Reading about how species naturally adapt to their changing environment awoke the sleeping 12-year-old biology student in me. The student who used to look at the illustration in the books daydreaming about the meaning of life. I felt like I needed to do more research (because to be honest I think I looked at the illustrations in the biology books more than I did the reading). More research within the field of biology was therefore needed.
I started of at the biology section but was a bit “put of” by the lack of colourful plans, x-rays of frogs and cells so instead I asked the librarian for “the kids section” and told her that my 12 year old brother (that I don´t have) is very interested in Darwin and evolution and natural adaption and wondered if she had a book that easily could explain it to him. She told me I was a very nice sister to get books for my brother I said “thanks” but felt a bit guilty because of the fact that I didn´t have one. She returned with a couple of books such as Charles Darwin, Living in the world, The Complete Book Of Animals and A Book Of Wild Flowers I opened one and yes there were the pictures that I was looking for. I asked her if she had other books like “flora once” with illustrations in them. At this point she gave me a long look and asked if these too were for my twelve-year old brother. “Yes” I said with a nod- this time she gave me an even longer look before she went away and returned with three different books on flowers.
Updating my very much non-existing knowledge in the field of biology I came across a man called Darwin. Clever people might have heard of him, hahaha! Darwin (the dude) came up with a theory of evolution called ”Natural selection” where he theorised that all species on our earth are related and can be traced back to a common ancestors. According to him the birds, the bananas, the fishes are all related. Is it only in my head that a creature with a banana body, a fish tale and a pair of wings pops up?!
Well anyways, he also stressed that the most successful characteristics ofthe species and the animals that best adapted to the changing environment surrounding them were passed on through generations. Darwin’s theory was later adapted by others who stated that the evolution of the species have been more complex than that. An additional theory was also added- the theory of mutation. According to some, natural mutation (changed cells) occurto all species. Darwin’s theory therefore becomes more complex.
I don´t want to bore you with all of the facts. This is not a text by a biology student- it´s written by an interaction design student reading kids books about evolution so lets move on to something we can all relate to. Food! Yes random I know but I have a point I promise. I have always lived under the motto of ”you are what you eat”. I was raised by a mother, who gave my twin sister and I raisins as a treat instead of crisps, so maybe that’s why. I therefore make sure to eat things that I know are good for my body which is plant-based wholefoods. Because I am such a food geek I do a lot of reading about food- I read articles and watch documentaries about nutrition and fitness. One day I came across an article in the guardian that stated that the pesticide sprayed on foods like bananas, broccoli and other vegetables might be a contributor to the increased number of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s sufferers in our world. Reading this I freaked out- these foods especially the banana are something I eat on a daily basis. The article mentioned that it´s best to always opt for organic to lower the risk of dying young with a body full of tumours. I would love to be able to get organic food. But in reality it´s too expensive. As long as I am a student paying 9000 pounds for a degree each year without an income I am not going to afford the luxury of organic foods… Even though I believe that organic is the best to go.
Let´s go back to Darwin for a second… And hopefully me jumping from Darwin to Organic food will make sense to you now. My idea for this project was based on a mix of Darwin’s theory of evolution and reading about the cancerogenic spray. We live in a world where moon might shortly become the number one holiday destination, where robots will take over our jobs and where cows can be modified to look like body builders. If we can do all of this- wouldn´t we be able to protect our fruit and vegetables against insects in an organic way?
If we look at the most successfully adapted species in the world- they protect themselves against their enemies in the most bizarre ways. The Texas horn Lizard protects itself by shooting blood from its eyes, the Spanish Ribntch shoots it ribs through it´s chest when it feels threatened and the Possum plays dead when it feels scared. What would happen if we used such defence mechanisms as seen in nature to protect our crops against insects instead of using cancerogenic pesticide.
On this note I decided to create a new species of Bananas- a banana adapted to it´s threatening environment of climate change and dangerous insects. The banana can camouflage itself like a chameleon, has a protective furry coat like the kiwi and spikes like the cacti. Who needs poisonous pesticide spray? As the Bernard of Clairvaux used to say ”Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.”