Biodiversity | Essential for human survival. In the seventh lecture of his Agriculture course, Rudolf Steiner spoke of the importance of what we now call biodiversity: The correct balance of woods, orchards, bushes, and meadows–with their natural growth of fungi–is so essential to good farming that your farm will really be more successful even if this means a slight reduction in your tillable acreage. There is no true economy in using so much of your land that all the things I’ve mentioned disappear. The resulting loss in quality will far outweigh the advantage of being able to cultivate a larger area at the expense of the other things. Without this kind of insight into the interconnections and interactions of nature, it is really impossible to engage in an enterprise like farming, which is so closely bound up with nature.
Biodiversity diminishing in human diets | ‘The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that 75% of the world’s crop diversity was lost between 1900 and 2000. As farming intensified, commercial growers favoured a few varieties of each species—those that were most productive and easiest to store and ship. Just 30 crops provide humans with 95% of the energy they get from food. Just five–rice, wheat, maize, millet and sorghum–provide 60%,’ (‘Banks for bean counters‘, The Economist 12th Sept 2015, p55).
Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture (Bio-Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. USA, 1993) trans. by Catherine E Creeger and Malcolm Gardner, p148.