How I ended up viewing this video is a long story. You know how sometimes you think about one thing, that leads to another, and pretty soon you end up some place totally unexpected?
Anyway, bananas are sometimes an example held up as to why we need genetic engineering. Banana breeding is very difficult, and has been pursued by experts for many years. Habitats for wild bananas, and crucially the bat that was their primary pollinator, have mostly been destroyed by man. We also don’t have enough germplasm in store in genebanks. We are reaching the end of life of the ‘cavandish’ banana we all know because of disease pressure.
The solution we are all told is that we have to accept GM bananas.
Of course a major part of the problem is we insist on intensively cultivating monocultures of bananas in chemical intensive environments, causing many of the the disease problems.
Here’s a small group of people trying to find a new public domain solution, targeted towards small farmers.
Plant breeder and seed saver Alan Kapuler did a fantastic series of videos for the Cooking Up A Story website. I’ve posted some of the earlier ones before, but here’s the complete series of 5.
See here for a list of events to find one near you!
I was recently approached by someone working on a PhD, who is looking for any information on Cape Gooseberry cultivation in Europe. Does anyone have any historical information? Is anyone aware of any farmers growing it now in Europe? He’s looking for any sort of leads or contacts on the subject.
Some of the 11 Belgian potato activists have recorded their message in the video above.
Their trial continues in April, with a public mock trial to be held simultaneously outside the courthouse. Everyone is welcome to attend that day.