Can Organic Farming Feed the World?

What is organic farming? Organic farming can be described as an approach to agriculture where the main aims are to create holistic, nutritional, humane, environmentally and economically sustainable agricultural production systems. Maximum reliance is placed on farm renewable resources and the management of self regulating biological systems and interactions in order to provide exceptional levels of crop, livestock and human nutrition. Protection from pests/diseases, and an acceptable return to the human and other resources employed. Reliance on external inputs whether from chemical or organic is reduced as much as possible. In many European nations, organic agriculture is known as ecological agriculture. This reflects this reliance on ecosystem management rather than external inputs.

The objective of sustainability lies at the heart of organic farming. It is one of the major factors determining the acceptability or otherwise of specific production practices. The term ‘sustainable’ is used in its general sense to encompass not just conservation of non-renewable resources(soil, water, energy, minerals) but also issues of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The term ‘organic’ is best described as referring to the concept of the farm as an whole organism in which all the component parts – the soil minerals, insects, organic matter, microorganisms, plants, animals and man interact to create a workable and stable whole.

The key characteristics of organic farming are:

  • Protecting the long term fertility of soils by increasing organic matter levels, encouraging soil microbe activity.
  • Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble(natural) nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by soil microorganisms.
  • Nitrogen is provided through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation. I is also provided by recycling of organic materials incorporating crop residues and livestock manure.
  • Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, organic manuring, plant health, natural predators, bio-diversity, resistant varieties(conventional plant breeding) and only natural biological and chemical intervention.
  • The management of livestock involved considering behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to health, nutrition, housing, breeding and rearing.
  • Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the larger environment and the conservation of native wildlife and natural habitats also need to be considered.

Eating Garlic is Good for the Heart

Researchers have cracked the mystery of why eating garlic can help keep the heart healthy. The key is allicin, which is broken down into the foul-smelling sulphur compounds which taint breath. These compounds react with red blood cells and produce hydrogen sulphide which relaxes the blood vessels, and keeps blood flowing easily. Lead researcher Dr David Kraus said: “Our results suggest garlic in the diet is a very good thing. “Certainly in areas where garlic consumption is high, such as the Mediterranean and the Far East, there is a low incidence of cardiovascular disease.”
Read more at BBC Health

Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof

Caldwell Esselstyn, MD, chief of surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, discusses his 18-year study whereby he reversed severe heart disease in every patient in his program — who had all been sent home to die by their cardiologists. Dr. Esselstyn shows you how by changing your diet you can prevent and reverse heart disease. A low-fat plant-based (vegetarian) diet is the key.You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video

The Culprit and the Cure Book Overview

Everyday television, radio, and newspapers report on the latest scientific findings regarding obesity, heart disease, nutrition, and other health topics. These same media outlets provide advertisements about the latest diet fads, fast foods, supplements, and quick health fixes. Most often these messages conflict, leaving the public wondering what is fact, what is fiction, and what can a person do to enjoy optimal health.Steven G. Aldana, Ph.D. has cut through the marketing hype, sorted through reams of research, and consolidated mountains of evidence to put together a real-world guide to healthy living. His book The Culprit and the Cure is a practical guide that allows real people-like you and I-to improve the quality and length of their lives.

Dr. Aldana presents the scientific evidence suggesting that healthy lifestyle choices can significantly increase the health, vitality, and longevity of individuals. We all know that non-smokers live longer than smokers-but did you know that eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day can reduce your risk of many types of cancer by 50 percent? We all know the importance of regular exercise-but how would your motivation to actually do it change if you knew that exercising can add years to your life expectancy. Or how about increasing your life expectancy by 10 to 20 years by also eating healthy foods?

In The Culprit and the Cure Dr. Aldana has gleaned research from around the globe covering the areas of diet, disease, lifestyle, and healthy behaviors to provide a practical guide to making the changes science has proven will lead to better health and longer life. In an entertaining, easy to understand, and convincing manner, The Culprit and the Cure presents the evidence, makes recommendations, and provides strategies to help even the least disciplined among us achieve a better quality of life.

For anyone who is finally ready to change his or her life for the better, or for anyone simply trying to maintain good health, this is the book to read. As individuals gain an understanding of why good nutrition and physical activity are vital to long-term health, The Culprit and the Cure empowers them with hands-on tips and achievable guidance on how to eat right, exercise, and enjoy a long, high-quality life. Once readers see this information transform their own lives, they will want to share it with those they really care about.

The Culprit and the Cure truly transforms the lives of readers as they:

  • Learn how life span and the risk of chronic diseases are determined by lifestyle choices
  • Understand how science has solved much of the good health puzzle
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life
  • Begin and maintain a habit of regular exercise and good nutrition
  • Experience health and quality living in ways they never thought possible

Steven G. Aldana is a professor of lifestyle medicine in the College of Health and Human Performance at Brigham Young University. As a prolific researcher and writer, The Culprit and the Cure is the latest of several books he has written in addition to more than 60 scientific articles. A nationally recognized scientist and teacher, Dr. Aldana has become a leading authority on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Now, with The Culprit and the Cure that importance is supported with a practical, do-able plan to make lifestyle change a reality.According to Dr. Aldana, “This book will help you live a longer, better life. Once you understand why your current lifestyle is causing poor health and see what is meant by good nutrition and physical activity, you will be more ready to change your behaviors. By learning how to change, you start on the road to better health. The time to plan for a healthy future is now.”

Click on the link The Culprit and the Cure – Chapter 1 to read the first chapter or click on The Culprit and the Cure – Chapter 1 to hear the audio version.

Honey Health

Researchers say honey could have sweet health benefits. A study found a direct link between honey consumption and the levels of antioxidants – compounds that help fight heart disease and cancer. That was the conclusion drawn by researchers from UC Davis who evaluated how daily consumption of honey effected 25 people. Darker honey has higher antioxidants.  Another good sugar alternative is erythritol sweetener . You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video

BBC – Horizon – The Secret of El Dorado

New evidence that advanced societies flourished in the Amazon Basin before the arrival of Europeans .It was the most notorious wild-goose chase in history: the Conquistadors’ search for El Dorado, a fabulous kingdom of gold that Indians said lay hidden in the jungles of the Amazon Basin. But now, at last, archaeologists have uncovered the truth behind that myth. They have found evidence of a huge society, as advanced as the Egyptians or the Incas, right in the heart of the rainforest. And this is more than the story of a lost world rediscovered.For it seems that the people of the real El Dorado possessed a secret with the power to transform our world and their secret in the soil could be the solution to solving famine in the third world and other nations once and for all. You need to have flashplayer enabled to watch this Google video