Why Biodiversity also promotes Food Security
Dear Friends of ELIANT,
Food security cannot be taken for granted. It is currently being threatened by the Ukraine war and rising inflation. In the longer term however, the threat comes from dwindling biodiversity and climate-induced drought and flooding of the soil.
Why is biodiversity disappearing? The over fertilization of crop lands destroys the rich diversity of the ecosystem. Added to this is the use of pesticides and particularly neonicotinoids in mainstream agriculture. These highly active nerve agent poisons have been used since the 1990s and are in the seeds marketed across the world by the major seed corporations. This nerve poison distributes itself throughout the plant including the pollen and nectar. As a result it is causing massive harm to insects, including the bee population. Studies show that in the period 1989 – 2014 the number of insects has declined by 80%.
Why is the reduction of insects so serious? Fewer insects mean that insect-eating birds have less to feed on; this means fewer and less variety of birds. Less insects also mean that fewer flowers are pollinated and this affects yields. On top of this mono-cultures of empty landscapes – with no hedges, herbs and flowering plants – contribute to the death of insects and the all round loss of biodiversity.
Because of the war and the rising cost of food, there is a great temptation to leave the products of organic and biodynamic agriculture on the shelf in favour of conventionally produced cheaper alternatives. It is however particularly important to be clear about these interrelationships and to consciously buy food from sustainable agriculture, even if it is only a few products per week. Such products come from organic and Demeter farms where no pesticides are used and there are no mono-cultures. If many people do this we will be able collectively to increase the areas of land where biodiversity is growing. This supports future food security, helps nature and hence each one of us.
With hope and warm greetings
on behalf of the ELIANT Alliance
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