Verbose: ‘Food Ark’

‘Food Ark’ was written by Charles Siebert and was published in National Geographic in July 2011


  • Title: ‘ark’ as in Noah’s ark, vessel for safety? Way to salvation?
  • I have argued that there is actually enough food in the world to feed everyone without resorting to GMO food and that if we managed the distribution properly, everyone would be able to eat to satisfaction (not greed). I want to see if I have that opinion to unlearn.
  • Thinking laterally about what we eat – look at other varieties
  • “devoted to collecting rather than growing seeds” – demand and supply?
  • Bequeathed = given, handed down
  • “prized by a food movement that emphasizes eating locally and preserving the flavour and uniqueness of heirloom varieties” – when I see ‘food movement’, I think of a fad, not necessarily a revolution.
  • “most of us in the well-fed world give little thought to where our food comes from or how it’s grown” – so simply put, but it points to a big problem
  • “very little is said or done about the parallel erosion in the genetic diversity of the food we eat” – at first glance this phrase seems quite unimportant to me. Why is it so important to have diversity? As long as we are getting the nutrients, right? I am assuming that this decreases the risk of certain foods running out.
    • Okay, they specifically say why this is a problem. “If disease or future climate change decimates one of the handful of plants and animals we’ve come to depend on, we might desperately need one of those varieties we’ve let go extinct’
    • I actually really like the way this dilemma is presented – where you’ve got to think/scoff first and then the reasoning is presented afterwards
  • “the world has become increasingly dependent upon technology driven, one-size-fits-all solutions to its problems. Yet the best hope for securing food’s future may depend on our ability to preserve the locally cultivated foods of the past” – I could be wrong, but this means Charles is not particularly pro-GMO right? Or am I just looking for an opportunity to be right?
  • “It took more than 10 000 years of domestication for humans to create the vast biodiversity in our food supply that we’re now watching ebb way”, “painstakingly developed livestock” – this comes across as a bit too dramatic. He seems like someone who would pine over his ex-lover for years. It sucks, but let it go, dude.
  • I did not know that introducing GMO was called the green revolution. That’s very interesting.
  • Okay, so what I’ve gotten so far is that if we produce GMO food in maximum yields, we produce fewer varieties of breeds – which gives us a risk of putting us in food shortages in the future.
  • This infographic is such a potent way of showing the decline of these crops.


  • It’s also really interesting that local farmers have put themselves in debt in trying to keep up with the new agricultural demands. That addict simile is a little lost on me, though – “they are like addicts, hooked on a habit they can ill afford in either economic and ecological terms”.
  • Stalin deemed a Russian botanist’s efforts to conserve many species of seeds as “bourgeois science” and put him in a concentration camp???
  • Bourgeois = conformist, conventional
  • Also, Hitler hoped to one day control the world’s food supply. Jesus.
  • “doomsday vault” – I get that this a serious topic that could help so many people, but I feel like he does not need to use these sensationalist phrases to make his point
  • I love how he draws attention to how smart farmers are and how intricate their work is – I feel like farmers are seriously underappreciated.
  • “Contextualise it” – a farmer explains why he isn’t completely against science. I LOVE this. It allows a middle ground between the two sides of the argument.
  • I really like that the author gave this face by speaking to a family who has been affected by this. When people attach real characters with names and experiences to problems, I definitely think they pay more attention – the problem is less abstract that way. I think Siebert made a good call by leaving it to the end, as that would be what the reader is left thinking with, not a pile of statistics.
  • I really appreciate the continuous photos of a variety of species of animals and seeds. It’s like constantly (subtly) making your point.



Verbose: ‘The Sociopath Next Door’

Following my first introduction of sociopaths and what they are 3 years ago, I have been deeply fascinated by these individuals. In fact, I started studying Psychology because I love to learn about the unusual people. Additionally, I seriously started to wonder one person in particular I am close with was a sociopath; she seemed to tick the boxes.

Continue reading “Verbose: ‘The Sociopath Next Door’”

Verbose: “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s how Good You Want To Be”

Forever in the pursuit of motivation, I picked up Paul Arden’s It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How You Want To Be. My first impression was: this is a tiny book. 127 A5 pages – seriously. How much did I pay for it again?  Borrow it from a friend; you could literally give it back at the end of that afternoon.

Continue reading “Verbose: “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s how Good You Want To Be””

Verbose: The Guardian’s review of ‘Not That Kind of Girl’

(Verbose is a series that aims helping me understand the way other people write, so that I can be a better writer myself. Feel free to skip if you are not too interested in what I am reading.)

Lately, I have been watching Girls. I realise that I am years behind, but it is now exam time. No need for elaboration.

Picture cred:

I had heard a lot about it. Lots of people I admire claimed it was brilliant; fresh and respectable. I do not know much about Lena Dunham, but I have vague knowledge that she represents feminism in pop culture. Continue reading “Verbose: The Guardian’s review of ‘Not That Kind of Girl’”

Verbose: “12 Ways to Fake Confidence, As Told By Someone Who Fakes It All the Time”


(Verbose is a series that aims helping me understand the way other people write, so that I can be a better writer myself. Feel free to skip if you are not too interested in what I am reading.)

Perhaps I have acquired an obsessions for readings will help me achieve #GirlBoss level. Today, I found myself reading “12 Ways to Fake Confidence, As Told By Someone Who Fakes It All the Time” by Jordan Cross.

Usually, self-motivation articles tell you how to obtain genuine confidence. From the beginning, Cross let me know that that was not the case. That is what enticed me into reading more – it seemed like something I can take more from.

Continue reading “Verbose: “12 Ways to Fake Confidence, As Told By Someone Who Fakes It All the Time””

Verbose: #Girl Boss – yes, girl.

Lately I have been feeling very unimpressed with how studious I have not been. My lack of progress in furthering my career is discouraging. But I have not had the motivation to change any of that either – which only perpetuates how unimpressed with myself I get.

When I saw someone in my Journalism class with #GirlBoss next to her, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I had heard it was a good book and with such a provocative title, I strongly felt that would be the push I needed. Thanks, Khinali, for lending this gem to me.

Continue reading “Verbose: #Girl Boss – yes, girl.”