Creative Problem Stating and Solution / by Sara Snyder

Committing to one project or topic for the rest of the semester is difficult for me. I'm hoping to utilize the challenge as a way to build upon my research skills within a realistic scope with the intention of pivoting as new epiphanies arrive. Here's to starting and sticking to a creative process.


PROBLEM: DNA of the seeds that grow our food is being altered to improve production yields in a shorter amount of time. Three major corporations monopolize these seeds for profit and influence farmer’s growing methods. Additionally, the ownership of the seeds limits the ability for farmers to save seeds and rotate crops for the next season. Now that these seeds are widely consumed, is it possible to tell the difference between a non-altered and an altered seed by looking at them?

SOLUTION: Visually showcase the differences between seeds with altered DNA and seeds without.  Using my soybean project as a jumping off point, I intend to use photography as a means to express the similarities and differences among the seed species. This visual piece intends to inform viewers in what they are consuming at the most basic cellular level. 

Questions to think about:

How can I access DNA altered seeds?

--> Can organic crops be GMO/DNA altered?

Do visual similarities tell a compelling narrative about our crops?

What crops/ food look the most interesting up close and from afar?

What seeds impact farmers and the American consumer the most?

Will consumers alter their consumption choices if they can tell the difference between a 'natural' food and an 'unnatural' one?

Is there room to incorporate the lack of seed biodiversity into this project?

How does National Plant Germplasm System play a role in maintaining biodiversity and natural seeds?