Regeneration The Art of Sustainable Living

Meetings with fascinating ecological Regenerators. Grounded sustainable thinking and commentary from a Permaculture perspective.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Environmental Health Care
... Agriculture Supporting Community
By: Claude William Genest

Traditional political parties and the public at large agree, we need more health care and more money to fund it.
The regenerative policies proposed by many progressive thinkers however lead to a different conclusion - We don’t need more health care, we need more health !
This is based on a profound and simple truth, one that is alarmingly overlooked, under-reported and under-estimated - Health care doesn’t begin in the hospital. It begins in healthy soils. Turns out we are in fact what we eat.

Sick Food, Sick People
An agriculture that cares for its soil bears healthy and health-giving plants. We really are what we eat, and an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

The tombstone of Medicine’s father Hippocrates reads “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food”. Doctors eagerly prescibe expensive cures and genetic research but ignore, to our collective peril, the prophetic words of the man to whom they swore an oath to “First, do no harm”.

It has been forty years since the Godmother of modern ecology, Rachel Carson revealed the bio-accumulative and chemically synergistic effects of toxic farm chemicals on life: Cancers, Mutations, and Birth-Defects among the most noticeable.

"Substances that accumulate in the tissues of plants and animals penetrate the germ cells to shatter the very material of heredity upon which the future depends.....Synthetic insecticides.....destroy the very enzymes whose function is to protect the body from harm"

Today, toxic chemicals used on lawns rivals and sometimes surpasses use on farms, while farms still receive tax subsidies to continue chemical agriculture.

Healthy Farms, Healthy Economies.
Large scale industrial agriculture kills our soil, our water, our communities, our security and independence. It is also killing us. In this context, the market demands to prove the economic costs of these policies seems redundant at best.

Small scale local organic agriculture is an investment in the regeneration of our natural, social and human capital. It is a market that is growing at an astounding twenty percent a year and yet it comprises less than 1 % of our food supply.

The vast majority of taxpayer subsidies goes to the largest, most destructive farms. Creativity, fine-cuisine and artisan flair are deterred by the stranglehold of agribusiness unions over government.

Is there a way out of this seeming gridlock ?

Growing Health
Our methods of food production are unsustainable and ecologically devastating. Incredibly, it leaves us dependent and insecure - we import nearly 90 % of our food!

Therefore a ready market awaits : Us. Who is more deserving of our highest quality food than our children, our elderly, our sick, convalescing and infirm ?

Subsidizing institutions to provide “ounces of prevention” in the form of locally produced nutrient-dense food means stimulating local economies while promoting personal and ecosystem health.

This process could be further supported by giving organic farmers incentives to produce for institutions.

By linking healthy soils to healthy insitutuons we bring community supported agriculture full circle to agriculture supporting community and begin a chain of cascading environmental, social, economic and health benefits.


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