Boron and Food Security
In today’s podcast, we’re going to look at boron and food security. Boron plays a considerable role in food utilization, principally by improving the nutritional value of fertilizers for plant growth development. It also increases crop yield through increased nitrogen fixation rates in soils deficient in micronutrients.
There are three pillars of food security. The first is availability, which refers to having sufficient food supplies for the population of the country. The second is accessibility, which refers to a person’s ability to buy food and it has to be affordable. And the third pillar is utilization, which refers specifically to the biological use and proper dietary intake of food.
Overall, food security refers to the availability of food for all, regardless of their dietary preferences or dietary needs allowing people around the world to live healthy and active lives. The United Nations Committee on world food security is an intergovernmental body that serves as a forum for the review and follow-up of food security policies.
Let’s Look First at Food Utilization
Food utilization or food metabolization is one of the pillars that contribute to food security. Utilization is vital to determine how well we can use and benefit from the nutrients in our food, either through absorption or intake via proper natural consumption of food.
It includes a diet to provide sufficient energy essential nutrients, potable drinking water, and sanitation. But what does food consumption have to do with anything? Because food utilization determines what and how we get from our diet, it’s vital to evaluate the individual nutritional status. A diet providing adequate nutrition and energy is crucial for proper biological usage of consumed food.
The term utilization is often used interchangeably with nutrition. However, utilization focuses more on nutrition than food storage, processing, and health. It also includes nutrition-related sanitation. Achieving a reasonable utilization goal is a challenge for any population. It’s not good enough to simply supply food. It is equally essential that the people have access to resources and the ability to utilize them.
Some of the Factors Affecting Food Utilization are Food Safety and Nutritional Value
In food safety, a household’s ability to obtain safe food has a direct impact on food consumption levels. Food security can only be achieved if the food consumed is safe to consume and meets the individual’s physiological needs.
Several things determine food safety. These include preparation, processing, cooking, communal settings, and household settings. The nutritional values you set for your family dictate what kind of foods you’ll eat. Cultural preferences in local communities can also impact the types of food considered appropriate for consumption.
As for nutritional value, nutritional deficiencies are not always apparent in the short term, but over time can contribute to illnesses and disease. By having an explicit policy and awareness of the nutritional value of food, consumers can understand the impact of different foods on their overall health and take responsibility for it. Food with high nutritional value actually aids body functions.
A third element is an individual capacity to process food. Every person’s ability and capacity can vary depending on family history, allergies, or other medical conditions. e.g. diabetes or being a celiac. It’s essential to ensure safe food, especially for your special needs. An excellent way to ensure your health is to watch how you consume certain foods.
Sanitation is a further element. Food free from disease and contamination can be obtained by being clean. Sanitation includes keeping an eye on internal sanitation. Intestinal parasites can cause a slowing down of the rates of utilization of food. So proper sanitation is a way to reduce the spread and incidence of foodborne illnesses and increase the quality of food utilization.
Adulteration during storage involves the addition of, or removal of ingredients to make foods taste fresher better, or healthier. This may not be suitable for your health or even have nutritional value and further, it prevents food from being used because the body cannot recognize it in its original form.
What about boron food safety? Food that is safe to consume, needs to be stored properly and consumed in a certain period of time. Other safety factors relate to how the food is protected from disease. Here boron-rich pesticides and boron in agricultural feed can improve the yield of plants. Boron benefits plants by helping them use other nutrients more efficiently as well as providing many essential plant hormones that regulate growth and development.
If boron is spread over fields before planting starts, higher levels of boron in the soil connectors, both the pesticide and fertilizer and increase yields significantly after a couple of seasons.
And what about boron and the individual’s capacity to process food?
Part of an individual’s ability to process food is determined by family health history. Chronically under-nourished people may be more susceptible to debilitating illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes or even cancer.
Boron-rich foods and boron supplements can alleviate some or all of these conditions. For instance, for sufferers of arthritis, borax can be used as a solution, most commonly consumed orally. But it also helps with arthritis when applied topically or inserted into the body via an enema.
The oral form of borax treatment would require drinking two teaspoons of borax dissolved in water daily and following up by consuming half an apple mixed with cinnamon powder every day until the symptoms are relieved. Reduction of intake is advised gradually during this period if more than one month passes without relief in order to protect your kidneys while they’re trying to flush out all the sodium from the borax supplements.
As for boron and sanitation, poor sanitation can lead to internal parasites, which affect the health and wellness of the parasite’s host. A diet rich in micronutrients, including boron can help stave off parasites. The World Health Organization, a guideline for boron level in drinking water is 2.4 milligrams per liter.
There are ongoing challenges with food security. Recent years have seen an alarming drop in the management of food security, especially in developing countries. The impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and economic and political instability are also contributing factors. However, these challenges can be overcome by ensuring that households have constant access to nutritious food.
This is not just about having enough food in the country or region but also having the money to pay for it. With rising prices and inflation, it is becoming increasingly difficult for families in many countries to access nutritious food. Food supply chains have been disrupted as a result of the ongoing Russia, and Ukraine conflict and there are other natural hazards like drought, which affect food security.
It is estimated that today, there are more than 800 million people in developing countries suffering from chronic hunger. And this is not likely to change in the near future without ongoing policies and regulations to make food available, accessible, and well-utilized by people around the world.
For more information on boron and food security, please refer to the Borates Today website. And that’s all for today. Thanks for listening.