Presentation at 9th Organic Producers’ Conference: Practical research and innovation – diversity in practice.
Promoting and maintaining health, as one of the highest human goals, is a central aim of agroecological farming approaches. The key statement of the principles of organic agriculture claims “the health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible” (Lady Eve Balfour, 1940). It describes the connection of health between the different domains and ecosystems, and implies that the promotion and maintenance of human health critically depends on the health of all other agricultural domains. However, current debates about the meaning and measurement of health are largely disconnected: soil science, plant pathology, veterinary science and human medicine are following separate paths to define and measure health. For the understanding of potential mechanisms linking the health of various domains together, it is therefore necessary to study the compatibility of different health concepts across disciplinary borders.