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51% Show #1264

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We'll talk with author Elizabeth Gilbert about her new book, which takes her back to her fiction roots and back in history... plus we'll hear about planting a food forest and securing seeds for the future.

I don't usually feature fiction writers on this show – there is so much news and so much to learn that there just doesn't seem to be the time. But once in a while I read a book that is so good I just have to tell you about it.  The Signature of All Things is Elizabeth Gilbert's first work of fiction since Eat Pray Love catapulted her to global fame. It's the story of Alma Whittaker, an educated, wealthy woman whose love of the science of botany leads her to discoveries of revolutionary scientific importance. Alma is a great character, and The Signature of All Things is a ripping good read.

Up next, alternatives to industrial agriculture - turning urban parks into intricate food systems. 

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Across the country, communities are creating alternatives to the model of industrial agriculture and finding ways to both care for the earth and grow healthy food. One of these solutions is called a food forest, a sustainable method of growing edible plants and trees. One of the nation’s largest is Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, Washington where the urban food movement is transforming parkland one acre at a time. Martha Baskin has our story.

Food waste is costing the world $750 billion each year, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  Deanne Penn has this report from UN Radio.

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Credit Ton Rulkens
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  When genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn’t take long for accusations to start flying. No one knew how the unapproved wheat ended up in the ground. A flurry of finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Colorado, which housed the same strain of wheat. The facility's been cleared of wrongdoing. But that led Harvest Public Media's Luke Runyon to wonder – just how secure is a seed vault?  

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our theme  music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.

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