Teenage food activists get props


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos




West Milford students Murad Yassin, 16, and Rebecca Byrne, 18, are seeing more and more recognition for their work that began with starting a seed exchange at the town library, and has expanded to studying GMOs and distributing organic seeds to Africa.

Now in its third year, the seed exchange is stocked with organic seeds available for checkout from the West Milford public library (over 500 packets were checked out in March alone). It all started with Yassin saving the seeds as he chopped vegetables behind the deli counter of his family’s health food store. When he found he had a surplus on his hands, his 4-H leader introduced the concept of a seed bank. Since then, Rebecca, who along with Murad is a member of the 4-H Velveteens of Passaic County, hooked up with mission trips to send along boxes of organic seeds to Liberia, Zimbabwe, South America, Katmandu.

Both teens were recently named Borlaug Scholars by Rutgers and the World Prize NJ Youth Institute. The prize is in the legacy of Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, who worked to feed the world’s hungry. For the event – focused on the question: how are we going to feed 10 billion people? – each student prepared a paper for a panel of judges: Murad’s presentation was on GMOs in the United States and Rebecca’s was on water scarcity in Zimbabwe.

For now Murad is working on making the seed exchange a nonprofit. His goal is to give “everyone the option to have organic free seeds if they want.”




Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



comments powered by Disqus

MUST READ NEWS

Joining the cavemen
The making of a barefoot runner

By Orion Russell Blake

February 3, 2010. That’s when it started. I was catching my regularly scheduled infotainment and...

Read more »
Image

In the path of the jaguar
A rare case of hope for an apex predator

By Jenna Gersie

Connor and I walk with a guide and other tourists down a canopied rainforest path, beside a slow river,...

Read more »
Image

Seed Catalogue to Farmstand
This one stores well

You could be eating cucumbers on Christmas

Germination is slow and sparse



This tastes more like a cucumber than a...

Read more »
Image

Cora’s belly birth
When life gives you a breech baby, cultivating a positive mindset can make a C-section a sacred experience, too

By Emma Frisch

“No more,” I groaned...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



* indicates required


MOST READ

Thin Places
A not so empty field
  • May 2, 2018
How Do You Saturday?
From cop car to farm field
  • May 2, 2018
Poetry
Seed Catalogue to Farmstand
  • Mar 6, 2019
Debatable
Are toy guns okay?
  • May 2, 2018
Griterati
Joining the cavemen
  • Mar 13, 2019
Griterati
A meditation on water
  • May 2, 2018
Yonder
In the path of the jaguar
  • Mar 6, 2019
Features
The O.G. of animal activism
  • Feb 28, 2019
West Milford, NJ