Christian Long

Cary Fowler: One Seed at a Time Protecting the Future of Food

In TED Talks on May 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Reflection by CALVIN G.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Cary Fowler:  One Seed at a Time Protecting the Future of Food

Cary Fowler argues that a slight change in agriculture will have catastrophic results. A well known scientist in his field, he claims the way to fix agriculture is to preserve all the different types of seeds and this will keep agriculture where it is and maybe back to where it used to be. He tells how there are 35,000 types of beans in the world and makes the point that if they aren’t preserved then bad things will happen. He goes on to give more examples of different varieties of food.

He then goes on to tell a personal story about how in the 1800’s there were 7,100 varieties of apples. Now days there are only 300 varieties left and it’s due to poor farming. He goes on to argue that its not only the lack of food that we have to worry about but it’s the important stuff inside a variety of apple that can help cure disease and things of that nature. He claims that keeping the different varieties of apples are vital during a time of drastic climate change. Along these lines he argues that tomorrows coldest day will be hotter than today’s hottest day. He says that agriculture isn’t ready for this change.

I don’t necessarily agree with that because the earth isn’t getting that hot. The earth goes through cycles of climate change but none this drastic since the ice age. I think that’s getting a little over board. Plus, if that were the case, that the world will be that hot pretty soon the first thing on our minds shouldn’t be “lets save the apples” it should be thinking about more important things than that. As far as the different varieties are concerned, they became extinct naturally nothing that we did it’s just the nature of the beast. Some make it some don’t. Overall I believe it was a somewhat interesting talk.

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