“Seed is the first link in the food chain. Saving seeds is our duty, sharing seeds is our culture,” says Dr. Vandana Shiva, founder of Navdanya, an organization whose mission is to conserve and save seeds, promote sustainability, teach healthy eating and cooking, and foster the success of women farmers in Indian.
Navdanya, which translates to “Nine Seeds,” represents the nine crops that are essential to India’s food security. It sees women as an essential party of agriculture because, in Shiva’s words, “when women do farming, they do it for life…they do it for their children, they do it for nutrition, they do it for taste.” Currently, the seed savers have collected approximately 5,000 crop varieties of indigenous seeds, which are then made available to Indian farmers, free of charge.
Shiva has also partnered with Schumacher College in the United Kingdom to form Bija Vidyapeeth, (which translates to Earth University in Sanskrit), a learning center based on the principals of sustainability, non-violence and holistic practices. Students learn about seed saving, organic farming, cooking and composting, and how to apply these to the present day.
via Navdanya: Saving Seeds to Save a Culture | Food Tank.
Today, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future published a study in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives that provided further evidence of the risks associated with the use of arsenicals in animal agriculture. Just in case anyone still needed convincing (Ahem! FDA, Pfizer and industrial chicken magnates). The study, which involved analysis of chicken breast samples purchased at grocery stores in 10 cities across the US, revealed that chickens likely raised with arsenic-based drugs yield meat that has higher levels of inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen that has also been associated with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive deficits and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Why would anyone feed arsenic to chickens?
While you and I might associate arsenic only with the plotlines of old who-done-it novels in which affluent elderly gentlemen are slowly poisoned by long-suffering caretakers or disgruntled relatives, its use by industrial chicken producers is anything but fiction. Back in the 1940s, producers started using arsenicals to promote growth, treat disease and improve meat pigmentation. The practice eventually became standard; according to industry estimates, by 2010, 88% of all chickens raised for human consumption in the US were given the arsenic-based drug roxarsone. (And – fun fact – we raise about 9 billion chickens for meat every year.)
via The Arsenic in Your Chicken | Civil Eats.