May 04, 2014

Seeds of Hope by Jane Goodall

So, the only thing I ever really knew about Jane Goodall was that she was the lady who worked with chimpanzees.  That's it.  Turns out, she has done a lot more than that.  And a lot of that had to do with plants.

From an early age, Goodall loved plants, and even had a special tree at her grandmother's house.  While off fighting to save the chimpanzees she was studying the local vegetation as well.  In this book there are some accounts of her own experience, but it is also a book of history and current activities in regards to the plant world and the development of world crops.  She covers GMO's, plantations, poisonous plants, beneficial plants and much more.  The actual book is broken into four parts.  My Love For the Natural World, which is just Goodall's history with plants.  Hunting, Gathering and Gardening, which talks about the different gardens and seed banks in the world and even has a special section on orchids.  Uses and Abuses of Plants, which includes sections on healing, drug plants, plantations, mono-crops and GMO's.  And the Way Forward which shows what is going on now to help preserve some of the different plants of the world that are rapidly becoming extinct.

Goodall is almost always polite.  When faced with distasteful topics she kind of side steps around the people who are making it bad and instead focuses on those who are doing good and making differences.  So nothing is scathing in this book in regards to anyone.  And a lot of her personal stories are very nice too.  It's easy to see she was close to her family and enjoyed spending time with her grandmother and the garden that she had.

This book covers some controversial topics.  Goodall is a pretty large name and she blasts GMO's and other crop practices pretty hard.  There's going to be some mad people as a result.  But, since I'm anti-GMO I'm perfectly fine with what she has to say.  If you don't believe the same way though, you won't be happy.  You have been warned.  She did bring up a bunch of topics I knew nothing about and found incredibly interesting.  Like the amount of methane that is produced by rice paddies.  I always thought rice was a pretty good crop, but on a large scale that doesn't appear to be the case.  Just little facts like that make the book well worth reading.  And the pleasant tone, despite the hard topics, makes it very engaging and easy to read. 

I enjoyed this book by Goodall and because of that would probably read more of her books.  She takes an interesting topic and introduces readers to all parts of it.

**This book was received as a Goodreads Giveaway**

Seeds of Hope
Copyright 2014
420 pages

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