Something as small as a seed can have a worldwide impact. Did you know there are top-secret seed vaults hidden throughout the world? And once a seed disappears, that’s it—it’s gone forever? With the growth of genetically modified foods, the use of many seeds is dwindling—of 80,000 edible plants, only about 150 are being cultivated. With a global cast of men and women, scientists and laypeople, and photographic documentation, Nancy Castaldo chronicles where our food comes from, and more importantly, where it is going as she digs deeper into the importance of seeds in our world. This empowering book also calls young adult readers to action with suggestions as to how they can preserve the variety of one of our most valuable food sources through simple everyday actions. Readers of Michael Pollen will enjoy the depth and fascinatingly intricate social economy of seeds.
In a topical blend of history, ecology, and social science, written in the tradition of Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, Castaldo (Sniffer Dogs) explains how seeds are fundamentally important to survival on Earth. While readers may think of seeds as ubiquitous and readily sustainable (if they think of them at all), historical examples of famine, such as the Great Hunger in Ireland, speak to the catastrophe that can result from a lack of crop diversity. Castaldo breaks down threats like climate change and disease, while providing a greater sense of interconnectivity in nature and within world communities. Offsetting a potentially dour or dire narrative, Castaldo profiles activist "Seed Warriors" who have championed the protection of agrobiodiversity; photographs of fruits, vegetables, and seeds appear throughout. Ages 12 up.