The need to produce more food in some regions of Asia during the past fifty years was—for a time—achieved by increasing the yields of grain crops by as much as 2.5 percent per year using industrial farming methods. These methods relied on high-yielding hybrid seeds and more recently seeds of genetically modified (GM) crops, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and intense irrigation. But by 2004 annual growth rates of crop yields began declining, e.g. the annual growth in yield for rice crops dropped to as low as .5 percent.
Mark Fergusson's blog
As concern over diminishing soil quality grows in the Asia-Pacific region, natural farming methods may hold the cure. The prime cause of soil erosion and nutrient depletion during the past thirty years is over-application of chemical fertilizer.
This is the finding of a study by the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Science, which notes that farmers have become too dependent on artificial fertilizers. They haven't been building up their soil with organic matter that nurtures the soil naturally and binds it together to help resist erosion due to wind and rain.
In many Asian and South Asian cultures, the health benefits of rice and other staple starches are well established. Lacking this cultural knowledge, many people in Western countries have bought into fad diets that encourage the consumption of high-fat protein from meat and dairy products. These diets discourage people from eating starches and carbohydrates (grains).
Mark Fergusson, Chief Organic Officer (CEO/CFO) Down to Earth Organic & Natural
Plant-based diets are experiencing a resurgence throughout Asian countries as millions of consumers make the switch for religious, health, and environmental reasons. It counters the trend of increasing economic prosperity that is leading many people to adopt a western meat-based diet. Although they see it as a status symbol of affluence, the adoption of this unsustainable diet leads to ill health and disease.
"Young bamboo bends, old bamboo breaks.” This saying from Indian yoga philosophy illustrates how our behaviors and attitudes are more flexible in our youth than in our old age. That's why it's important that we begin teaching children how to eat healthy while they're young. Experts at the World Health Organization agree that the healthiest diet is a low-fat, plant-based diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables in their natural, unprocessed state.
Vegetarianism has a long history dating back to the early days of civilization. Particularly in India, the idea of ahimsa (nonviolence) was a basic tenet of human society. Animals were respected and protected; kings were known as the protectors of the people, janadhipa, including the animals.
Vegetarians in India are being increasingly recognized by the globalized fast-food industry.
Industry giants such as McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food company, Subway (sandwiches), Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Kentucky Fried Chicken have been adjusting their menus to meet the local vegetarian requirements of India's consumers, while expanding their locations throughout the sub continent.
(This is the third installment of a three-part series about the potential risks of foods containing genetically modified ingredients)
As consumers, we value the basic right to choose from a wide variety of foods in the marketplace, to make informed choices as to what to eat and what we feed our families. Presently this right is being denied to consumers around the world who want to know whether a food contains genetically modified organisms (GMO).
(This is the second installment of a three-part series about the potential risks of foods containing genetically modified ingredients)
Genetically modified crops, and products containing genetically modified ingredients, may pose health, safety and other potential risks that far outweigh the purported benefits. A genetically modified organism, or GMO, is the result of a laboratory process where genes are taken from one species and inserted into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic.
(This is the first installment of a three-part series about the potential risks of foods containing genetically modified ingredients)
One of the most dangerous and least understood experiments with human health the world has ever known is currently underway without your consent—in your household and households around the world. It is the wholesale contamination of the world's food supply with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).