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Svalbard Seed Bank and Global Food Histories

Page history last edited by Robert W. Maloy 9 months, 1 week ago

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 2013 

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 2013



Topics on the Page

Overview of the Seed Bank

Famines in History



History of Agriculture


  • October 16 is World Food Day


Foods and Their Origins

  • Native American Food Contributions


  • Three Sisters Agriculture


  • Foods Indigenous to the Western Hemisphere  

Agricultural Work, Spain circa 1200 

Agricultural Work, Spain circa 1200

CROSS-LINK: Hunter-Gatherer Societies of the Paleolithic Age


CROSS-LINK: The Dust Bowl


Global Food Histories



There are more than 50,000 edible plants in the world today,

but just 15 of them provide 90 percent of the world's food energy intake.



10 Fruits, Nuts, and Vegetables You Did Not Know Were Human-Made



Overview of the Seed Bank

Seed Storage Box 

Seed Storage Box
Inside the Global Seed Vault, Where the History and Future of Agriculture Is Stored. from NPR Fresh Air with Terry Gross (July 24, 2017)


Saving Seeds in Doomsday Vault, Vimeo, from 60 Minutes, March 20, 2008




Sowing for ApocalypseThe New Yorker, April 27, 2007

Global Seed Vault: Photo Essay, Time, 2008

The Gloomy Arctic Seed Bank That's Key to Future Crops from BBC News, January 12, 2016

 Svalbard Global Seed Bank: Interactive Visit from CropTrust.org

Syria War Forces First Withdrawal from Svalbard Global Seed Vault, NBC News, September 25, 2015


Videos on the Svalbard Seed Bank:


Inside the Svalbard Seed Vault


Exploring the Arctic's Global Seed Vault


See inside the 'Doomsday' seed vault


What's the Doomsday Seed Vault Really For?


Famines in History


Distribution of rice during time of famine, China, 1945


Distribution of rice during time of famine, China, 1945


Famines Since 1850: Global View


  • Immigration Before the Civil War and the Irish Potato Famine



 The Potato Famine and Irish Immigration to America (reading activity and questions) 


Ten Worst Famines of the 20th Century

China's Great Famine: The True Story

Book Review: Famine: A Short History, Cormac O'Grada (2009).


    • The author argues that famines are the results of human actions or inactions more than natural disasters.


  Food Security Game, Peace Corps




History of Agriculture

Agriculture & the Environment: An Historical Perspective, from a course from the University of Reading 


Date of First McDonalds Restaurant by Continent
Date of First McDonalds Restaurant by Continent



Native American Food Contributions to the World

Potatoes, beans, corn, peanuts, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, peppers, nuts, melons, and sunflower seeds

external image 2009NativeAmericanRev.jpg2009 Native American $1 Coin honoring Three Sisters Agriculture



Meet the Three Sisters Who Sustain Native America


Three Sisters . . .and the Fourth Sister No One Really Talks About

  • Bean
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Sunflower 


Foods and Their Origins


Our entire food system is completely global:

More than two-thirds of the crops that underpin national diets originally came from somewhere else — often far away.



Interactive Map for Selected Major Agricultural Corps



external image 5ba0525b72209534305bc9eb6268bba8--cherokee-indians-american-recipes.jpg






Foods Indigenous to the Western Hemisphere



10 Foods Native to the Americas


CORN: Rethinking the Corny History of Maize


RICE: Rice Growing and Origin




PEANUTS: History of Peanuts and Peanut Butter



VANILLA: History of Vanilla


POTATOES/TOMATOES: Origins of Species of Corn, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Some Other Interesting History



BANANASThe Surprising History of the Banana



APPLES: All About Apples: Some History, a Recipe, and Recommendations




WHEAT: Wheat Domestication--The History and Origins of Floury Grains




SUNFLOWER: How the Russians Saved America's Sunflower



COFFEE: The History of Coffee





COCOA: History of Cocoa and Chocolate




SQUASH: Foods Indigenous to the Western Hemisphere














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