Vandana Shiva: The Future of Food-Part 3

“Ecology is permanent economy”— Sunderlal Bahuguna, environmental activist and active crusader in the Chipko Movement

Dr. Vandana Shiva founded the Research for Science, Technology, and Ecology, (RFSTE) organization, inspired by her earlier involvement with the Chipko movement. In 1973, in a mountainous region in the Himalayas, women villagers, in heroic and desperate fashion, clung to the body of trees to protest against their forest being decimated by contractors for the State’s Forest Department. The entire ecology of the region, and thus the local economy of these villagers, depended upon preserving the integrity of their forest. The eventual success of this self-organized environmental movement to protect their own natural resources from exploitation, became a (non-violent) model for future environmental activism throughout the world.

In this final installment, Dr. Vandana Shiva takes us back to the role of organic farming, and to the organic farmer who she believes embodies the best scientists of our time. For Dr. Shiva, as a scientist herself, and a longtime environmental activist, it’s understanding nature and working within its laws that produces peace, prosperity, and a sustainable future. The seed of an organism is the embodiment of life itself; of hope and of survival. The notion that a seed can be owned by a corporation (through a patent), is a power too great to bestow upon any private or public entity. As a culmination of what Dr. Shiva has discussed in her other interviews, she is hopeful that it is not too late for people to stand up to the large corporations that drive our global food system, and to make personal choices that promote local and more sustainable food production.


  1. Eltear says

    Sorry, I didn’t read the thread the same way. Plus I always discount claims of being rich, beautiful or a scientist in a dailykos (or any) thread.

    I agree that first tier research would be the best source of dependable information. However, when science is only able to be conducted with the approval and oversight of a product’s corporate owner, it’s hard to get any real unbiased data .. so we’re left with lots of opinions.

    With the current dearth of real study into long-term environmental and health impacts of genetically modified crops, not being proven unsafe does not make me sleep better at night.

    I can’t forget that Rachel Carson was called a crank. Back then plenty of “scientists” had lots of impressive research that “proved” DDT was a good thing…

  2. Lisa Bell says

    Interesting discussion thread on Monsanto, GM seeds, BTcorn, many interesting topics here:

    if you do delve into the thread, note the rancor in the discussion w/a scientist attempting to present an alternate viewpoint. I firmly believe that all sides of argument must be considered. As in any research, the terms in which you couch your search influence the information that turns up. I personally have found it quite difficult to access scientific papers in on-line journals without paying fees in many cases…this can lead to relying on second tier research which is usually more polemical. Just a thought to keep in the back of your head…I have enough of the contrarian in me that I don’t like to be told what to think by any large group…mob think occurs in organizations whose tenets and practices we admire as well as those we do not.

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