Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Interesting Approach to Climate Change

In his TED Talk "One seed at a time", Cary Fowler talks about the importance of preserving crop diversity as a means of addressing climate change.

In a short period of time, the world's crop diversity has immensely shrunk. For example, in the United States in the 1800s, there were about 7,100 varieties of apples. Today, about 6,800 of those varieties are extinct.

Fowler argues that varieties that are now, or are in danger of becoming, extinct may have traits that are adaptable to future climates. Fowler works with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, whose mission is to collect, in the form of seeds, a "back-up" of all varieties of crops that exist in the world. As of the date of this talk, July 2009, the seed bank in Norway contained about 425,000 samples of unique crop varieties.

Every single country has contributed to this project, which Fowler emphasizes is important, as it may be the only global project that is long-term, sustainable, and positive. In closing, he asserts that without crop diversity, we will not have an effective, efficient, and sustainable solution to climate change.

While Fowler does not spend time speaking against companies that significantly contribute to the decrease in crop diversity, his talk provides a great argument against genetically modified crops.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Power of Small Actions

In this TED Talk, Pam Warhurst, cofounder of Incredible Edible Todmorden, discusses the power of small actions. Pam and her team were searching for a unifying language that disregards age, income, and culture and that helps people think and interact differently to start a revolution to create social change. They determined that food was the unifying language, and Incredible Edible was born.

Incredible Edible began as an edible landscape project. Volunteers simply started planting fruits, vegetables, and herbs around the town of Todmorden. From this simple act, not only did the project take on a educational element, but awareness of local business and a sense of belonging significantly grew. Now there are communities all over the world taking on this project in their own way to create stronger and more supportive communities.

The Incredible Edible project is an excellent example of how small actions combined with passion can create significant positive change.