BOOK REVIEW – The Seed Underground

Post last updated: July 26th, 2017

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Janisse Ray’s new book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012) has an important message. She says it’s not enough to grow our own vegetable gardens. We need to plant open-pollinated seeds, save them and share them because our “food supply is being stolen from us” by corporations determined to control the world’s seed supply. Ray says 94% of fruit/veggie varieties vanished in the last century because “traditional ways of growing food have been stolen by corporations and replaced with chemicals and radicalized seed. Anyone who does not grow food will become a slave to corporations.” She refers to “Monsanto as the bad genie that’s out of the bottle” even though they are not the only corporation trying to control seeds.

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I think everyone who has ever planted a seed will agree with her that seeds are “miracles in tiny packages. Magic. Just add water.” I know that I have used that same word – magic. Ray believes that “The ability to feed ourselves ensures our freedom. As Eliot Coleman (author of Four Season Harvest and other books) said, “Small farmers are a threat to the consolidation of absolute power.”

Ray wants us to “farmer up” to protect what’s left of our seeds and “develop the heirlooms of the future.” The appendix in her book suggests how we can get started. Marvelous book, please read it.

Imagine saving a world by saving its seed — Janisse Ray

Interestingly, right after I finished reading her book, Facebook’s Grow Foods, Not Lawns posted an article by two Australians entitled 6 Ways That Food Is Being Used As A Weapon Against Us. The section about using the weather as a weapon seemed a little far-fetched but they backed it up with a link to a 1996 document that was supposedly presented to the Air Force.  I was able to find that document without using their link and there were several other links on the subject. The document had a disclaimer, “This report contains fictional representations of future situations/scenarios.” However, if they were thinking about using weather as a weapon in 1996, they have probably been working on it. The article is enough to make you lose all hope in the corporations and politicians who run this country.

4 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW – The Seed Underground”

    1. I’m so glad someone’s going to read it! Read the preface, too, there’s a sentence or two in there where she encourages the next generation of farmers to live outside of corporate influence which I also happen to think is an important goal for all of us since too many corporations are not doing the right thing.

  1. I have been growing heirloom seeds for a few years now, just because of the way the seeds have been modified and patented by these corporations. I need to get better at saving my own seed, though. I bet this book would be a great read. Thanks for the recommendation!

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