Celebrating biodiversity this Organic September
5th September 2017
This month is Organic September, a celebration of the amazing farmers, producers and businesses who work so hard to produce food as it should be.
At Pukka Herbs, we believe that organic brings people together with plants, and plants with people, for the good of everyone. It’s this exchange of goodness that makes organic principles so special to us.
For Satish Kumar - a man whose principles personify peace, love and consideration for all things - organic is a celebration of the incredible diversity of life and nature, it is a reminder of the unity of nature and humans - that what we do to nature, we ultimately do to ourselves.
We caught up with him in his Hartland home to learn more from his views on the importance of biodiversity and how we can all help change the world by choosing organic. These are his own words.
Nature favours diversity
In the beginning of time at the time of The Big Bang, there was no biodiversity, it was all monolithic. But, over the billions of years, nature has worked hard to create this wonderful diversity of life. So, I believe, that nature and evolution, favours diversity.
We must embrace diversity, celebrate biodiversity, cherish biodiversity and do nothing to diminish biodiversity.
The modern industrial civilisation favours mono culture, and uniformity. They bring the same genes, same products, same architecture, same food everywhere. Branding and mono-culture, this is uniformity, uniformity is not unity.
We must make industrialism, materialism and consumerism less, and biodiversity more. We must celebrate nature, we must celebrate trees, animals, birds, insects. The smallest of the small creature has a big meaning in this evolution of life, and evolution of life, leads to evolution of consciousness.
Nature's not an economy resource, nature is a source of life
When we embrace biodiversity, we realise that nature is not merely a resource for the economy, but nature is a source of life itself. We must not think that nature is out there, nature is not separate from humans.
If biodiversity is gone, the diversity of human life will also diminish. If biodiversity is gone, then cultural diversity, linguistic diversity and many, many other diversities will be gone, and we will end up with uniformity and monotony, and a mono culture of everything. But a unity creates celebration, unity creates diversity and celebration. So let us have a dance of unity and diversity together.
Humans are nature too
Nature means birth, the word nature comes from 'natura', which also comes from natal, so nativity, which means birth. So, everything that is born is nature. Humans are also born, and so we are nature too.
If we realise this unity of nature and humans, then we will also understand that what we do to nature, we do to ourselves.
If we destroy nature, we are destroying ourselves. If we pollute water, we will drink that polluted water and will make ourselves ill, sick and diseased.
If we pollute air, we have to breathe that polluted air that will make us ill, sick and diseased and therefore taking care of air, water and soil and nourishing and taking care of these basic elements is a primary responsibility of all human beings.
So, nature and humans are one, no separation. This is a fundamental truth that we have to realise and cherish. Therefore, maintaining and sustaining biodiversity is the primary responsibility of all human beings. Humans and nature are one, there is no separation.
Nature is an intricately woven tapestry, it is completely interdependent, interconnected and interrelated. If we take any element out of this great tapestry of life, we will be diminishing the value and the quality of life itself.
It begins with our food
If we want to live in harmony with planet earth, and we want to create a sustainable future for humanity and for the planet earth itself, where do we begin? We begin with our food.
Humanity is facing many problems; climate change, population explosion, resources depleting. People ask "where do I start, the problems are so big?". The answer is very small and simple, start with your food. You are what you eat, is the old saying. Food is not just fuel for the body, food is medicine for the body.
In Indian tradition, in the tradition of Ayurveda, we always say food is medicine and you are what you eat. So, food is not only a fuel for the body, it’s a source of culture, spirit and celebration. Our cultural, social, economic and health imperative, all are dependent on the right food.
If we can get food right, everything else; global warming, climate change, resources depleting, population explosion, all these problems will be solved. Food is medicine, let’s not turn it into poison.
Let us celebrate soil
Our modern materialistic culture seems to think that soil is dead, it has no life. Therefore, we put all sorts of chemicals, fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, all these poisonous substances we put into the soil. But soil is alive, soil has life, it’s capable of producing good food without any chemicals, fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides, you need nothing.
And so, organic food is the answer to our food situation. Organic food is the solution. If we eat food which is good, organic and fresh, we don’t need to go for any chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides. Soil is alive, it’s the living soil that will give us good food, not the chemicals and fertilisers which will give us good food.
This industrial agriculture, mono-culture, this is destroying the fertility of the soil. We need to have small scale farming, where humans celebrate touching the soil and farmers are respected. There’s a dignity in working on the soil, there’s a dignity in growing food.
Organic, full of life and beauty
Organic farming doesn’t only produce good and better quality food, but organic farms are full of vibrant life. It is proven that organic farming maintains 50% more biodiversity than industrial farming, factory farming and chemical farming.
If you go to an organic farm, you will see that there is a lot of life there; the butterflies, the bumble bees, the honey bees, and the flowers, the colours and also the people working on the land. It’s full of life and full of beauty.
Whereas, if you go to a factory farm, it’s a huge mono-culture farm with a lot of concrete buildings, a lot of machinery, a lot of diesel, a lot of smells and just mono-crop. The same kind of ugly and monotonous environment. Therefore, if you want beauty, if you want life, if you want vibration or vibrant life, vital life, then the best and only answer is organic farming.
The true change starts with us
The true change and transformation is not going to come from 10 Downing street or The White House, or the big businesses or the big industry. So, if we take responsibility upon ourselves and we consume good, organically grown food and cherish that food and participate in organic living and organic growing, then we can transform the world.
We, the consumers have power to change the world, we can change the world by changing our food habits. We can change the world by eating organic food.