a magazine on ecological agriculture
a one stop treasure of practical field experiences

SOURCES

People-Plant Relationships – Setting Research Priorities, 1st Edition

Raymond P Poincelot and Joel Flagler, 2019, CRC Press, 466 pages, £38.49

ISBN: 9780367449582

Presenting the latest research on cross-cultural people-plant relationships, this volume conveys the psychological, physiological, and social responses to plants and the significant role these responses play in improved physical and mental health. With chapters written by field experts, it identifies research priorities and methodologies and outlines the steps for developing a research agenda to aid horticulturalists in their work with social scientists to gain a better understanding of people-plant relationships. This resource covers a wide array of topics including home horticulture and Lyme disease, indoor plants and pollution reduction, and plants and therapy.

Farmers and Plant Breeding – Current Approaches and Perspectives, 1st Edition

Ola Tveitereid Westengen, Tone Winge (Eds.), 2019, Routledge, 332 p., £120.00

ISBN: 9781138580428

Plant breeding is essential to food production, climate-change adaptation and sustainable development. This book brings together experienced practitioners and researchers involved in collaborative breeding programmes across a diversity of crops and agro-ecologies around the world. Case studies include collaborative sorghum and pearl millet breeding for water-stressed environments in West Africa, participatory rice breeding for intensive rice farming in the Mekong Delta, and evolutionary participatory quinoa breeding for organic agriculture in North America. While outlining the challenges, the volume also highlights the positive impacts, such as yield increases, farmers’ empowerment in the innovation and development processes, contributions to maintenance of crop genetic diversity and adaptation to climate change. This collection offers a range of perspectives on enabling conditions for farmer–breeder collaboration in plant breeding in relation to biodiversity agreements such as the Plant Treaty, trade agreements and related intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes, and national seed policies and laws.

 

Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science – Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health, 1st Edition

Luisella Verotta, Maria Pia Macchi, Padma Venkatasubramanian (Eds.), 2019, CRC Press, 470 pages, £54.99, ISBN: 9780367377700

A truly integrated collection of research, Connecting Indian Wisdom and Western Science: Plant Usage for Nutrition and Health compares Ayurvedic and Western conceptions of wellness, healthy lifestyle, and diet. It includes approximately 40 selected monographs on fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, and seeds, complete with Ayurvedic and traditional uses as nutritional ingredients.

The book focuses on how plants can be employed as both aliments and adjuvants, able to improve health and the quality of life. It does so by comparing the Indian Ayurvedic tradition with the Mediterranean diet. Chapters written largely by Indian authors trace the early history of Ayurveda and the basic principles and dietetics of the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani systems of medicine. Chapters written by western scientists and nutritionists discuss the global focus on nutrients, nutraceuticals, and, importantly, the Mediterranean diet.

Building on this foundation, the book opens what will, no doubt, be a long and continuing journey of mutual exchange and dialogue. The authors create an integrative perspective for understanding India’s health traditions through the lens of modern science. They then look at how India’s millennia of experience can enrich the West’s notions of optimal nutrition, prevention, and personalized healthcare. A core of this exchange is a frontier of exploration into deep insights of human biology, individual differences and seasonal influences on metabolism, and a conceptual approach to nutrition that you can apply across foods and cultures.