Title: Food, Farming & Health
Sub-title: Respecting “Annam” – Agricultural Biodiversity & Traditional Indian Dietary Wisdom
Author: Dr Vandana Shiva – and the scientists of Navdanya
Blurb: In these times of ecological peril, looming agricultural production problems, and creeping human health disaster it behooves all farmers and eaters to turn attention systems which are time-tested. And “time-tested” means millennia, not mere decades.
The several decades since the advent of chemical farming have thrown challenges to ecologies and humans as not experienced in the thousands of years prior. In this multi-authored work readers will connect the dots between the cause of modern disease in toxic farming fields and industrial food factories and gain an introductory understanding to philosophies of human diet, health and healing proven through thousands of years.
The rapid spread of chronic diseases is related to changes in our diets and changes in the way we grow food. The spread of toxics and mono-cultures in farming have produced nutritionally empty food loaded with poisons.
In addition, there is an invasion of industrially, chemically processed food as well as an invasion of an obsolete paradigm of science which ignores the latest in the sciences of ecology, food and health. It treats bad food as “substantially” equal to good food based on reductionist criteria which ignore processes and impacts on our health.
This book shows how health is a continuum from the soil, to the plants, to our bodies. Chemical farming is based on mono-cultures, which deprive us of the diversity we need for a balanced, healthy nutrition. Chemical farming depletes the soils of nutrition, producing plants that are nutritionally empty but full of toxic residues. When we eat chemically produced food we suffer from diseases related to nutrient deficiency and/or toxics.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of rice to many of the cuisines of India. In several Indian languages, the word for “rice” (annam) is the same as the word for “food.” Accordingly, we seek to better understand annam.
Understanding principles of Ayurvedic eating and healing does not have to feel foreign or odd. The brilliant essays which make up this book are certain to educate and inspire.