We are facing a major crossroad before us in the world of agriculture. The decline in healthy food production is contributing to increasing illness and disease in our population globally. Along with this, we find a negative impact on our environment as well. Where will this story end?
In a world of food abundance, millions of people suffer from poor nutrition. In some parts of the world, the poor have inadequate access to energy from food to meet their energy requirements. In these locations, food shortage is often a seasonal phenomenon and micronutrients are also generally lacking in the diet, mostly from poor agriculture practices and insufficient nutrition in our depleted soils worldwide. Elsewhere, there is a stable supply of energy but the poor have monotonous diets lacking in essential micronutrients. In other places a “nutrition transition” is under way in which the poor and other consumers enjoy sufficient access to energy, and indeed often consume excessive amounts, but the quality of their diets is unhealthy owing to a combination of factors relating to nutrition and lifestyle. Excessive consumption combined with more sedentary lifestyles, often associated with urbanization, contributes to an increasing incidence of obesity and chronic disease such as diabetes in countries still plagued by undernutrition. A combination of these nutritional problems adversely affects about 2 billion people worldwide.
The relationship between agriculture and human nutrition is far more complex than the relationship between food production and food consumption or the economic relationship between food supply and food demand. Increased food production raises the availability of food, but by itself does little to ensure that poor and vulnerable people have access to the food that is produced. Nor does the gross quantity produced say much about the quality or nutritional value of people’s diets. The persistence of malnutrition as a global public health concern despite the successes in increasing agricultural production belies any notion that malnutrition and undernutrition can be solved entirely from the supply side. How then can agriculture, with its customary focus on productivity and yields, more effectively contribute to improved nutritional outcomes?
Biological agriculture creates an opportunity to reverse the negative impact our world faces with conventional practices. Fields of Gold Farm has created a 501(c)3 registered foundation called the Fields of Gold Foundation to help address these issues and contribute toward a positive solution. The Foundation was created to address issues and support efforts in the fields of research, development and education locally in our region of Western North Carolina.
Some of our projects implemented thus far are:
• Creating learning experiences for educational institutions ranging from college to elementary levels, including community outreach programs.
• Supporting role in developing a community garden for the Green Meadows Community, a subsidized housing area, in Hendersonville, NC. The community garden has been regarded as a highly successful effort by the City and is currently in it’s third season of production.
The Fields of Gold Foundation is committed to supporting local community in its role and investment in healthy agriculture. These are only a few of the many projects and commitments outlined in its mission. A few additional future projects are:
• Development of further biological agriculture practices and protocols to enhance soil fertility and crop production.
• Creating a complete on-site biological soil lab for research and testing samples.
• Implementing educational programs to teach biological agriculture and support more farming opportunities regionally.
Please contact us for further information. We thank you for your continued support!