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The Viking in the Wheat Field: A Scientist's Struggle to Preserve the World's Harvest

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  9 reviews
"An eye-opening look into the little known world of gene banks and crop breeding and a poignant reminder that the real guardians of our food security are nnot armies or corporations, but a handul of tirless scientists who have laboared for decades to keep us on step ahead of famine."
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by Walker Books (first published 2009)
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3.61  · 
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Kathy
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
“If the seeds disappear, so could your food.…So could you.” These are the words of Bent Skovmand who headed the wheat germ bank at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico and fought to keep seeds free and open to breeders and farmers around the world. Dworkin’s well-written biography also introduces readers to the world of genetic crop manipulation – with genes from other strains of the crops and from unrelated organisms – and efforts, both non-profit and for-profit, to pr ...more
Emily
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Who knew a story about Plant Pathology and Seed Banks could be so interesting? I picked this book up because it was on display at the Plant Pathology Library at the U of M, the cover looked cool, and it was about U of M graduates. I finished it because it was fascinating to read about these scientists efforts to bread wheat that would grow in different climates and be resistant to various parasites and plagues. It really touched me that Skovmand's main goal throughout his life as a breeder of wh ...more
Matthew
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Book is about an interesting topic which I don't know much about, namely how scientists worked to preserve crops and increase yields to feed the world's ever growing population. Dworkin tries to make this interesting by seeing it through the lens of Bent Skovmmand, a Danish scientist who worked at CIMMYT (International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat) with some Indiana Jones-like tendencies and a tireless devotion to making sure that people will have the grains they need to feed th ...more
Joan
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's a slow read simply cause I'm busy reading too much fiction right now. When I finished it I felt glad that I had. It was very interesting but I think I enjoyed Lee's version as he told me about it than the actual reading of it.
MikeFromQueens
Feb 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-writers
Pretty interesting how the extreme complications and lengthy process of wheat germ management and genetic modifications are carried out in the field and not the lab. At time, the author states politically minded perspectives, but it was a only an occasional distraction.
Karin Lippert
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent background on the need to save our original seeds of life as the battle against GMOs heats up.
Jolene
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic!!
Larry
Mar 28, 2012 rated it liked it
An excellent book for its topic but the topic of wheat just isn't too terribly interesting.

Nonetheless, I kept reading. The fact that it had U of M alumni helped keep an interest.
Archie
Jul 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010-books

While this is not usually my cup of tea, I did appreciate the hard work these scientists are putting forth to make sure we have a stable food supply for years/centuries to come...
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Susan Dworkin is an unlimited author. She writes books for everyone.

ARE YOU A TRUE HISTORY BUFF? Susan co-wrote the New York Times Best Seller, THE NAZI OFFICER'S WIFE, with Edith Hahn Beer, the woman who lived this amazing story of love, terror and courage in Hitler's Germany.

ARE YOU A SCIENCE FICTION FAN? Susan's thrill-filled novel, THE COMMONS, is set 150 years in the future, When an ancient
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“Anyone can know exactly what is stored in the vault by going to its “Seed Portal”—www.nordgen.org/sgsv.” 0 likes
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