Have you heard of the term monoculture? Well mono means ‘one’ and monoculture means to cultivate just one kind of something. I have been researching the different types of monoculture in our food systems today and was quite shocked at what I found out.
Did you know that there are about 1000 different kinds of bananas? They vary but color, taste, texture and smell. Some last a long time on the shelf and some need to be eaten as soon as they are picked. Some taste like other fruits and some like nothing you have ever tasted before. Some grow at different climates and temperatures but mostly they like the tropical weather.
Did you know how many different species are shipped to the United States for us to eat? Usually just 1…1 out of many hundreds. Why, you might ask. Because there is only one that can be picked green and shipped across the world to ripen on the shelf and still taste good. Most bananas get to soft and rot before arriving at their destination. Banana growers only ship this one kind of banana so therefor they need to grow ONLY this one kind of banana. This is where the term monoculture comes in. Since they are growing only the one kind of banana that ships well, there is not room for the other bananas that don’t ship well so they are being cut down and some of those species are lost forever.
Why is that a problem…you might ask. There are a couple of reasons. The first is diversity in the foods that we eat have made us who we are today as humans. Trying different species, colors and tastes have evolved our brains and most of all our taste buds. Differences in foods also provide different vitamins and minerals which are essential for us to thrive as humans.
The second and I feel the biggest reason that monoculture is bad is in the evolution of species to protect themselves from things that kill it such as bugs, viruses, and bacteria. If there is one species of bananas, in this case, that is favored by the bugs and destroyed then you loose only that ones species. If there are many different kinds that are being grown then it is not bad because there are other species that will be untouched by the bugs. But in the case of monoculture if you have a bug that evolves to like the only banana species that we grow then it will cause total devastation and the loss of that food all together.
Scary huh? And this is only bananas that I am talking about here. We, as humans, have done this to most of the fruits and vegetables that you find in the supermarket. Why do I point this out? No it’s not just to scare you but it’s to inform you that we need to take our food back into our own hands and chose to eat many different types. How? By shopping closer to home and from a local farmer, or better yet grow your own food. The more you take responsibility for your own health/food the better.
I have started growing my own food recently and love it! I bought a tower garden from juice plus and have never looked back. No I’m not the best and yes I have killed some stuff but the fact that I am trying makes all the difference.
If your interested in finding out more about the tower garden check my website ngolly.towergarden.com
I like the tower garden because it is transportable if your not living somewhere that you can have an in ground garden plus it uses 90% less water (a precious commodity). I love that it trickles like a water fountain too 🙂
If your not there yet and want someone else to grow your food check online and find your closest farmers market, it is well worth your time and energy, I promise. Also look for things you have not tried yet…stuff that you have never seen before. The more diverse foods you eat the better your health.
If you have any questions or comments please post below or go to my website www.fuel-your-body.com
In health and happiness,