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Boron and Food Security
11th August 2022 • Borates Today • Brendan McMahon
00:00:00 00:08:57

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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.

Transcripts

Brendan:

Welcome back to the Borates Today podcast.

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Each week we cover a topic that is relevant to the industry and timely.

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We cover the latest industry news.

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Who are the key players in the sector?

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What are the latest trends, driving demand and supply for boron.

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What is the science behind boron and who's doing valuable research into

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new boron applications and benefits?

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We look at how boron helps in advanced energy, in food security,

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and in providing nutrition.

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So don't forget to check out boron applications and benefits

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on our website borates.today.

Brendan:

In today's podcast, we're going to look at boron and food security.

Brendan:

Boron plays a considerable role in food utilization, principally by

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improving the nutritional value of fertilizers for plant growth development.

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It also increases crop yield through increased nitrogen fixation rates in

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soils deficient in micronutrients.

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Boron and Food Security

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There are three pillars of food security.

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The first is availability, which refers to having sufficient food supplies

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for the population of the country.

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The second is accessibility, which refers to a person's ability to buy

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food and it has to be affordable.

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And the third pillar is utilization, which refers specifically to the biological

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use and proper dietary intake of food.

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Overall, food security refers to the availability of food for all, regardless

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of their dietary preferences or dietary needs allowing people around the world

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to live healthy and active lives.

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The United Nations Committee on world food security is an intergovernmental

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body that serves as a forum for the review and follow up of food security policies.

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Let's Look First at Food Utilization.

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Food utilization or food metabolization is one of the pillars

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that contributes to food security.

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Utilization is vital to determine how well we can use and benefit from

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the nutrients in our food, either through absorption or intake via

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proper natural consumption of food.

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It includes a diet to provide sufficient energy essential nutrients, potable

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drinking water and sanitation.

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But what does food consumption have to do with anything?

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Because food utilization determines what and how we get from our

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diet, it's vital to evaluate the individual nutritional status.

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A diet providing adequate nutrition and energy is crucial for proper

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biological usage of consumed food.

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The term utilization is often used interchangeably with nutrition.

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However, while utilization focuses more on nutrition than food

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storage, processing, and health.

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It also includes nutrition-related sanitation.

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Achieving a reasonable utilization goal is a challenge for any population.

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It's not good enough to simply supply food.

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It is equally essential that the people have access to resources

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and the ability to utilize them.

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Some of the factors affecting food utilization are food

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safety and nutritional value.

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In food safety a household's ability to obtain safe food has a direct

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impact on food consumption levels.

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Food security can only be achieved if the food consumed is safe to consume and meets

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the individual's physiological needs.

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Several things determine food safety.

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These include preparation, processing, cooking, and communal

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settings and household settings.

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The nutritional values you set for your family dictate

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what kind of foods you'll eat.

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Cultural preferences in local communities can also impact the types of food

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considered appropriate for consumption.

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As for nutritional value, nutritional deficiencies are not always apparent

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in the short term, but over time can contribute to illnesses and disease.

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By having an explicit policy and awareness of the nutritional value of

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food, consumers can understand the impact of different foods on their overall

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health and take responsibility for it.

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Food with high nutritional value, actually aids body functions.

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A third element is the individual capacity to process food.

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Every person's ability and capacity, can vary depending on family history,

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allergies, or other medical conditions.

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e.g.

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diabetes or being a celiac.

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It's essential to ensure safe food, especially for your special needs.

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An excellent way to ensure your health is to watch how you consume certain foods.

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Sanitation is a further element.

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Food free from disease and contamination can be obtained by being clean.

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Sanitation includes keeping an eye on internal sanitation.

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Intestinal parasites can cause a slowing down of the rates of utilization of food.

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So proper sanitation is a way to reduce the spread and incidence of

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foodborne illnesses and increase the quality of food utilization.

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Adulteration during storage involves the addition or of, or removal

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from ingredients to make foods tastes fresher better or healthier.

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This may not be suitable for your health or even have nutritional value

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and further it prevents food from being used because the body cannot

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recognize it in its original form.

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What about boron food safety?

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Food that is safe to consume, needs to be stored properly and consumed

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in a certain period of time.

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Other safety factors relate to how the food is protected from disease.

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Here boron-rich pesticides and boron in agricultural feed can

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improve the yield of plants.

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Boron benefits plants by helping them use other nutrients more efficiently as well

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as providing many essential plant hormones that regulate growth and development.

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If boron is spread over fields before planting starts, higher levels of boron

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in the soil connectors, both the pesticide and fertilizer and increase yields

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significantly after a couple of seasons.

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And what about boron and the individual's capacity to process food?

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Part of an individual's ability to process food is determined

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by family health history.

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Chronically under-nourished people may be more susceptible

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to debilitating illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes or even cancer.

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Boron-rich foods and boron supplements can alleviate some or all of these conditions.

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For instance, for sufferers of arthritis, borax can be used as a

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solution, most commonly consumed orally.

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But it also helps with arthritis when applied topically or inserted

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into the body via an enema.

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The oral form of borax treatment would require drinking two teaspoons

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of borax dissolved in water daily and following up by consuming half an

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apple mixed with cinnamon powder every day until the symptoms are relieved.

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Reduction of intake is advised gradually during this period, if more than

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one month passes without relief in order to protect your kidneys while

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they're trying to flush out all the sodium from the borax supplements.

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As for boron and sanitation, poor sanitation can lead to internal

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parasites, which affect the health and wellness of the parasite's host.

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A diet rich in micronutrients, including boron can help stave off parasites.

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The World Health Organization, guideline for boron level in drinking

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water is 2.4 milligrams per liter.

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There are ongoing challenges with food security.

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Recent years, have seen an alarming drop in management of food security,

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especially in developing countries.

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The impacts of climate change, natural disasters, economic and political

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instability are also contributing factors.

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However these challenges can be overcome by ensuring that households have

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constant access to nutritious food.

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This is not just about having enough food in the country or region, but

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also having the money to pay for it.

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With rising prices and inflation, it is becoming increasingly

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difficult for families in many countries to access nutritious food.

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Food supply chains have been disrupted as a result of the ongoing

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Russia, Ukraine conflict and there are other natural hazards like

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drought, which affect food security.

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It is estimated that today, there are more than 800 million people in developing

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countries suffering from chronic hunger.

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And this is not likely to change in the near future without ongoing

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policies and regulations to make food available, accessible, and

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well-utilized by people around the world.

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For more information on boron and food security, please refer

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to the Borates Today website.

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And that's all for today.