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OPEN SESAME: The Story of Seeds

Directed by M. Sean Kaminksy
82 min | USA | 2014 | Not Rated

*Dr. Lynn Bohs, PhD from Harvard University and a professor of biology at the University of Utah, will be joining us after the film for a discussion on the importance of biodiversity and plant evolution.

One of the world’s most precious resources is at risk. This timely and emotionally moving documentary illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food: SEEDS.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), approximately 90% of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed 100 years ago no longer exist today. Heritage grain is near extinction. Seeds that were lovingly nurtured over decades or even hundreds of years have been lost forever. Maintaining seed biodiversity allows us to breed new varieties that are resistant to pests or thrive in temperature extremes. This is essential in a changing climate.

Meanwhile, corporations are co-opting seed genetics using patent law. In the past, the seed was communal. Seeds were a shared resource not unlike the water we drink or the air we breathe. One hundred years ago things started to change. Today, corporate-owned seed accounts for 82% of the world-wide market. Plants grown from transgenic seeds (also known as GMOs) send pollen through the wind and contaminate neighboring crops. When this happens, large companies threaten affected farmers with lawsuits (and nearly always win). Once a crop is contaminated by GMO pollen there is no turning back.

This film tells the story of seeds by following their challenges and triumphs as they work to save this precious resource.

It’s not too late… yet.
Dr. Lynn Bohs – Bio
Lynn Bohs is an expert on the evolution and classification of the Solanaceae, the nightshade or tomato family. She has collected Solanaceae in 14 countries, mainly in Latin America, and has described many species new to science. She has contributed to our understanding of the biodiversity and evolutionary relationships in the giant plant genus Solanum (over 1400 species), which contains the economically important crops tomato, potato, and eggplant. Her current project focuses on chili peppers and their relatives, another economically important group within the nightshade family. When not in the tropics, she enjoys teaching and botanizing in Utah and the Intermountain West.



Featured, Salt Lake City, Science Movie Night

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 @ 7:00 PM9:00 PM MDT