Love for nature will save us

shutterstock_257409634_Love for nature_Jerzy Leszek Zalasiński

Polish scientific achievments are important, not only in terms of scientific and advisory reasons. Svientific research results can inspire us to change our mentality and our percepion of human values too. Professor Jerzy Leszek Zalasiński, expert from FAO/WHO, UN and The Council of Europe, shares his story with us. He talks not only about the scientific research but also about that love for nature and people in general. This love can save us from a lot of diseases, as well as famine.

 

Hipoalergiczni: The process of photosynthesis or synthesis of organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water doesn’t seem to be anything extraordinary in the scientific world. But still, you used this knowledge to meet astonauts needs. How did it happen?

JLZ: I got my scientific degree from the interdisciplinary studies. There is a lot of research in the topic of photosynthesis processes that can be used in various disciplines of science.

“Every civilization on Earth is actually a subsidiary of green foliage plant photosynthesis production, which gives us nutritional biomass in the form of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as life-supporting oxygen“inspired me to choose the process of photosynthesis as the main subject of my scientific research.

I started to combine my biology interest with space biology because I care the Apollo astronauts who expand our knowledge about the outer space.

Space Research Center in Houston (USA) was then in the preparatory stages of sending manned spacecraft to the moon and back. Of course it was necessary to make sure that the conditions in the spacecraft would sustain life of these brave astronauts. They also had to have proper food and oxygen. When they breathe, astronauts produce water and carbon dioxide – photosynthesis substrats. When these compounds are isolated from the organism (Co2, H2o), they are transformed into organic biomass and that biomass is essential to support astronauts‘ life.

In a gesture of friendship commander of the expedition to the moon Harrison H. Shmitt sent me moon research results and a very detailed map of the moon with a nice dedication.

H: You are also interested in organic farming. Do you see organic farming inPoland or not so much? How is ecology in Poland doing, compared to the rest of Europe?

JLZ: Organic farming is increasingly developing in Poland, Europe and the whole world. This matter needs to be discussed in more details. According to the philosophy of the alternative farming, people should be once again in harmony with nature, to immerse themselves in nature. In ecological farming it is recommended to use only organic fertilizers (composts, manure, plowing legumes) and to stop using chemical fertilizers, synthetic chemical plant protection products and agrochemicals. Proper crop rotation, elimination of plant crossing and immune cultivation make plants healthy and they improve the crops too.

H: For a few years the media have been reporting that ecological farming is a myth and farmers just waste their fields. I even heard an opinion that it is harmful because it is a “marketing lie”. What does law say about it? Is it true that eco crops are fake?

JLZ: In 1972, International Federation IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) was founded in Versa. The organization is engaged in solving problems that ecological farming faces but to solve them without using agrochemicals. They constatntly strive to improve soil fertility, biodiversity and natural fertilizers. In ecological farming the soil is fertilized in a special way to give organic food compounds and bioelements, which improve the soil structure, produce hormonal growth of plants and necessary for the metabolism vitamins.

Healthy plant provide high-quality food for people and animals. Territorialy divided farms are a big chance for rural families to have work.

In 2000 I took part in preparing “law on organic farming” which was unanimously adopted by the Polish government. There are more and more grocery shops with certified organic food from organic farms in Poland and from other European countries. Such food is more expensive but also more biologically valuable and it will make the Polish society live a healthy and longer life.

H: Photosynthesis in the space, law expertise in the scope of organic farming… You have chosen a very wide career path, haven’t you? It is quite unusual for Polish scientists. What was your inspiration?

JLZ: I chose interdisciplinary studies because it allowed me to conduct scientific research in differrent scientific disciplines. It also has positive influence on my intellect, interests and my worldview.

Scientists and academic teachers who specialise in a branch of given science usually have narrow interests, for example horse breeding or a construction of forest roads. Science enthusiasts develop general scholar competence, where they know their philosophy, methodology of given science or experimental research methodology. Based on this knowledge they can develop a synthetic scientific theory. To verify experimental research results you need to know logical, mathematical statistics and mathematical modeling methods (integral and differential calculus, mathematical theorems as a fixed point theorem by Stefan Banach).

I am not a big supporter of narrow secialization as I don’t approve of fragmentaric scientific knowledge. The real science needs a spark of genius, intuition and being responsible for health, life and a state of the environment we live in.

H: You have been cooperating with leading international organizations for many years. It is a great succes but also a really hard work for sure. How did you become a UN member?

JLZ: I started my scientific activity in the Department of Plant Physiology when I was publishing my works about problems with hormonal regulators in plants. I published two monographs about the influence plant hormons have on the frost resistance and winter hardiness of forest trees. Adam Markowski, PhD, enabled me to cooperate with PAN Photosynthesis Institution and I could participate in international research programs about photosynthetic productivity of plants. I had classes in the subject of physiology and biochemistry at three departaments: Agriculture, Sylviculture and Horticulture.

After my defense of doctoral thesis in photosynthesis I was invited to cooperate with UN. The International Qualifying Committee with UN representatives appointed me to be their expert. Soon afterwards, I was invited to collaborate with FAO in the subject of agriculture and tropical forest. A litlle before that I had become a POLCARGO expert (raw materials and chemical products in international handel control ). I had got this expert title from The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Maritime Affairs. The title says I am an expert in “cosmetics, chemical and organical products”. My scientific competences enabled me to cooperate with World Health Organization (WHO). As a member of National Scientific Committee of the EKOMED Congress, I organized sessions under the auspices under WHO about toxicology which showed threats from plant protection products (pesticides). I also used to be FAO expert where I wrote about strategies and laws in two resorts: Agriculture and Enviroment Protectiona and Natural Resources and Forestry.

Thanks to my expertise, I interrupted a very long process of harmful activities of Aluminum Smelter in Skawino (this harmuf industrial plant was closed by dint of final judgment). Before EURO 2012 was organized in Poland and Ukraine, I had started a partnership between sport and the natural environment, sustainable development in sport code. If this code had not been created, the Committee of Ministers would have deleted Poland from countries that wanted to build stadiums for a few bilion zloties. Effectivness of expert work gives me huge satisfaction and it also helps Poland.

H: Everything that you said is connected with the quality of our life. The civilization progress substantially changed the way of our nutrition and our atitiude towards farming. Thus, should we be afraid of the world hunger?

JLZ: According to the estimation presented by FAO in 2009, there are 970 milion starving people on our planet. It is ⅛ of the whole humanity. Only today 1800 children before 5 year old will die because of famine or diseases caused by famine. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow it will happen again.

Unfortunately, every seventh human being doesn’t have money to buy food. So they can’t grow the green-stuff that they need. According to FAO, we have enough produced food to feed 12 bilion people. Dying children are on global politicians‘ and economists‘ conscience. They focus on serving the richest men on the planet, stealing money from the poorest societies.

Because of egoistic economists 870 million people starve to death in Asia and Africa. Doctor Grzegorz Hołodko in his book “ Where the world is going to” presents his vision of this problem: “If every UN was filled with angels, it is not enough to solve problems made by wrong economists‘ decisions”. The world must change its mentality, leave this mental crisis and start building a new civilization of LOVE, where every family, every individual will be able to work. That is my opinion – an expert from UN, FAO/WHO and the Council of Europe – I hope I am not alone!

 

The basic rules of a healthy life

 

  1. Carefully selected diet, full of fibre, vitamines, microelements, selected calorific value (depeneding on a season and a kind of work we have). Avoid gluten and animal fats, choose plant fats instead.
  2. Restful sleep 9 pm – 6 a.m. (sleep well covered).
  3. Regular defecates.
  4. Daily gimnastics and walking.
  5. Friendly social contacts.
  6. Elimination of stress.
  7. Healthy drinks such as still water and good red wine.
  8. Avoid anger and depression, smile to other people.

 


 

Jerzy Leszek Zalasiński – Professor D.Eng. physiologist, plant biochemist and an ecologist. For many years, he has been ONZ, FAO/WHO and the European Council expert. He has given lectures at a lot of universities in Poland and abroad, for which he has won a lot of awards and received plenty of congratulatory letters from chancellors. He is the creator of a lot of biotechnology solutions that are important for the biological progress in agriculture, gardening, forestry and beekeeping.