The Kansas City Public Library is a great resource for information, but besides getting books and videos, you can also check out plant seeds at one branch. Courtney Lewis from the library joins Natalie Davis on KCTV5 News This Morning with more information about the free seed library
Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds illuminates what is at stake in the conflict between hybrid and open-pollinated seed systems. Providing the basis for everything from fabric to food to fuels, seeds are as essential to life as the air we breathe and the water we drink. In the past, seeds were communal - a shared resource not unlike the water we drink. A century ago things started to change. Now large corporations claim seeds as intellectual property, restricting their use and interfering with the livelihoods of open-pollination farmers. This documentary introduces a range of individuals whose lives center around seeds. Farmers, renegade gardeners, passionate seed savers, artists, and activists all work to plant the seeds of information and inspiration within this film.
According to some estimates, 95 percent of scientists conducting research in the field of genetic engineering are funded by agribusiness or related industries. What happens when researchers decide to work independently, steering clear of corporate influences? What are the consequences when scientific findings go against the interests of deep-pocket donors? This film profiles scientists who, based on rigorous investigation, have criticized the use of genetic modification and have been ostracized-some might say punished-for their conclusions. Viewers learn about the work of Dr. Ignacio Chapela, a Mexican biologist who faced a dubious public relations campaign against him and his Nature article on genetically modified maize, as well as the case of Dr. Arpad Pusztai, a Hungarian-born biochemist and nutritionist suspended from Scotland's Rowett Research Institute for public statements about genetically modified potatoes. Additionally, several other respected experts on GMO issues provide insite.
Called both a "Doomsday Vault" and a library of life, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a collection of the seeds of thousands of different plant species, held in frozen reserve against the eventuality of ecological disaster or other means of crop extinction. This program spotlights scientists who are working with the Svalbard team to preserve Earth's biodiversity, along with some potential recipients of that endeavor - Kenyan farmers affected by drought due to climate change. With sobering discussions about the potential impact of global warming on the world's food supply, Seed Warriors makes the point that taking action now is a wise safeguard against future food shortages.
In the U.S. in the 1800s, farmers were growing more than 7,000 named varieties of apples. Today, 6,800 of those varieties are extinct, never to be tasted again. The problem goes far beyond boredom with one's choice of apples in the supermarket. Losing biodiversity means there's a greater chance that staple crops now grown will be unable to stand up to climate change or new strains of disease in the future. In this TEDTalk agriculturalist Cary Fowler takes viewers inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to explain how the seeds stored there, collected from around the world, act as a safeguard against global famine.