Donâ€™t call yourself a gourmet if you do not know how your food is produced. Being a gourmet is not about enjoying haute cuisine and mastering the art of preparing elaborate snobbish food, but most importantly it is about understanding the process of food production and consuming it in a sustainable and responsible way. And no, I am not claiming that I am a model-citizen, I am so far from that. I still have to learn a LOT.
Okay, you might say, bla bla bla, stop with the preaching. But the establishment of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault or commonly referred as the Doom’s Day Vault which had just opened its door in late February is a hard proof that there is a significant and alarming problem behind the world food production. The vault that was largely financed by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, World Bank and a number of developed countries is safekeeping a large number of indigenous seeds from all over the world for future use. Located in the arctic pole, it is a kind of giant food freezer that would ensure the future of mankind.
Ok, what is the fuzz about it? A significant number of indigenous food-crop seeds varieties have disappeared permanently from the surface of the earth. The global food-crop production has increasingly been favouring the hybrid seeds. This genetically modified seeds do not only yield sooner, it is also more resistant to insects than the indigenous varieties. Therefore it could reduce the production cost greatly. Furthermore it produces super vegetables that are bigger in size and prettier in appearance. But there are two major drawbacks, first, it is lack in flavour, and second, the seeds from these crops could not be used to produce the next harvest, it is infertile, therefore there is a continuous dependent on the supply of the hybrid seeds. It is highly unsustainable and it also breaks the reproduction of the existing indigenous seeds.
With the threats of global warming, natural disaster and warfare, there is an urgent need to preserve as much of the existing seed varieties that could be used to produce fertile crops in the future. This is the main reason behind the concept of the global seeds vault. It aims to preserve these seeds before they completely disappear. Watch the video below for more information.
Now, what can we do? Well, while we are certainly no Bill and Melinda who have some spare millions of dollar to invest; we could start with something small and local. Opt for the non-genetically modified (GM) produces. You might ask how we could know that? Look for a credible bio shops in your neighbourhood, they normally offer some good options of non GM produces. Another tell-tale? Well, put is simplistically, look for the uglier ones (but of course, look for the blemish-free ones), not the suspiciously big, pretty and seedless ones. Lastly, eat seasonally and locally!
Consult your local food information website for more info about the local food and the bio shops.
Credits: Video and Photo are taken from the Croptrust official website
Visit http://www.croptrust.org/ for more information about the Global Seed Vault.