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Book Group: Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet, by Sarah Elton.
December 4, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
The Slow Food Russian River Book Group will be reading the book Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet, by Sarah Elton (2013).
“Anyone concerned about food, our world’s increasingly broken and failing food systems, and/or independent farming should read this. Excerpt from the Seeds section, re: traditional vs. chemical rice farming: “High yields have come at a cost. Hybrid rice requires a lot of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, many found. Traditional rice doesn’t like chemicals. If you fertilize traditional varieties with nitrogen to increase yields, the plants tend to topple over under the weight of the larger seed heads. But there are benefits to growing chemical-free that can’t be measured in crop yields. In a rice field where traditional seeds are grown, there exists a whole lot of life, a whole lot of biodiversity. In the water live zooplankton and nematodes and molluscs as well as surface-dwelling insects. Because rice is grown in a wetland, you will also find amphibians, reptiles, fish, and water birds all thriving amid the growing grains, as well as other vegetation. This life becomes food for humans, and the biodiversity offers the farmers the protection of ecological resilience — if one part of the ecosystem doesn’t do well one year, another is sure to flourish. Compare this with the hybrid rice paddy where chemicals kill all these other life forms and turn the growing area into a monoculture. And monocultures are the opposite of resilient. The ecology of the wetland is thrown out of balance by the chemicals. The pests’ natural predators are killed [by chemical pesticides], and the plant hoppers that are resistant to the pesticide multiply in a way that they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. Then the plant hopper destroys the crop.” (Robin Tierney on Goodreads).
To RSVP write the Book Group at Slow Food Russian River Book Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The book group is open to anyone who can read, loves cooking a dish, and likes a good conversation. You don’t have to be a member. Receive information about location in Sebastopol with RSVP.