Vandana Shiva’s 2015 New Year Message

We Are All Seeds

EU Commission Abandons Current EU Seed Law Proposal

December 18, 2014 · Filed Under EU Seed Legislation · Comment 

The EU Commission announced yesterday their intention to abandon the proposed new seed law regulation. This means short of a specific request from the EU Parliament for a return of the proposal, it’s unlikely to resurface.  This leaves some uncertainty, but it seems likely the proposed regulation is now dead.  Here is the announcement and Annex II, the so-called ‘kill list’.

The EU Commission probably now has to come up with another proposal.  For the time being, it leaves the existing EU seed law directives unchanged.  Since there is pressure for returning decision making to national governments, and reducing administrative burden, there is hope that a new proposal will go much further towards a straightforward repeal of existing seed laws rather than just a simple rebranding and otherwise strengthening of industry control.

Parliament

The EU Commission informally consulted the Parliament before this decision was taken.  The answer back was very unclear, and did not indicate a clear preference one way or another.  Some independent and informal polling of MEPs suggests quite a lot of disagreement between the different factions.  The chances are it will be more of a fight to stop the proposal the next time around, and the situation will be more complicated.

Paquebot 2015 Tomato List

December 4, 2014 · Filed Under Seed Saving, Seeds · Comment 

Tomatoes!

Paquebot recently asked me to update the list of tomatoes he’s offering from what I posted here for him 2 years ago.

Paquebot lives in Wisconsin, USA. He’s offering hundreds of tomatoes, organized into the year grown, giving an indication of the age of the seeds. Tomato seed are normally good for about 10 years, sometimes more, so age isn’t an issue if you plant them within the next couple of years.

If you’re interested in anything here, send me an email and I’ll forward it to him.

2013-14 seeds
African Brown
Alter Kommunist
Amish Potato Leaf
Amursky Tiger
Amuuri Kiirevalmiv
Angora Orange
Aurora de Tigenesti
Big Cheef
Big Pink
Big Ray’s Argentine Paste
Black Icicle
Black Roma
Black Yum Yum
Blonde Boar
Blondkopfchen
Boudyo
Brandywine From Croatia
Brazilian Paste
Brin de Muguet
Bulgarian Red Giant
Buzau 22
C1943
Campbell’s
Campbell 19
Campbell 22
Campbell 24
Campbell 31
Campbell 33
Campbell 37
Campbell 119
Campbell 222
Campbell 1138
Campbell 1327
Canabec Rose
Captain Lucky
Champ Martin
Charlie’s Giant Italian Paste
Cherry Brandywine
Church
Cooper’s Special
Costa Rica
Crnkovic Gold
Cynthia’s Black Oxheart
Da Chilo
Daho
De Barao Zolotoy
Dester
Djena Lee’s Golden Girl
Earl’s Faux
Early Crop
Early Harvest
Emerald Apple
Frank’s Large Red
Fregat
G10132
German
Gezahnte
Giant Bear Claw
Giant Honey
Giant Willie
Golden Cherokee
Gail’s Sweet Plum
Grandpa Cock’s Plum
Great Divide
Haley’s Purple Comet
Heinz 1409
Heinz 1630
Heinz 2990
Huang Se Cheh
Ideal
Illini Gold
Indiana Baltimore
Ispolin
Italian Gold
Jerusalem
Jitka
Juhas
Jujube
Khirhiv
King of Siberia
Komohana
Large Raste
Lee’s Sweet
Lehrertomate
Lithuanian Crested Pink
Livingston’s Golden Queen
Livingston’s Main Crop Pink
Lollipop
McKinley
Marizol Magic
Marmande Garnier Rouge
Moment
Negro de Silex
New Zealand Paste
Old Macedonian
Olena Ukrainian
Orange Icicle
Orenburg Giant
Osmala
Pearly Pink
Peppermint
Pink Bumblebee
Pink Shipper
Plaisir Paradisiaque
Poljarnik
Power’s Heirloom
Pumpkin
Purple Riders
Purple Smudge
Rjabchik
Romanian Cow’s Tit
Romanian Oxheart
Rose d’Eauze
Rozovoi Mod
Russian Big Roma
Sahalin
SC2121
Schiavone Italian Paste
Strawberry
Summer Sunrise
Tegucigulpa
Terma
Tomadose Des Comores
Vesuvio
Yellow Ruffled
Zaitska
Zemljak

2012 Seeds
Annie
Belize Pink Heart
Bianca Cherry
Bing Cherry
Chello
Christmas Grapes
Box Car Willie
Campbell 54
Campbell 135
Campbell 146
Caspian Pink
Charlie’s Green
Dalmatiner
Dancing With Smurfs
Flame
Franchi Giant Pear
German Lunchbox
Gift From The Woodlands
Golden Ponderosa
Green Castle
Green Sleeves
Halliday’s Mortgage Lifter
Homestead
Kumato
Lincoln Adams
Livingston’s Perfection
Malachite Box
Middlefield Amish Paste
Midnight in Moscow
Mobil
Mortgage Lifter
Myth
Oakling
Opalka
OSU Blue
Out of the Blue
Paquebot Roma
Pastel Orange Heart
Perfect Storm
Pineapple
PSR 37
Rambling Stripes Red
Razzleberry Pink
Red Lightning
Red Rock
Russian Bull Heart
San Marzano Redorta
Shah Mikado
Sky Reacher
South American Banana
Sunset Red Horizon
Sweet Carneros Pink
Tennessee Black
Texas Star
Tsar Kolokol
Vintage Wine
Volovsko Srce Slovenian
Warren’s Yellow
Wisconsin 55
Wisconsin 55 Gold
Yellow Mortgage Lifter

2011 Seeds
1884
1884 Purple
ABC Potato Leaf (ch)
African Queen
Andes Horn
Anna Aasa, Red (ch)
Anna Aasa, Yellow (ch)
Ashleigh
Banana Legs
Believe It Or Not
Big Zebra
Brimmer
Buckbee’s New 50 Day
Cabin
Canadian Heart
Carol Chyko’s Big Paste
Count Banyani
Doubloon
Eli
Gildo Pietroboni
Green Ghost
Heinz 2653
Homer Fike’s Yellow Oxheart
Hunt’s Family Favorite
Libanaise des Montagnes
Magyar Piros Boker
Mirabell, Red
Mr. Tartar’s
New Yorker
Novosadski Jabucar
Orange Oxheart
Pomodoro di Albenga/Luguria
Red Barn
Rio Grande
Rostova
Sicilian Saucer
Skorospelka
Spark’s Yellow
Stardust Cherry (ch)
Strawberry Margarita
Sun Baby (ch)
Sylvan Gaume
Tangello
Tappy’s Heritage
Tarasenko 6
T.C. Jones
Terhune
Tlacolula
Tlacolula, Yellow
Veepick
White Rabbit (ch)
White Snowball
Wild Rose
Winsall
Winsall Gold

2010 seeds
Absinthe
Amazon Chocolate
Arkansas Traveller
Armenian
Aunt Ruby’s German Green Cherry
Babywine
Barnes Mountain Yellow
Basket Vee
Beaute Blanche de Canada
Belle Angevine
Big Rainbow
Black Crimson
Black Elephant
Black Ethiopian
Black Zebra
Bonne du Roussillon
Canestrino
Chadwick Cherry
Cherokee Chocolate
Chuda Rynka
Coburg
Copia
Coyotte
Creole
Early Chatham
Falcon
Fidelio
Gary O’Sena
German Gold
Goji Faranji
Goldman’s Italian American
Gold Nugget
Grandma Josie
Hong Yuen
Huayu
Indian Stripe
Jack White
Large Black & Red Boar
Large Red Cherry
Livingston’s Paragon
Marion
Mark Twain
Mazarini
Meme Beauce
Mule Team
Negro Azteca
Old Brooks
Peaches & Cream
Quingza
Radio
Red Target
Regina’s Yellow
Rita’s Black Pear
Rutgers
Serre Wonder
Shumway’s Sensation
Sioux
Southern Night
Sugar Plum
Super Sioux
Tangella
Tasmanian Yellow
Urbanite
Valiant
Velvet Red
Wagon Wheel
White Oxheart
Wisconsin Chief
Yellow Scotland
Zigan

2009 seeds
Aker’s West Virginia Black
Albany Georgia Heirloom
Amish Paste
Anna Hermann
Apelsin
Apricot Brandywine
Aunt Ruby’s German Green
Banjan Roomii
Belgian Heart
Big White Pink Stripes
Black Sea Man
Bosu
Buckeye Yellow
Carbon
Caro Rich
Chico III
Chocolate Cherry
Cour de Bou
Cow’s Tit
Eagle’s Beak
Endless Summer
Ernesto
Fantome de Laos
Giraffe
Guido
Guernsey Island
Hawaiian Orange Cherry
Hawaiian Pineapple
Hazelfield Farm Red
Heinz 1439
Japanese Black Triffle
Kardinal
Lagidny
Limmony
Marizol Purple
Mirabell, Yellow
Monkey Ass
Moya
Northern Crown
Northern Lights
Pantano Romanesco
Persimmon
Pink Ruffled
Portugal Monster
Principe Borghese
Riesentraube
Rozovii Giant
Sainte Lucie
Siberian
Silvery Fir Tree
Snowberry
Super Snow White
Ten Fingers of Naples
Tennessee Britches
The Orange
Tiny Tim
Togo Trefele
Turks Muts
Volgogradskij 5/95
Vorlon
West Virginia Pink Slicer
Willamette
Yellow 1884 Pinkheart

2008 seeds
Amish Red
Belarusan Heart
Besser
Black From Tula
Black Plum
Black Prince
Bloody Butcher
Boondocks
Borgio Cellano
Brianna
Cherokee Purple (PL)
Chianti Rose
Chocolate Stripes
Dinner Plate
Dr. Lyle
Dorothy’s Mennonite Beefsteak
Dorothy’s Mennonite Bicolor
Dorothy’s Mennonite Big Heart
Douce de Picardie (PL)
German Head
Giant Belgium
Giant Oxheart
Giant Roma
Giant Tree
Gigante Liscio
Golden Dwarf Champion
Hungarian Italian Paste
Japanese Oxheart
King Pineapple
Lancaster Pink
Large Pink Bulgarian
Legend
Long Keeper
Marglobe
Market Miracle
Mexico
Noire Russie
Old German
Preacher
Red Heart Yellow
Red Penna
Red Zebra
Russian Annie
Sandul Moldovan
Spoon
Super Beefsteak
Super Choice
Tater Kin
Taxi
Teton de Venus
Thessaloniki Oxheart
Valencia Pink
Watermelon Beefsteak
White Tomesol
Woodle Orange
Wuhib
Yamal

2007 seeds
Ace 55
Amana Orange
Ananas Noir
Aunt Madge’s
Aussie
Bear Claw
Beauty King
Berkeley Tie Dyed
Black Oxheart
Blue Beech
Boyarsky
Boy Boy
Brown Berry
Bull’s Heart
Burracker’s Favorite
Carmelo
Chateau Rose
Clover Trefle
Costoluto Fiorentino
Crimson Cushion
Crnkovic Jugoslavian
Danish Export
Des Andes Jaune
German Queen
Gogosha
Greater Baltimore
Gregori Altai
Grosse Cotelee
Hartman’s Yellow Gooseberry
Hog Heart
Howard German
Japanese Golden Pear
Julia Child
Kalman’s Hungarian
Korney’s Jelly Bean
Kosovo
Lemon Giant
Lumpy Red
Mandarine
Matt’s Wild Cherry
Mennonite Orange
Merveilles des Marches
Minibel
Nelson’s Golden Giant
Novikov Giant
Oaxacan Jewel
Olive Doree
Orange Giant
Paul Robeson
Peacevine Cherry
Pigmeo
Pipo
Pomodoro Palla di Fuoco
Pomodoro Red Pear
Raspberry Giant
Sausage
Scatalone
Selandia
Super Marmande
Tiger Tom
Tumbling Tom
UC82B
Ukrainian Pear
Wanda’s PT
Wes
Zebra
Zorica’s Croatian Bull Eye

2006 Seeds
Abraham Lincoln
Amish Salad
Amish Yellow
Aunt Gertie’s Gold
Aztec
Balkon Star
Black Cherry
Bradley
Cherry Roma
Cherokee Green
Cosmonaut Volkov
Croatian Heart
Douce de Picardie (RL)
Emeraude
Gardeners Delight
Garden Peach, Red
Garden Peach, Yellow
German Pink
Giant Syrian
Goose Creek
Greenbush Italian
Green Cherry
Green Giant
Green Zebra
Harvard Square
John Baer
Kristina Vatcheva
Leatha’s
Lemon Drop
Lithuanian
Long Tom
Marianna’s Conflict
Marianna’s Peace
Medford
Moby Grape
Mr. Fumo
Novogogoshary
Nyagous, Red
Oregon Spring
Perito Italian
Roman Candle
Segler
Sheyenne
Striped Cavern
Surender’s Indian Curry
Tigerella
Tommy Toes, Red
Tommy Toes, Yellow
Ugly Ripe
Voyage
West Virginia 63
Yellow Pear
Yoder’s German Yellow

This is Your Brain on Beer

December 3, 2014 · Filed Under Food and Drink, Political · Comment 

If you grew up in America in the ’70s or ’80s, you certainly know this ad that was played on TV.  Even then it was very controversial, and no one really took it seriously, but it was an important part of the mindset that led to the war on drugs.  It was part of this vague, pseudo-science, that in effect was to make young people believe cigarettes were the only safe drug to use.

We’ve just had a similar ‘education campaign’ in Europe, that led to the drinking age being raised in several places, including Holland.  This happened even over the objections of parents of young people, the majority of whom wanted their children to continue to be able to buy alcohol.  Drinking damages the brains of young people, was the rallying call.  Isn’t it time we grew up, and stopped this kind of nonsense?

A recent study now shows no statistical correlation between alcohol use in young people and brain development.  How is this study different from all those other studies in the past that showed young brains were damaged?  Well, previous studies concentrated on young people who had signs of dependence on alcohol, and who often had other psychiatric problems.  This latest study focused on a typical cross section of the population, and compared young but otherwise normal drinkers with their non-drinking counterparts.

Labeling Calories is Misleading and Should be Banned

October 31, 2014 · Filed Under Food and Drink, Science · Comment 

It wasn’t long ago since tar and nicotine content labeling were determined misleading and removed from cigarette packaging. Not only misleading, but a powerful advertising mechanism, making addicted customers think they were buying a safer product. Now it’s time to take the next big step in consumer protection, and ban labeling of calories in food.

What is a Calorie?

A calorie is a measure of heat. Quite literally, in order to determine the amount of calories in food, the food is set alight and the amount of heat given off is measured.

Since our bodies don’t metabolize food this way, there’s no meaningful comparison that can made between calories and human health.

What do we Know About the Effect of Calories on our Health?

Some studies have shown for example a relationship between eating a lot of high calorie food and weight gain, or eating fewer calories and loosing weight. It might be that some health professional recommends some specific diet that might include a change in the number of calories.

Statistics show however that most people who try to lose weight with a low calorie diet nearly always fail in the end, and gain back even more weight. I would be very suspicious of any health professional recommending such a diet.

In any case, this weight gain or loss is not always permanent, and nothing credible can be said about it’s effect on our health. Any generalized statement on public health related to calories would not be credible, and likewise labeling foods with their calorie content is misleading to consumers.

Any public campaign that results in people eating more or fewer calories, is food company propaganda, as they strive to make ever more money off of misleading people in their perception of their own health.

How is Food Calorie Content Used?

Around the time of WWII and just before, protein was used as a measure for food and ‘food quality’. This is the major reason why meat and dairy production was so dramatically increased in the years following the war. In these years, the chicken egg was often identified as ‘the perfect food’, because it’s almost pure protein. In some Germanic languages the word for protein is the same as egg white, probably for this reason.

In the years after choosing protein as the measure of food quality, a major backlash occurred. This was primarily because by this measure a vegetarian diet was inadequate, and most of the world at the time was vegetarian or vegan. There was quite a lot of indignation as institutions such as the WHO began imposing high protein diets on the world’s population, in the name of improving public health.

We should receive current efforts to change our calorie intake with the same indignation.

After much debate, protein was eventually replaced with calories. I think most people involved in this issue don’t recognize calories as a great improvement over protein, only that it no longer stigmatizes a vegetarian diet.

After choosing calorie, it became clear this measure also had it’s flaws. Different people and cultures react differently on a diet with a fixed numbers of calories. It depends a lot on how active you are, as well as your age, sex and genetic factors. They ‘fixed’ this problem by creating various charts, and acceptable calorie ranges, instead of trying to work from a single number.

There’s really nothing any more that can be said about diets being healthy according to calories than there was with protein, only no one has a better idea at the moment of a another measure to use.

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