Vandana Shiva: Value Soil Not Oil
South Bend Tribune - Vandana Shiva was on the fast track for a career as a nuclear physicist in the 1970s, working in an atomic research center in Bombay in her native India.
But when her sister, a medical doctor, pointed out Shiva's lack of understanding of nuclear hazards, she planted a seed in Shiva's mind. That seed took root and eventually caused Shiva to abandon her nuclear ambitions and dedicate her life to what she calls "sciences that defend life."
In particular, she focuses on food security and sustainable farming to protect and promote the most elemental form of life: the seed.
"If you're living on a planet of shrinking resources, it doesn't make sense," she said. Especially when this wasteful, polluted farming has replaced the perfect cycle of traditional farming that created no emissions, waste or conflict, she said.
Calling out industrial farming corporations, Shiva explained these companies are destroying biodiversity that is critical for sustainable farming. Instead, they focus on crops Shiva called "non-foods" and "commodities" such as corn and soybeans that are slipped into many food products. These commodities are not nourishing, she said.
"You can have more commodities, but less food," she explained, pointing out that 50 percent of what's grown is for animal feed or fuel for cars. Further, half of the 1 billion hungry people in the world are food producers. Read more.