Friends. Don’t get lost in the world of food. To really make changes to your diet, soil to stomach so to speak. it’s important to grasp the following points: 

  • There are at least 30.000 varieties of edible plants available to humans
  • Most plants on earth, over 90 percent, are perennial, which means they exist for more than 1 year.
  • In modern agriculture, we focus on merely a handful of edible or useful plants which are grown for human and animal consumption as well as biofuel. Nearly all of these are annual plants. 
Tree-Vs-Shrub-1
Various classified types of plants and trees we find in Nature
  • Modern agriculture relies on external inputs. One needs to extract from the earth, (oil, minerals etc) in one location to produce in another location. This crude oil driven bubble of abundance is entirely unsustainable and destined to burst. 
  • Nature, whether it’s expressed as a rain forest, ocean or swamp etc, is self-sustaining, regenerative and ever-expanding. It thrives, without the need for inputs from elsewhere. The fuel behind nature is the ecosystem itself.
wheatharvest
It might seem that one person is working this giant field of wheat but in reality, there are countless people involved, producing the machinery, chemicals, tools and seeds that are involved in large scale agriculture. Evidence suggests that small farms are more productive than large scale operations, 70% of the world is still fed from small farms. 
  • Agricultural fields need constant attention from humans in order to exist. Crops fail if there is too much or too little water, extreme wind, sun etc. 
  • Nature always steers towards self-protection, in a forest, for example, all species work together through symbiotic relationships to protect and support each other. That’s why natural disasters, such as earthquakes, typically are only disastrous to man-made structures such as buildings and vehicles

.

bananatree
These banana trees are held up by a bamboo stick to stop them from getting blown over by the wind. In a forest, they are protected from wind by bigger trees. 
  • There are many ways to produce food. The plantation model, the mono-crop type of food cultivation common today, is relatively new. Humans have grown food in more complex and intelligent ways as we have clear evidence of various forms of forest farming in ancient cultures around the world. Whilst the plantation model gives rise to many forms of forced labour, class structures and control, forest farming facilitates a platform for community strength and collaboration. 
  • Traditionally in Bali, rice farming wasn’t as dominant and common as we have seen in recent decades. The roots, shoots and fruits that we may find in a forest garden were a lot more common in the Balinese diet, with taro root (colocasia esculenta) a more common staple food than rice (oryza sativa) up until the 1970’s. 
  • With current pressing issues such as climate change and environmental degradation, it’s more important than ever to embrace the food production methods which support all life, our precious bodies included. 
Tegalalang-Rice-Field-1080x675
Balinese rice paddies surrounded by useful trees such as coconut.

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