Food For The Ark – The Doomsday Vault

The Ark floated silently through the night. Although the skies were clear, the
earth was saturated from 500 days of rain. On day 200 of the unremitting
downpour, all the lakes, rivers, and oceans crested, and their waters now
covered every square inch of the planet. In 2020 global warming finally
reached a tipping point, and the South Pole glaciers began to melt rapidly.
The rising sea levels increased coastal erosion, elevating storm surges that,
in turn, warmed air and ocean temperatures, thus creating increasingly
intense storms. Now home was underwater. The only survivors were a small
group of environmentalists who worked for decades, anticipating the
inevitable. They built massive Arks, each for a specific function. Annie and LJ,
a part of the group, were assigned the Ark of Seed Agriculture. They spent
the past several years preparing by working with the network of 1700 gene
banks worldwide that held seeds unique to each country’s agricultural
heritage. But not relying solely on those banks, they petitioned the central
repository of the seed bank network, The Global Seed Vault, also known
as the Doomsday Vault, to store seeds there. The vault located in Norway
resulted from the International Seed Treaty that the United Nations
negotiated to preserve the earth’s biodiversity. The agreement was signed in
2001, and the vault opened in 2008. Now its entire contents, all 930,000
varieties of seeds representing more than 13,000 years of agricultural
history, were in the hands of Annie and LJ, and they took the responsibility
As was her daily evening habit, Annie checked the top-level gardens to
ensure the rain barrel connections were tightly connected to its drip system.
She finished and went to the navigation room, where she found LJ. “What are
you doing, sweetheart?”
“I’m using celestial navigation to determine our location. I want to make sure
we are on track to rendezvous with the other Arks tomorrow. How are the
gardens doing?”
“They look good. We should have plenty of fruits and vegetables to share.
Did you know all the food comes from heirloom seeds, meaning their
biological purity is intact? Heirloom fruits and veggies come from open-
pollinated seeds that produce plants whose characteristics are identical from
generation to generation.”
“So, if I’m eating an heirloom tomato grown from a seed that was harvested from my grandparents, heirloom tomato plant,
I’m eating the same tomato they ate?”
“Yes, it is the offspring of your grandparent’s tomato plant and will have the same look, flavor, vitamins, and minerals.

It’s a relief to know that when we can plant on earth again, many of the
seeds from the doomsday vault of the ancient and wild varieties that have
not been in circulation for hundreds of years contain the DNA codes to start
over again. Remember when we were gathering the seeds and witnessing
biodiversity loss due to wars and climate change? Even though crop harvests
had increased, genetic biodiversity had decreased, so before the rain
started, only 30 crops provided 95% of food consumed by humans. And, the
United States had lost over 90% of its fruit and vegetable varieties since the
LJ shook his head, “thank god for the doomsday vault, right? I am so glad it
existed and that we could move its contents here to the Ark. I’ll finish the
navigation coordinates in an hour. According to my calculations, we should
meet everyone at about noon tomorrow.”
“That’s good to know because the latest set of seeds I took out of the Ark
vault to grow to increase their numbers are now dry and ready for
distribution” said Annie. “I will make packages to go along with the food.
These seeds will keep us alive until better times – they are everything; what
we eat, wear, and the planet’s future, it all comes from the seeds.”

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