Smallholdings: the future for organic food production!

A quick look at the beginnings of the Organic Movement gives a clue to price differential. Back in the day, the 1960s and 1970s, the only two forms of organic production were a return to the High Farming of the 19th century or current conventional chemical agriculture with the chemicals removed.

Taking the latter system first, removing the chemicals did nothing to remove the conditions which led to the need for pesticides and herbicides. That being the case the weeds and insects still arrived on cue to decimate crops. Those that survived were, in a supply/demand situation, worth more to consumers.

The return to High Farming in the second half of the twentieth century was not a viable option given the difference on relative wages between the 18th and 20th centuries. High Farming was a system of rotations across the landscape which integrated animals and plant crops. The manures from the animals were Continue reading “Smallholdings: the future for organic food production!”

Can fasting help reverse the symptoms of diabetes?

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Research on mice has suggested that a specialised fasting diet may help regenerate the pancreas to enable it to control blood sugar levels. The study — conducted by the University of Southern California — has major implications for diabetics, both Type 1 and Type 2, as it will potentially help reverse the symptoms of diabetes by allowing the pancreas to regulate high blood sugar levels by releasing insulin into the bloodstream.

Experts interviewed by the BBC said the findings were “potentially very exciting”.

For more information on this developing story see the report published in Cell Magazine and this BBC article.

Is the Mediterranean diet good for mental health?

dieta_mediterranea_italiaCan the Mediterranean diet boost mental as well as physical health? A new study would suggest so.

It’s a familiar story. You are confronted with a range of diets when you seek information on how to improve your health by changing your eating habits.  Some have scientific backing, others don’t. Some are based on the sensible consumption of wholefoods, others just concentrate on a fad “new” ingredient. Many of these are touted as the “next big thing” in wellness and weight loss, though most are eventually discredited as scientific studies reveal how lacking they really are. It’s more than annoying, as the hype that surrounds the false, money-spinning diets obscures the effectiveness of those that do work. Continue reading “Is the Mediterranean diet good for mental health?”