Perennial Plate in India: GMOs and Farmer Suicides [VIDEO] | Civil Eats

Perennial Plate in India: GMOs and Farmer Suicides [VIDEO]

We recently came back from five weeks of filming in India and Sri Lanka. We spent a lot of time researching story ideas, but one topic we knew we wanted to cover was seed saving and farmer suicides in India.  In case you aren’t familiar, there have been over 270,000 farmer suicides in the country over the last 15 years (most are cotton farmers).  There are many theories about what circumstances have led to this rash of deaths, but for Dr. Vandana Shiva, the reasons are clear: GMOs.

Dr. Vandana Shiva is an environmental activist who has spent the last 30 years battling against pesticides and GMOs.  Among her many accolades, she has both sued and been sued by Monsanto. Beyond pointing fingers and litigation, she has proactively worked to preserve the heirloom seeds of India by starting Navdanya, an organic farm that grows over 1500 rice varieties alone.

We spent an evening with Dr. Shiva and two days at her farm.  Her passion, as well as that of the head seed saver (Bija Devi), were palatable and inspiring.  Watch the video to hear about their mission:

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

Daniel Klein is a chef, activist, and filmmaker living in Minneapolis. He has cooked in the restaurants of Thomas Keller, Heston Blumenthal, and Tom Colicchio. For his current project, Daniel has been documenting his culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations on film in a web series called The Perennial Plate. Every week he covers a diverse set of sustainable stories from squirrel hunting to community gardens. Follow him on Twitter @perennialplate or Facebook. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

  1. paul kern
    It has become more and more apparent, the more I study the field, that the GMO companies, led by Monsanto, seek to control the (world's) food supply for their own power and profit, NOT for the world, consumers or the future.
    An excellent, extensively researched & documented book explaining GMO's, their danger and the insidious practices is: "Seeds of Deception" by Jeffrey Smith. It's not difficult to understand and it was helpful to me.
    P. Kern PhD

More from

GMOs

Featured

A two-panel comic of a test farm hoop house growing corn and cactus and other crops on the left, with chef lisette garay working in her restaurant kitchen on the right.

Comic: Adapting Corn for Tortillas—and New Markets—in the Pacific Northwest

In this illustrated report, we explore how the Organic Seed Alliance is working with local farmers, scientists, and chefs to adapt crops to new environments—and the changing climate.

Popular

These Chicago Urban Farmers Are Growing Local Food in the Wake of Steel Industry Pollution

Xavier “X” Colon, a young person with long braided black hair, a baseball cap, and a bright orange hi-visibility shirt, stands in the fields at South Chicago Farm. (Photo by Paul Gordon)

Does Pastoralism Have a Place in the Future of Food?

Ilse-Kohler-Rollefson, a camel, and the cover of the new book, hoofprints on the land

For Some Food Professionals, COVID Has Cast a Long Shadow on Their Senses

A food professional with long covid smells coffee to overcome anosmia and parosmia

The Field Report: New Research Shows Dangerous Levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Freshwater Fish

a fisherman pulls a largemouth bass that is probably polluted with PFAS from a freshwater lake