Agriculture

Agriculture

How Our Vegetables Became Less Nutritious than Our Parents’?

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World Hunger is real but solution for it, is not only faulty but disastrous.

Certain nutrients only exist in complex forms. If bacteria are missing in soil, we will never get them in crops. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides devastates microbial activity and so we never get them.

Never ending greed of more yield
Never ending greed of more yield

World Hunger has only one solution. Gau mata. Her Prasad is so powerful that it can turn desert into fertile land.

Are the fruits and veggies we eat today less nutritious than they were years ago? The answer is yes, and the reasons why lie in how we farm.

The next question you might have is how bad is it? Well, it depends. Some studies have found median declines in mineral composition between 5 percent to 40 percent in vegetables.

The difference is in the methods we use to farm, Davis reported: “Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance, and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly, but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”

Farms that use high-yield plants may get more crops, but all that energy going toward a bigger bounty results in a shallower root system, which means less mineral absorption.

If you want quality fruits and veggies, you may have to look to local markets where the price per piece of food may be higher, but the quality of food may also be better. If these markets aren’t available to you the solution is simple: Eat more fruits and vegetables.

In Indian parlance, there is only one way : Promote Cow-based farming.

Read more here: http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/vegetables-today-are-less-nutritious

 


Research


Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?

Three kinds of evidence point toward declines of some nutrients in fruits and vegetables available in the United States and the United Kingdom: 1) early studies of fertilization found inverse relationships between crop yield and mineral concentrations—the widely cited “dilution effect”; 2) three recent studies of historical food composition data found apparent median declines of 5% to 40% or more in some minerals in groups of vegetables and perhaps fruits; one study also evaluated vitamins and protein with similar results; and 3) recent side-by-side plantings of low- and high-yield cultivars of broccoli and grains found consistently negative correlations between yield and concentrations of minerals and protein, a newly recognized genetic dilution effect. Studies of historical food composition data are inherently limited, but the other methods can focus on single crops of any kind, can include any nutrient of interest, and can be carefully controlled. They can also test proposed methods to minimize or overcome the diluting effects of yield whether by environmental means or by plant breeding.

http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/44/1/15.full

Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999

http://saveoursoils.com/userfiles/downloads/1351255687-Changes%20in%20USDA%20food%20composition%20data%20for%2043%20garden%20crops,%201950-1999.pdf

Declining Nutrition
Declining Nutrition

Research: Human activity (Fertilizers and Pesticides, Deforestation) affecting microbes in soil

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“Adding nitrogen and phosphorous, commonly used as fertilizers, to the soil beneath grasslands shifts the natural communities of fungi, bacteria and microscopic organisms”

Can you imagine the rampant destruction of our soil in last 50 years? So called Green revolution destroyed microbial wealth we once had. Reason why India was known as land of golden sparrows.

Urea Microbes
Urea Microbes

Our present govt is planning to promote second wave of Green Revolution. Few more forests will be cut and soil nurtured for 1000s of years will become desert in few years.

There is only one solution. Gau mata and her prasad. Cow-dung, urine, milk – they can only replenish dying soil in shortest possible time.


Research


Consistent responses of soil microbial communities to elevated nutrient inputs in grasslands across the globe

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/35/10967.abstract

Significance

Human activities have resulted in large increases in the availability of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Although plant community responses to elevated nutrients have been well studied, soil microbial community responses remain poorly understood, despite their critical importance to ecosystem functioning. Using DNA-sequencing approaches, we assessed the response of soil microbial communities to experimentally added nitrogen and phosphorus at 25 grassland sites across the globe. Our results demonstrate that the composition of these communities shifts in consistent ways with elevated nutrient inputs and that there are corresponding shifts in the ecological attributes of the community members. This study represents an important step forward for understanding the connection between elevated nutrient inputs, shifts in soil microbial communities, and altered ecosystem functioning.

Abstract

Soil microorganisms are critical to ecosystem functioning and the maintenance of soil fertility. However, despite global increases in the inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to ecosystems due to human activities, we lack a predictive understanding of how microbial communities respond to elevated nutrient inputs across environmental gradients. Here we used high-throughput sequencing of marker genes to elucidate the responses of soil fungal, archaeal, and bacterial communities using an N and P addition experiment replicated at 25 globally distributed grassland sites. We also sequenced metagenomes from a subset of the sites to determine how the functional attributes of bacterial communities change in response to elevated nutrients. Despite strong compositional differences across sites, microbial communities shifted in a consistent manner with N or P additions, and the magnitude of these shifts was related to the magnitude of plant community responses to nutrient inputs. Mycorrhizal fungi and methanogenic archaea decreased in relative abundance with nutrient additions, as did the relative abundances of oligotrophic bacterial taxa. The metagenomic data provided additional evidence for this shift in bacterial life history strategies because nutrient additions decreased the average genome sizes of the bacterial community members and elicited changes in the relative abundances of representative functional genes. Our results suggest that elevated N and P inputs lead to predictable shifts in the taxonomic and functional traits of soil microbial communities, including increases in the relative abundances of faster-growing, copiotrophic bacterial taxa, with these shifts likely to impact belowground ecosystems worldwide.

Research: Plants also suffer from stress: High Salt stress

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For last 50 years and more, greed-centered chemical farming created unprecedented amount of stress for soil and crop grown upon it.

What you eat, you become. Stress is new normal condition. There is invisible confusion and chaos everywhere. No one is at peace. There are peace-shops flourishing everywhere. Spiritual business is all time hit.

Root cause? Stress.

Solution? Stop giving stress to environment.

Crop and Stress
Crop and Stress

Research


Plants also suffer from stress

http://newsroom.melbourne.edu/news/plants-also-suffer-stress

“More and more of the world’ crops are facing salt stress with high salt in soils (also known as salinity) affecting 20% of the total, and 33% of irrigated, agricultural lands worldwide, “ said Professor Persson, from University of Melbourne, Australia, formerly at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology.

“By 2050 it is estimated that we need to increase our production of food by 70% to feed an additional 2.3 billion people. Salinity is a major limiting factor for this goal as more than 50% of the arable land may be salt afflicted by the year 2050,’

“It is therefore of great agricultural importance to find genes and mechanisms that can improve plant growth under such conditions. “

The team has identified a protein family that helps plants to grow on salt, and outlined a mechanism for how these proteins aid the plants to produce their biomass under salt stress conditions. The work was published today in the journal Cell.

“Plants need to make bigger cells and more of them if they want to grow and develop, “ added Prof Persson.

“Unlike animal cells, plant cells are surrounded by a cellular exoskeleton, called cell walls which direct plant growth and protect the plant against diseases. Importantly, most of the plants biomass is made up of the cell wall with cellulose being the major component.

“Hence, plant growth largely depend on the ability of plants to produce cell walls and cellulose, also under stress conditions, and it is therefore no surprise that research on cell wall biosynthesis is of high priority.”

Why do I grow my own wheat?

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Reason why I now grow my own wheat and all other staple food.

The chart below is from a December 2013 study published in the Journal Interdisciplinary Toxicology examining glyphosate pathways to modern diseases such as celiac and gluten intolerance. [1][2]

Glyphosate and Celiac
Glyphosate and Celiac
Mindless use of pesticides and herbicides
Mindless use of pesticides and herbicides

Using Roundup on wheat crops throughout the entire growing season and even as a desiccant just prior to harvest may save the farmer money and increase profits, but it is devastating to the health of the consumer who ultimately consumes the glyphosate residue laden wheat kernels.

Pesticides and herbicides are making their ways to our dinner tables since 1980s. Just because Roundup doesn’t kill you immediately doesn’t make it nontoxic. In fact, the active ingredient in Roundup lethally disrupts the all important shikimate pathway found in beneficial gut microbes which is responsible for synthesis of critical amino acids. After 30 years, effectsare on surface. We are now in the dark zone. What follows from here is painful.

And this is not just wheat story. Same model is now replicated in other crops too. 🙁

Better we inspire our farmer brothers to get rid of such moron farming and bring mother (Gau mata) home back. They may experience reduction in profit but nothing better than disengaging from horrible karma of serving poison to all consumers 🙁.

It is not mere coincidence that Punjab is having highest number of cancer cases post green revolution euphoria. Karma. 🙁


Research


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/

[2] http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/real-reason-for-toxic-wheat-its-not-gluten/

The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)

Common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest 

Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup or other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980.  It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT who hasstudied the issue in depth and who I recently saw present on the subject at a nutritional Conference in Indianapolis, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came into vogue late in the 1990’s with the result that most of the non-organic wheat in the United States is now contaminated with it.  Seneff explains that when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds resulting in a slightly greater yield:   “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies. At its last gasp, it releases the seed” says Dr. Seneff.

Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.

 

Research: Crop Rotation is the way forward

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While this is ‘the first study of its kind’ study by this university (lol 😀 ), this is ancient wisdom for my land, my culture.

Unfortunately, Britishers injected Cotton greed in forefarmers. Same greed based farming continued. Cash-crops and monocropping sucked land for last 70 years.

Unless soil is rich by microbes, (which is not possible in land treated by chemicals), nutrients in our food will deplete year by year. We already see consequences. From iron to calcium to B12.

Crop rotation is a time tested agricultural strategy that has been in use for centuries. Once can find its reference in many ancient scriptures.During the Green Revolution, this traditional practice of crop rotation was replaced by the practice of monoculture or single crop cultivation where in chemical inputs are provided to the soil for supplementing the nutrient loss. However the drawbacks of monoculture farming have become apparent today, notably from the perspective of sustainable agriculture and the risk of catastrophic crop failure.

NFREC-Sod-based-Rotation
NFREC-Sod-based-Rotation

Research


Crop rotation boosts soil microbes, benefits plant growth

Researchers tested five combinations of three – soy, wheat, and corn – and two cover crops – red clover and rye. They also planted a crop of only corn, while minimizing the effects of other management practices such as variable fertilizer and pesticide inputs that interfere with the crop rotation effect. Researchers observed a 33 percent increase in soil carbon by increasing rotational diversity. An indication of soil organic matter, the carbon content of soil is a major factor in its overall health and improves the physical properties of soil. Researchers also found that as crop diversity increased, so did total nitrogen concentrations, a sign of soil fertility.

“The data we present are the first to support the hypothesis that increasing rotational diversity fundamentally changes microbial community structure and activity, with positive effects on aggregate formation and soil organic matter accrual,” Tiemann said. “These findings provide further support for the use of rotational diversity as a viable management practice for promoting agroecosystem sustainability.”

A byproduct of increased pressure on soils due to agricultural intensification is a negative impact on and function. This is a problem worldwide and can lessen soil’s ability to perform important ecosystem functions. Results may include threats to long-term food security, increases in greenhouse gas emission, and a reduction in water quality.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-09-crop-rotation-boosts-soil-microbes.html#jCp

Weedkillers and Rural Suicides

farmers-suicides-in-India Img src: http://goo.gl/LMJnHX
farmers-suicides-in-India
Img src: http://goo.gl/LMJnHX

Rural depression and suicides are little different than urban cases. In urban life, it is more sort of mind-induced depression due to mindless race for fame, money and luxury or acute life management stress.

In rural India, despite being in the laps of mother nature, farmers suicide. Why?

Modern chemical agriculture and ruthless chemical marketing (By govt and MNC companies). Innocent farmers (and their several generations since Green revolution) and Greedy farmers, both, are succumbed to chemical warfare.

Weedkillers tied to depression in farmers. Pseudo-scientific activists, right? When I share this with my so called intellectual friends, they give this reply – all this is propaganda by Pseudo-scientific activists. Yes, American Journal of Epidemiology is one such journal promoting pseudo-science.

Your food plate carry depression triggers. Your mental state surrenders easily when not trained by real science of life. Go read it. Find farmer friend in near by village. Inspire them and support them for spiritually inclined farming and live beautiful life.

My personal experience meeting farmer families is depressing. Especially, farmers storing pesticides in home – None of them fall in happy family definition, despite being wealthy.

Solution is very simple and possible for all farmers. We as a society, lack the will to implement it. Solution is : Cow based Agriculture. Local food cycles. Urban-Rural connect for food. Human pockets with common goal = food.

Pesticide Exposure and Depression Among Agricultural Workers in France

  1. Marc G. Weisskopf*,
  2. Frédéric Moisan,
  3. Christophe Tzourio,
  4. Paul J. Rathouz and
  5. Alexis Elbaz
  1. *Correspondence to Dr. Marc G. Weisskopf, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Landmark Center, 401 Park Drive, P.O. Box 15697, Boston, MA 02215 (e-mail: mweissko@hsph.harvard.edu).

Pesticides are ubiquitous neurotoxicants, and several lines of evidence suggest that exposure may be associated with depression. Epidemiologic evidence has focused largely on organophosphate exposures, while research on other pesticides is limited. We collected detailed pesticide use history from farmers recruited in 1998–2000 in France. Among 567 farmers aged 37–78 years, 83 (14.6%) self-reported treatment or hospitalization for depression. On the basis of the reported age at the first such instance, we used adjusted Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for depression (first treatment or hospitalization) by exposure to different pesticides. The hazard ratio for depression among those who used herbicides was 1.93 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.95, 3.91); there was no association with insecticides or fungicides. Compared with nonusers, those who used herbicides for <19 years and ≥19 years (median for all herbicide users, 19 years) had hazard ratios of 1.51 (95% CI: 0.62, 3.67) and 2.31 (95% CI: 1.05, 5.10), respectively. Similar results were found for total hours of use. Results were stronger when adjusted for insecticides and fungicides. There is widespread use of herbicides by the general public, although likely at lower levels than in agriculture. Thus, determining whether similar associations are seen at lower levels of exposure should be explored.

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/11/aje.kwt089

Weedkillers tied to depression in farmers

 

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