision in her head. You can imagine the land development and agricultural design. Cities supplies should comes from localized food systems. Urban gardens are the solution.

Climate Change
How does climate change come into the picture. With a smile, Vandana says every time we have a crisis that becomes the reason for the development of GM crops and seeds. Whether industry says it will save the hungry, protect from pests or disease, or some other reason, they keep changing with the times to rationalize and make the people believe what their story. GMO is the reason and excuse. Stealing seeds off the farmers. She tells everyone to, "Get a climate resilient seed" and she means a natural culturally diverse seed.

What About Biofuel?

They took the harvest of the farmers and redirected it toward bio-fuel, which caused more hunger in the world. We messed up the climate and now start artificial volcanoes and make a problem with the sun reflecting back energy to the earth. Irresponsible actions of greedy humans.

The Three Pillars of Society
She states the three pillars of society include: government and the state, business and industry, and the citizens. What has happened? Corporations and the state have merged to become a corporate/state. Civil society now has to deal with corporation and the state. Democracy no longer acts in the interest of the people, but has merged and now people are indebted or indentured to the corporations as well as government. Only vigilant, active, civil society can retain and their freedoms.



Heat In The Middle East
No subject is off limits to ask this wise woman. She touches upon the Libyan rebellion, the nuclear meltdown in Japan, and world events which show we live in highly destructive times. This shaman and intuitive believes in the will of people and the power of their desire to fight for freedom and happiness.


 

BBC News | The world wakes up to the need for another way to produce enough food to feed the populations around the world. To quote from this article, "Farming must intensify sustainably, cut waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farms . . ."  The evidence and final report delivered at the Planet Under Pressure conference concludes that production must increase. Farmers and consumers must scrutinize the most sustainable methods locally and regionally in all countries, that will not cause detriment to land, soil, air quality and to human health. We must also look at the humane treatment of those animals that give their lives sacrificially to become food. 

  • "The Planet Under Pressure conference is a four-day gathering of academics, campaigners and business people in London designed to inform policy-making in the run-up to the Rio+20 summit in Brazil in June."

 

Not surprisingly, after a year of investigation the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change tells us that farming practices like clear cutting contribute to about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming. Farmers need to be educated about no-till techniques, diversity, inter-planting, companion planting and local irrigation.

 

A major issue of hunger in the world has reached heights as the population increases and in 2009 a record one billion suffered malnutrition. With the number of people out of work in America, hunger has touched our continent.

  • North Carolina listed ranks 15.7% ~ One of the 9 states exhibiting statistically significant higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average 2008-2010, while food insecurity exists in every US county.

  • Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC | Food Banks have greater need than ever. Established in 1980, the Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties for 30 years. You can find local branches, volunteer efforts and event listings on the website.

 

The Bees Are The Canaries In The Coal Mine | Insecticides may be cause for Bee Colony Collapse. If you have not been keeping up with the plight of the bees, then I hope this news will alert you to the necessity of paying attention to their fragile existence. Organic farmers have known the risks of pesticide and insecticide use for decades. Finally, heads now nod in agreement that harmful chemicals may be the root cause of bee collapse. These mighty insects help provide the food for our world as pollinators. North Carolina, as a honey-producing state and with the NCSU agriculture and entomology departments lead the country in research.

  • We must save the bees. What bees do to their hives to preserve their species. What pesticide do to reduce mosquito population. How West Nile Virus affect bee populations.

 

Want to know another major way to feed the world? Don't waste food. I would love to hear your stories of how you save food and don't waste. The same environmental friendly principle you use for "Reduce-Reuse-Recycle" for energy consumption may be used for our food supplies.

 

 

Maybe we don't feel the crisis at home, but we must be cognizant of the world crisis.

  • AFOP | The Association of Farm-worker Opportunity Programs | North Carolina state has representation in this national nonprofit organization consisting of public agencies that serve eligible migrant and seasonal farm workers under the National Farm-worker Jobs Program, a national job-training program authorized at Section 167 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Did you know that migrant farm workers in NC make around $6,500, on average, each year?

    As climate changes, low crop yield, loss of crops from natural disasters, pests, floods, drought, etc. can cause a decrease in their annual income, leading to a food crisis for migrant farm workers and their families.

 

 

Homeopathy for Farm and Garden

If you are serious about organic gardening and wish to use agro-homeopathic energy remedies to deal with pests and disease in your home garden, a complete guide by Kaviraj, U.K. homeopathy expert has recently been published.

 

 Series of BlogTalkRadio shows with Kaviraj and learned a great deal about using homeopathic remedies to boost the health of plants from seeds to fruiting

 

 

 

2013 Food Revolution Summit and Vandana Shiva 

Empowering women could reduce world hunger I don't agree with everything that is written, but interesting idea. 

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Replies to This Discussion

Update on Vandana Shiva's Freedom Fighting Advocacy Work

Indian physicist and philosopher, activist and ecofeminist pioneer Vandana Shiva talks with Truthout in Hawaii about GMO, the militarization of agriculture, the politics of occupation and the primacy of biodiversity. 

GMOs, Shiva says, destroy the natural web of life, threaten biodiversity and the environment, and are a scourge for human health and society. 

We were repeatedly told diversity is a luxury - industrial monoculture, chemically fed and now genetically modified - is the way we get our food. Nothing could be a bigger lie. When food becomes a commodity, it goes where profits can be made, and if there are more profits in biofuel, that's where it will go. If there are more profits in animal feed, that's where it will go. So we have to reclaim our sources of food and our sources of food are biodiversity. The work I've done over the last 25 years with protecting biodiversity shows that the more intensive the biodiversity, the more food you’ll have and the less you have to hurt the earth.

 There are no wars between the domesticated biodiversity and a wild biodiversity. If I grow a native plant as my food, I am encouraging native species to weave the web of life. There are that many butterflies; there are that many bees. There is that much more pollen available. And we’ve done studies that show that native rices support so many more species than the chemically-fed rice, where all soil organisms, all pollinators, all beneficial insects are killed.

 Those chemicals that were designed to kill human beings and are designed to kill certain pests end up killing beneficial insects, destroying the web of pest-predator balances which then creates more insect pest attacks. You spray more; you get emergence of resistance, and you are on a chemical treadmill.

 The harm of pesticides doesn't stay on farms alone. The highest ocean pollution is coming from fertilizer runoff creating dead zones. All of those pesticides being sprayed on the seed farms of Monsanto and Syngenta and BASF are running down and killing the fish life because nature is integrated at every level - plant, insect, soils, marine.

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