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  • Matteo De Vos

FFS 044 - The Ground Zero Ingredient

Everything begins with a seed. Seeds are both a story of loss and a story of hope in our food system.


On the one hand, we are rapidly losing seed diversity, and with it, perhaps the single best weapon agriculture has to withstand an increasingly volatile climate. When we lose biodiversity, we lose our ability to be resilient. What (or who) is causing this loss?


On the other, seeds are central to resistance and hope. From seed saving, sharing and storing to embracing indigenous farming practices and knowledge, seeds are central to food justice and resilience of our food system to a changing climate.


Award-winning investigative journalist Mark Schapiro joins us to talk about seeds.


"Every seed is both a simple pocketful of genes, and a multi-multi-dimensional and complex “packetful” of stories’. - Mark Schapiro

We talk about:


  • What losing seed diversity means, and who is driving it

  • How climate change has put industrial agriculture on trial

  • Agricultural subsidies and climate equity

  • Stories of resistance and seed saving: from Aleppo to Kansas

  • How hopes of genetic engineering are outpaced by climate volatility

  • The belated recognition of indigenous practices and knowledge in building a resilient agriculture


Mark Schapiro is an award-winning investigative journalist specializing in the environment. His most recent book, Seeds of Resistance: The Fight to Save Our Food Supply, investigates the search for seeds to respond to climate disruptions, the battle with agri-chemical companies to control them, and the global movement underway to save them.


Previous books include CARBON SHOCK: A Tale of Risk & Calculus on the Frontlines of the Disrupted Global Economy, an investigation into the hidden costs and consequences of climate change; and EXPOSED: the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, on the public health and economic impacts of the U.S. retreat from toxic chemical protections. He is also a Lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and conducts trainings in science and environmental journalism in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.


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