Today Paul and I have thought about the sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin crisis that has hit the world, because last year was a very bad year in sunflower production due to climate and weather disturbances but now there is another factor that has affected sunflower oil production – the war on Ukraine; this war has contributed to the sunflower crisis because Ukraine produced 46% of the worlds sunflowers and safflowers. This means that the sunflower oil crisis has certainly lengthened, but it also poses a threat to people who have food intolerances like me.
Without the use of sunflower lecithin in products they will now use soy or flax and I am sensitive to both of those things, which means it has affected me directly! My diet is going to become further reduced as a result of it.
Paul and I are uncertain whether or not I will react to flax lecithin’s, because so far as we know, I am mostly affected if I eat whole flax seeds or linseeds, so whether or not I will be ok in other forms, time will tell!
We do know that I am no longer severely gluten and lactose intolerant, that it was products that contained soy, that didn’t make itself obvious until recently.
We know that gluten causes a slight rise in my blood pressure if I eat, say more than a sandwich worth of bread in a day of wheat, but that it does seem to be mostly a wheat rather than gluten problem potentially…
Lactose only really causes an issue with my digestive system if I eat too much fat in one day, but I can now drink a milkshake or have a chocolate bar with no ill effect, if I am easy on other fats throughout the day!
So this has helped improve my diet choices again and there is a noticeable increase in my health since going back to these foods. But it is not anything to celebrate really, as the changes are still rather small, just a change in hair, nail and skin quality and deeper, longer sleep sessions. I am more tired these days, but we’re not sure why.
Because of the sunflower crisis, I told Paul that when we get some money, it might be worth investing some of that money in sunflower farming? But Paul feels that many other farmers are already on the ball with that and may neglect wheat farms to do so, meaning that he feels there could be a wheat shortage soon as people literally chase what they think is a golden opportunity.
I am not happy about doing wheat farming, I am not into grasses because of the lack of biodiversity and Paul failed to remember that my sunflower farm would not be a monoculture, because you can grow other things underneath the big blowsy heads of flowers! Beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn and squash for example are excellent companion plants for this crop.
Because aphids are attracted to sunflowers on mass, ants will actually farm those aphids for their honeydew and therefore the crops underneath the sunflowers would not be affected by the aphids as much as they would have without them.
Because ultimately any farming or self-sufficiency I do is 100% organic and polycultural.
Not only this but farming the sunflowers like this would also bring in the three sisters philosophy too, corn, squash and beans, corn in particular increase their yield when planted next to sunflowers it is just a matter of alternating plants, sunflower, with a block of corn, sunflower, block of corn, you get it?
So it would be a very productive system in my opinion, so I guess, in a manner, Paul gets his way when he suggests we really should consider a grain…