Dr. Vandana Shiva: A Champion for Women’s Rights & Roles in Food Security


I came across an article the other day about supermarket tomatoes and how a “genetic mutation” frankenstein’d into them to make them “ripen more uniformly” may have inadvertently taken away their sweetness, and gawd knows what other vitamins and nutrients were killed and what kind of poisons manifested. One line in the article summarized for me the problem with the colonist culture’s obsession with controlling everything having to do with Nature; here it is un-scientized sanitized and put into human speak:

“by manipulating [X] responsible for [Y], the [white men in white coats playing god] inadvertently [FUCKED SHIT UP of which we have no clue how far the consequences reach].”

Which reminded me of Dr. Vandana Shiva, a Fierce Feminist Warrior on a mission to save and reclaim biodiversity, cultural diversity and food security across the globe. The tomato debacle quoted above is an example of what Dr. Shiva explains to be:

[A] “mechanistic utopia” [which] reduces living systems to machines, maximizes output and thrives for “the best” of all crops and varieties. The ill-judged force behind this so-called utopia is the attempt to adapt environmental conditions to the production system – rather than adapting production to different ecosystems and cultural traditions. Such attempts have a devastating effect on the environment and natural resources as well as on the rural communities that are subjected to them.

Seeds are the first link in the food chain, and the embodiment of biological and cultural diversity, and the repository of life’s future evolution. Farmers are inherently breeders, though their breeding objectives and methods might differ from the objectives and methods of the seed industry. Farmers breed for diversity while the seed industry breeds for uniformity. Farmers’ breeding strategies and intellectual contribution must be recognized in order to stop the practice of using farmers’ seeds as “raw material” with no intellectual contribution of farming communities. Farmers have the right to freely develop new varieties of seeds.   Traditionally, the selection, preservation and maintenance, as well as the wise development and passing on of seed stock has been, and is still today, the domain of women in most rural communities. [source]

What a vast and incredibly important fight Dr. Shiva is leading with Women across the world. She is definitely an inspiration for me to re-learn important Indigenous food knowledge so that I can liberate myself from the tech-NO-logic colonial mining of my mind. I hope she inspires you to do the same, dear readers. Thanks Dr. Shiva for your life-saving and life-giving hard work, you are definitely wind beneath my wings!

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