Nutritional and health implications of conventional agriculture : a review
The ecosystem imbalance imposed by conventional agriculture is characterized by the loss of biodiversity that leads to uneven biological-energy distribution or to the disequilibrium of photosynthesis and respiration. These changes contribute to the excessive greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere followed by global climate change. The loss ... of biodiversity and the technologies applied in conventional agriculture are additionally involved in the depletion and adulteration of fertile soils and living water systems. The changes in the ecosystem are further implicated in nutrition security and human health problems. Energy-dense diets with low diversity and increasing meat consumption become more frequent. As a result, overweight, and the deficiency of micronutrients and essential phytochemicals with respective health consequences are widespread. Both the environmental and nutritional changes influenced the global human health by increasing the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, anemia, xerophthalmia, cardiovascular problems, the risk of cancer and abnormal growth. At the same time, the risks of respiratory and reproductive problems as well as vector transmitted infectious diseases become more common. The problems and the contexts of tackling the challenges are so complex that some simple tailor-made solutions are unlikely to function. Two-system approach considering globally important issues on one part and regionally or locally more impacting issues on the other part when designed and applied simultaneously appear to be promising. The global approach can deal with green-house-gas emission and climate change, whereas regional and local approach can consider the local problems of soil and water depletion and pollution, as well as the degradation of biodiversity with special attention to its function as carbon dioxide sink and essential micronutrient supplier.