Plants are a crucial part of the environment, but in many ways they’re frustratingly delicate. In the event of a major environmental or political crisis, they can’t exactly hop on a plane to get away from the trouble, so we’ve got to take care of them. Governments around the world have started to realize that there could be a potentially devastating loss of biodiversity (not to mention nourishing crops) if certain species of plants fell victim to some sort of extinction event.
This excerpt is from a Mental Floss article regarding the storage of plant seeds in enormous vaults. While the article is interesting, it neglects to mention the main reason we even need to take this precaution. That reason is us. Our destruction of natural land, forcing cultivation and growth of species that were never meant to thrive in certain areas, and one of the most subtle yet destructive processes of creating GMO foods.
If this topic interests you, please watch the documentary The Future of Food. Here is a 10 minute overview on Youtube. The film goes into great detail about how factory farming works, and the control that major corporations like Monsanto have over the way we eat. It also discusses genetically engineered foods and how they are invading native crops and decreasing biodiversity. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the less biodiversity we have, the more potential there is for, say, a particular fungus wiping out an entire variety of corn. If all corn was the same variety (which 70% of it is now) that would be a devastating loss.
I do think that a storage vault of native seeds is a great idea, but it doesn’t excuse mankind from destroying the plants we have now just because we have a backup. Since starting my education in holistic nutrition I am a firm supporter of farming smarter, not bigger.
The complete Future of Food documentary is available on Netflix.