Regenerating Our Health and Food
So many ill children reveal the ways we have outgrown our medical model and our predominant food production systems. The problems our kids suffer from most persistently today are complex, arising from a multisystem dysfunctional biological catastrophe, particularly in relation to immunity, autoimmunity, and the health sequelae that arise from these problems. These diseases suggest a body that is both confused and collapsing under the pressure of so many toxic exposures. If we are looking for evidence that our food systems have failed us, we should pay attention to these children. We have a generation of children whose chronic illnesses do not resemble those of the previous generations. Our kids are sicker than their parents, and arguably sicker than their parents were when they were children, regardless of our agricultural and pharmaceutical “advances.” Clinical evidence indicates that we are doing something wrong. Quite possibly what we are doing wrong today started with the changes to our food production that began just before most of these kids were born. The vital question is: How do we get out of this mess?
Perro and Adams,
What’s Making our Children Sick?
Since the writing of the book, What’s Making our Children Sick?, discussing the effects of industrial food-like products on our children’s health, planetary health has taken many unfortunate turns and looks very different from even just a few years ago since its publication. Despite nearly two years of health-based fear and anxiety emanating from individuals enduring two years of a global pandemic, there have been revelations regarding major gaps in the weave of the fabric of our healthcare system. However, these gaps and shortcomings can be the impetus and creation of a redirection towards a welcomed, positive change in both our healthcare model and practice.
The gold ring at the pinnacle of medical practice is evidence-based medicine, which is the judicious use of modern, best practice in coming to decisions about strategies in helping clients. The goal is the integration of clinical experience in conjunction with patient directives based on excellence in science. What has become clear is that there are links between evidence-based medicine, the health of individuals, and of our ecosystem. Taken directly from our book, we called for the creation not only of Ecosystem Health, but a new direction in the formation of a broader and integrative practice: Ecomedicine. Patients are part of a medico-environmental ecosystem, considering food-related causes of ill health and achieving health of the food ecosystem simultaneously with its constituents. What is clear is that healthy soil, plants and people are all part of the same ecosystem.
How we grow our food is how we grow our health.
The running narrative that has predominated during the present global health crisis, supported by governments, pharmaceutical companies, and mainstream media, is focused on a very narrow view of what ultimately defines and supports health. Holistic approaches toward preventive medicine, immune support, and treatments for infections have been actively bullied, targeted, and tossed aside in favor of pharma-based interventions. Additionally, integrative practitioners have been censored and actively removed from journals and social media platforms, creating an enormous schism away from available holistic therapeutic options for patients in favor of pharmaceuticals. One might say that there has been a conspiracy of factors in this situation. This has led to monopolies on knowledge production which leave holistically-minded practitioners to fend for themselves in trying to find solutions that are not tied to industry.
This is further complicated by the fact that what has occurred in the laboratories of agricultural science seldom makes its way to the clinic, let alone translated into treatment programs for patients. The question of the role of unsafe agrochemical-produced foods that has impacted the present pandemic is simply not part of the clinical practice repertoire. For example, upon review of the literature to date, there has been very little published in the scientific writings or by public health agencies regarding non-drug based strategies in regard to COVID-19. A guide published by the World Health Organization (WHO) addressing the concept of food as medicine, healthy dietary guidelines from some countries outside the US (India), and one newspaper article featuring a surgeon in Florida promoting nutraceuticals for COVID-19, were some of the few meager offerings by traditional sources.
However, despite a plethora of science and research on the topic, it has been even more unusual to encounter a discussion regarding the links between GMOs/pesticide-laden foods and today’s poor health. We can do better.
The way forward is to move beyond Pill for Ill medicine and reorient our health system to a food-focused medical model. As our foods have become engineered and by-products of laboratories and the technocracy, patients and practitioners alike have been engineered and manipulated to believe that food is not important to health. Rather than making a bee-line to the prescription pad when confronted with illness, a redirect to the local farmer’s market should be in order. While there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, reliance on pharmaceuticals can be shifted towards a reliance on our pantries and ovens. In order to offer the type of care that advances the proposition that food is the key integral factor to health, practitioners will have to think beyond the pill. This type of ecomedicine model is the foundation of a new chapter, Regeneration Health International (RHI). In this model, health can be sought and achieved only if the food ecosystem in itself is healthy.
The sequelae of the healthy food system is the regeneration of soil with the additional benefits of soil restoration, which is offsetting environmental degradation. Our ultimate health is inexorably linked to the health of our soil. The future of our health is tied to regenerative agriculture.
From the dark throes of the pandemic, the holistic health movement has galvanized in the birth and creation of a new, enlightened international campaign, RHI. This platform will focus on the reorientation and education of the public regarding what real health looks like. The main thrust of this new chapter is to recreate health as a positive experience and move away from monopolized, profit-driven narratives. RHI will maintain its position as a center of excellence, a source of consumer-friendly unbiased resources and educational materials, networking and outreach in the arena of holistic/integrative health.
Along with our allies in the organic food movement and health freedom arena, RHI will team up with leaders in the regenerative food movement such as the Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International. A true testimonial to our success will be when the provision of healthy, nutritious and non-toxic food is the centerpiece for public health campaigns. Rather than coerce our present model towards this health paradigm switch, we are calling for the generation of a new model, incorporating many of the tools already found in the holistic health toolbox.
Stay tuned for more information as we unite in the launch of this new coalition in 2022.
Michelle Perro, MD
Team Member RHI