Saving More Than Seeds advances understandings of seed-people relations, with particular focus on seed saving. The practice of reusing and exchanging seeds provides foundation for food production and allows humans and seed to adapt together in dynamic socionatural conditions. But the practice and its practitioners are easily taken for granted, even as they are threatened by neoliberalisation. Combining original ethnographic research with investigation of an evolving corporate seed order, this book reveals seed saving not only as it occurs in fields and gardens but also as it associates with genebanking, genetic engineering, intellectual property rights, and agrifood regulations. Drawing on diverse social sciences literatures, Phillips illustrates ongoing practices of thinking, feeling, and acting with seeds, raising questions about what seed-people relations should accomplish and how different ways of relating might be pursued to change collective futures.
Catherine Phillips is Associate Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
'Saving More Than Seeds is so much more than about seeds and seed saving. Phillips’ captivating account of the competing relational materialities that lie at the site of food production informs not only our understanding of what we eat but teaches us something important about ourselves.’ Michael S. Carolan, Colorado State University, USA ’Saving More Than Seeds is a remarkable book. It lives up to its title: through the optic of a seed, Catherine Phillips opens worlds of practices, conflicts, and meaning. She reveals the tough business of corporate seed mongering as well as the convivial networks of individuals dedicated to saving bio-diversities of plant and human lives. Phillips writes with ease across the uneven terrain of new geographical theories, the political economics of seeds, and the worlds where seeds themselves still matter.’ Elspeth Probyn, University of Sydney, Australia and author of Oceanic Entanglements '...a welcome and important addition to the literature on the modern seed industry and food movements...Phillips covers her topic in depth, producing a thoroughly researched, well written, and well structured work.' Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development